Made out of stainless steel, the booster was supposed to make its first sub-orbital flight in November-December, but during a cryogenic pressure test on November 20, its top exploded, sending pieces of hardware up in the air and erupting plumes of gas all over the site.
The rocket was tipped to begin test flights by the end of 2019, but has now suffered a huge setback.
SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk were both uncharacteristically quiet about the incident on social media, with SpaceX's only tweet on Wednesday (technically a re-tweet) showing off a recent successful test of the in-flight abort system for their crewed Dragon Capsule - a vessel expected to ferry humans into space far sooner than the Starship program.
Update: SpaceX has issued a assertion on the test, announcing it be no longer a "foremost setback". "This had some value as a manufacturing pathfinder", they said of the Mark 1 version of Starship, "but [the] flight design is quite different".
A prototype of a SpaceX rocket created to carry people to Mars has suffered a major failure during tests in Texas. SpaceX said engineers have already turned their focus to a newer test vehicle design, dubbed Mark-3.
The explosion occurred at SpaceX's take a look at web site in Boca Chica, Texas, at roughly 4:30pm Japanese Time.
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Mr Musk divulged the Starship rocket in September, guaranteeing it is prepared to convey people to Mars inside a couple of years. The spacecraft and its booster represent "a fully reusable transportation system created to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond", according to the company.
SpaceX is developing the massive rocket ship to carry cargo and passengers beyond Earth orbit to destinations such as Mars - or even on suborbital trips between destinations on Earth.
Musk said this super heavy Starship rocket - standing almost 400 feet tall - would replace SpaceX's entire Falcon 9 line and Falcon Heavy rockets along with the Crew Dragon spacecraft that SpaceX is building to carry spacemen to and from the International Space Station.
The SpaceX starship will serve the goal of carrying passengers and circle the earth's orbit, the moon and a potential circuit around Mars.
However, it was not the Mk1 that was meant to be the vehicle used for the Starship maiden orbital flight.