SpaceX launches starship prototype on dramatic test flight

After repeated delays for a variety of technical issues, SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched a methane-powered prototype of its planned high-power starship rocket. The company sent a dummy stage from its South Texas test facility to a nearby landing pad for a brief landing-up-down.

The test flight arrived two days after one SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft brought two NASA astronauts back to Earth safely with Splash in the gulf of mexico After an almost flawless test flight expected to clear the way for operational missions later this year.

Resembling a giant metal grain silo, the starship test rocket’s single raptor engine – powered by liquid oxygen and high-energy methane propellant – ignites at 7:57 a.m. ET, in the sky above Boca Chica, Texas Boosts the vehicle, a plume blazing above and clouds of smoke billows.

The maximum altitude employed was 150 meters (about 490 feet), but it was not immediately known how high the prototype actually flew.

Minus fins and an aerodynamic nose section, a SpaceX starship prototype ascends into the sky above Boca Chica, Texas, the first test flight of a full-scale version of the upper stage, minus nose section and wings, which the California company is designing for the moon. And the last flight to Mars.


Guided by Labpadre SpaceX enthusiasts near the remote coastal launch site, the rocket’s exhaust plume can be seen back and forth as its flight computer propels the vehicle to one side of the launch stand, giving a clear look at the nearby pad Smooth landing established.

When the smoke cleared, the vehicle was no worse for wear, a major milestone for SpaceX and the Starship rocket system the California company is designing for its final mission to the moon and, ultimately, Mars.

The red planet was clearly Brains of SpaceX founder Elon Musk After the rocket successfully landed.

“Mars is looking real,” Musk tweeted to a follower. “Progress is accelerating.”

The planned 394-foot-tall rocket is made up of two stages, a massive reusable booster known as a “super heavy” and a fully reusable upper stage, known as a “starship” Which gives the game wings like a classic sci-fi rocket. The vehicle is intended to carry heavy-weight cargo, which is propellant to replenish other spacecraft or passengers, be it astronauts, non-governmental researchers or space tourists.

The 230-foot-long, 30-foot-wide Super Heavy First Stage, powered by 30 Raptor engines, will generate 16 million pounds of thrust, successfully launching the most powerful booster, NASA’s Saturn V Moon rocket, more than twice the liftoff power.

The prototype launched on Tuesday, known simply as “serial number 5, or SN5, was a full-scale version of a starship stage propellant tank with a single raptor engine. The final starship stage was 160 feet long And will be powered by six Raptor engines. A combined produces 1.6 million pounds of thrust.