- The Starship prototype, SN5, was able to propel to a few 100 feet into the air during its experimental launch on Tuesday
- The new prototype is inclusive of a fully reusable rocket system
- After soaring into the air for nearly 40 seconds, the 16-storey vehicle touched down.
On the Race to Reach Mars
After undergoing numerous failures during the predations, SpaceX successfully launched and landed its next generation Star ship prototype, SN5, achieving an initial displacement of nearly 500 foot from the ground. The spacecraft was launched at its site in Boca Chica, Texas at around7.57 p.m. ET on Monday.
Shortly after the landing, Elon Musk, Chief executive officer at SpaceX tweeted “Mars is looking real” followed by “Progress is accelerating.”
This is among the first successful attempts from the aerospace company after encountering many catastrophic explosions during its previous versions of the launch. Each failure has allowed SpaceX to bring changes in its design and materials. Similar changes will be installed into the upcoming prototypes like SN6. SN7, and SN8. The aim of these spacecraft is to fly people to the moon and mars in the near future.
The test successfully allowed the Starship’s guidance system, the structural strength of its stainless steel tanks, and a number of other basic functions before the next series of launches to higher altitudes.
Surviving the rocky road
SpaceX has been trying to launch its new prototype from Monday evening in South Texas. However, they had to abort it just before the take-off. Likewise, another attempt was done early Tuesday but was again aborted before the victorious flight in the evening of the same day.
NASA and SpaceX on different pages?
After the successful commencement of SN5, Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s science mission directorate, acclaimed the take off. While SpaceX is looking forward to transporting humans to mars through this mission, NASA is considering the rocket as a vehicle to carry astronauts between the lunar orbit and moon.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said that the SLS and Orion vehicles were the only opportunity to ferry the astronauts from earth to the moon . In April, he had said that this mission ‘could be absolutely game changing’ for space exploration.