SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced plans to launch the Starship launch vehicle for the third time in approximately three weeks. Musk's announcement came in response to a line in rapper Kanye West's new song "Carnival," in which he references Musk and expresses his desire for a rocket ship.
Starship's previous two launch attempts ended in explosions. During the first flight in April, the rocket exploded shortly after takeoff. The second liftoff on November 18th saw successful stage separation, but the booster experienced an explosion soon after. The spacecraft lost contact with SpaceX after reaching an altitude of nearly 150 kilometers, failing to complete the test launch's goal of a round-trip flight to space with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
Despite the setbacks, Starship remains a highly anticipated launch vehicle. It is designed to be fully reusable and capable of carrying up to 250 metric tonnes. It is powered by methane-oxygen staged combustion engines and can transport up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights. SpaceX aims to use Starship to carry humans back to the Moon in the near future and Mars later.