Giant SpaceX "Starship" rocket explodes after takeoff: "everything after clearing the tower was icing on the cake"

SpaceX today launched Starship, the largest rocket in history. The unmanned vehicle exploded after takeoff–a disappointment to onlookers, but one that came after what SpaceX described as a successful test launch.

SpaceX leadership has repeatedly stressed the experimental nature of the launch and said any result that involved Starship getting off the launchpad would be a success.

Starship is designed to carry cargo and people beyond Earth and is critical to NASA's plan to return astronauts to the moon. Two years ago, SpaceX won a nearly $3 billion contract from NASA to use Starship as a crewed lunar lander. That would see Starship be used for as part of NASA's Artemis moon program, delivering astronauts to the lunar surface from the agency's SLS rocket and Orion capsule.

Meanwhile, Elon's been busy on Twitter, threatening to sue Microsoft over some perceived slight.