Elon Musk's Starship prototype makes a big impact

US entrepreneur Elon Musk has launched the latest prototype of his Starship vehicle from Texas.

Codenamed SN8, the uncrewed rocket lifted away from the Boca Chica R&D facility on what had been billed as a brief flight to 12.5km (41,000ft).

The 50m-tall vehicle crashed on touchdown but Mr Musk was delighted with how much the test outing achieved.

Before the flight, the tech billionaire had dampened expectations, warning his fans that some mishap was likely.

Nonetheless, Musk has big hopes for the Starship when it is fully developed. He says it is the future for his SpaceX company.

Starship will launch people and cargo into orbit, and the entrepreneur also envisages the vehicle travelling to the Moon and Mars.

The SpaceX CEO praised his team, adding that the demonstration had acquired "all the data we needed".

"Mars, here we come!!" he tweeted.

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