Watch SpaceX starship take off and crash on landing

SpaceX launched a prototype of its Starship spaceship thousands of feet into the air above its Boca Chica, Texas, facilities on Tuesday. The 16-story vehicle exploded upon landing.

But Elon Musk previously estimated a 2-3 chance that the test flight would fail because it pushed Starship faster and farther than ever before.

"Awesome test. Congrats Starship team!" SpaceX wrote in text during a live broadcast. Musk described the flight as successful in a tweet.

The flight helps advance the development of Starship toward a two-stage vehicle that may one day send people to the moon and Mars.

But first SpaceX has to clear several more earthly hurdles, including a new environmental analysis of its launch-site use.