SpaceX's Starship rocket successfully reached space for the first time.

However, the world's most powerful rocket disintegrated on its return to Earth during the test flight. Two previous attempts exploded soon after launch.

– SpaceX

The upper-stage of the two-stage spacecraft reached peak altitudes of 234km (145 miles). The test was the first successful opening and closing of Starship's payload door in orbit, and the transfer of super-cooled rocket propellant from one tank to another during spaceflight.

SpaceX plans to conduct at least six more test flights of Starship this year, subject to regulatory approval.

The rocket is designed to lift 150 tons into low-Earth orbit, and is expected to be able to deliver payloads to the Moon and Mars.

Should the 400-foot-tall rocket reach production, it should dramatically lower the cost of bringing satellites to space, and allow for larger satellites to be carried to space.

"Congrats to SpaceX on a successful test flight!" NASA chief Bill Nelson said.

"Starship has soared into the heavens. Together, we are making great strides through Artemis to return humanity to the Moon—then look onward to Mars."