image credit: business insider
After a successful splashdown of its first astronauts from space, SpaceX has no plans to rest!
Just two days after bringing back the astronauts to Earth, a company achieved a huge development in their Starship spacecraft development program on Tuesday evening, flying a prototype of its next-generation to a height of around 500 feet and then landing it back on Earth seamlessly.
The mission marks the first time ever a massive spaceship has left the ground to see some air.
SpaceX’s Starship prototype was built to send humans into deep space like Mars and Moon.
The ultimate spaceship version can stand at closely 400 feet high as well as 30 feet wide. According to SpaceX, It has a tendency to carry almost 100 tons of cargo to low Earth orbit. The Starship will head to space on top of a giant rocket booster called Super Heavy. SpaceX’s new powerful rocket engine will power both of these vehicles, known as Raptor.
The prototype tested today is still long ahead from the final version of the Starship. There was a single Raptor engine, integrated on the base of the spacecraft, which carried it to the air. The final version would have at least six basic Raptor engines.
The successful flight testing of the Starship’s prototype is a significant achievement for SpaceX, which had a bad experience with its Starship experimentation over the past years. Before this day, SpaceX tested at least four prototypes previously which either exploded, busted or imploded before they could lift into the air. That’s why it’s the first time that a large-scale prototype has been lifted into the air and then landed safely.
SpaceX released a video of the entire test flight, including footage, captured both from a camera mounted on board Starship as well as from a drone’ s-eye-view. The camera mounted on the board demonstrates a look at how the Raptor engine operates and how it activates the landing legs for a smooth landing.
You can check out the video here:
After a successful test, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk explained the SpaceX’s future plans for the Starship development process, which consists of “several” more short hops, subsequently after high-altitude testing. There’s going to be more alteration in the landing legs; the engineers will extend its length and make it wider and taller so that it could smoothly land on uneven surfaces, according to Musk.
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