In a nutshell: SpaceX attempted its first Starship orbital test flight this week following a canceled launch earlier in the week due to a frozen valve. To the surprise of many, the heavy-lift rocket made it off the launch pad and got a couple of minutes into its mission before things went south.

Starship reached a maximum altitude of 39 kilometers (about 24 miles) despite several of its Raptor engines failing shortly after launch. Unfortunately, Starship failed to separate from the Super Heavy booster. Shortly after, the flight termination system took over and the craft experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly.

Even with all the failures, the test was still deemed a success. SpaceX simply wanted to get Starship off the launch pad. Anything after clearing the tower was icing on the cake. The uncrewed test flight was not carrying a payload.

"As we promise, excitement is guaranteed," said John Insprucker, SpaceX's principal integration engineer.

Two things immediately stood out when watching the launch. First was the enormous size of Starship and the sheer amount of energy needed to break gravity's grip. The other was the huge debris field created by Starship, which SpaceX clearly didn't anticipate.

This clip from LabPadre highlights the incredible amount of energy generated as Starship lifted off.

Unfortunately for the nearby Dodge Caravan, it's probably destined for the scrap yard as its rear windows got blown out and the whole rear frame was caved in. It also appeared as if the security gate in the distance didn't survive the blast. Another shot from LabPadre shows the crater that Starship left under the launch pad.

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration told The Wall Street Journal it will oversee an investigation into what went wrong during the flight. As is standard procedure, SpaceX will not be allowed to conduct another Starship flight until the FAA is satisfied it won't have an impact on public safety.

SpaceX said the test will help them improve Starship's reliability, and that they look forward to another flight in a few months.