Starship serial no. 8, or SN8 - a rocket ship prototype - sits at SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica, Texas.
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos complimented SpaceX on its first high-altitude test of its prototype Starship spacecraft, which ended with the rocket exploding.
  • "Anybody who knows how hard this stuff is is impressed by today's Starship test," Bezos said.
  • Jeff Bezos owns his own space exploration company Blue Origin, and has displayed a rivalry in the past with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
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Amazon CEO and world's richest person on Wednesday congratulated SpaceX on the test launch of its Starship rocket, which ended in an explosion on the launchpad.

"Anybody who knows how hard this stuff is is impressed by today's Starship test. Big congrats to the whole @SpaceX team. I'm confident they'll be back at it soon," Jeff Bezos said in an Instagram post, accompanied by a somewhat out-of-focus photo of the Starship rocket.

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos)

SpaceX conducted its first high-altitude test of its giant prototype Starship rocket on Wednesday. Starship, which is tapped to eventually fulfill CEO Elon Musk's dream of taking humans to Mars, stands 16 stories tall. It was expected to fly 41,000 feet into the sky - but it is not yet clear whether it reached that altitude.

The spacecraft exploded dramatically on landing, but the explosion was not unexpected. CEO Elon Musk had previously said he thought there was a 2-3 chance the test would fail.

Jeff Bezos owns space exploration company Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos also owns a space exploration company called Blue Origin. The company is competing with SpaceX and Dynetics to land NASA astronauts on the moon. On December 5 Bezos showed off a video of the company's lunar-landing engine, the BE-7, firing its fourth successful test. "This is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon," Bezos said.

A post shared by Jeff Bezos (@jeffbezos)

Bezos and Musk, who in November became the second-richest person in the world, have displayed something of a rivalry.

Musk has previously accused Bezos of copying business ideas, and while Bezos has not overtly attacked Musk, he has criticised the idea of sending humans to live on Mars, calling it "un-motivating."

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