The first high-altitude test flight of SpaceX's futuristic Starship has been aborted at the last second in Texas.
SpaceX came close to launching a prototype of the rocket ship that company chief Elon Musk is designing to carry people to Mars.
The goal was to shoot Starship to an altitude of 12.5 kilometres - the highest yet - then bring it back to a vertical landing.
But an automatic engine abort occurred with just 1.3 seconds remaining in the countdown.
SpaceX announced on its web broadcast it was done for the day and there was no word on when it might try again.
SpaceX already has conducted five Starship test flights but those simpler models went no higher than 150 metres.
The stainless steel version on the launch pad on Tuesday was the first to feature a nose cone, body flaps and three Raptor engines.
SpaceX has taken over Boca Chica in southeastern Texas to build and test its Starships.
The company intends to use Starships - the upper stage atop Super Heavy boosters - to deliver massive satellites into orbit around earth, and send people and cargo to the moon and Mars.
Musk said in an interview the Wall Street Journal he had relocated to Texas from California because he wanted to focus more on Tesla new electric car plant and his SpaceX venture in the state.
Australian Associated Press