SpaceX's Starship, the latest prototype of the rocket the company hopes will one day carry humans to Mars, exploded as it attempted to land on Tuesday.

The rocket, which the company hopes will take people to Mars, has been a "top SpaceX priority," of Elon Musk. A few months after his company-wide email announcing the goal, the company unveiled the Starship prototype, with hopes of reaching Mars this year.

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Elon Musk's SpaceX is promising to launch four civilians into orbit by next year, an ambitious goal that would mark the first commercial crew launch if completed successfully.

Billionaire Jared Isaacman, CEO of Pennsylvania-based payment technology firm Shift4 Payments Inc., is financing the trip, chartering the Dragon rocket and donating three seats. The remaining three people joining Isaacman will be announced in coming weeks, SpaceX said Monday.

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A federal judge wants SpaceX to explain next week how it will defend its decision to block a federal subpoena of hiring documents.

Judge Michael Wilner of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California has set a video conference hearing with lawyers for both sides on Feb. 8.

He said, in court documents, he will likely cover "how SpaceX plans to prove that compliance with the subpoena would be unduly burdensome for the company."

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