SpaceX spaceship rocket fails to complete second flight test

A large unmanned spacecraft developed by US company SpaceX was launched for a test flight on Saturday, but failed to complete its mission.

Starship, which was developed to carry astronauts to the Moon and ultimately to Mars, lifted off from a launch base in southern Texas for its second flight test.

The 120-meter-long spacecraft slowly ascended on the Super Heavy Booster and made it through a successful stage separation about 3 minutes after lift-off.

Although it continued to boost higher, communication was lost with the vehicle shortly afterwards.

SpaceX said that they "may have lost the second stage."

The company made various improvements, including to the joint section between the two stages, following the first flight test in April when Starship exploded at about 4 minutes after lift-off.

A lot is at stake in the success of the Starship program, as US space agency NASA has a contract with SpaceX for its manned Lunar program Artemis.