SpaceX, an aerospace company, has recently tested a prototype of its SN5 Starship in Texas, as part of a mission towards enabling humanity to become multi-planetary species.
The company has performed a 150 meter (500-foot) ‘hop’, by launching a giant metal thermos, the SN5 Starship prototype at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site, also known as Boca Chica development facility, at 5 p.m. PT. The test craft with a height of nearly 9 stories ignited its Raptor engine and rose slowly in the air. It then gently returned and landed upright a short distance away from where it took off.
Shortly after the 1st ignition of the engine, the SN5 Starship prototype seemed to be struggling to become airborne. Later, however, it rose above its smoke, hovered, & returned for a soft landing. The craft traveled just a fraction of more than 35 million miles, which CEO Elon Musk anticipates the final Starship will traverse to efficiently take humans to Mars. In addition to the recent, long-awaited, and low-altitude test flight, the company has tested several other prototypes that were not able to leave the ground, mostly during the pressurization tests.
SN5 Starship has been designed to make it capable of the orbital flight. Prior to this flight, however the company had to complete the relatively tiny hop. The recent prototype with the height of nearly 30 meters or 98 feet is a stripped-down version of the final Starship spacecraft, without the addition of nose cons or fins. The 30-feet (9-meter) wide craft is basically a fuel tank & a Raptor engine that is topped with a weight that can stimulate a payload. The final look of the craft takes the shape of a thermos.
In addition to the recent accomplishment, the aerospace company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying Doug Hurley & Bob Behnken, NASA astronauts, has successfully returned and landed in the Gulf of Mexico from the ISS (International Space Station).