It was a big day for SpaceX yesterday as they conducted their first successful test flight of their latest Starship SN5.
SpaceX has been developing prototype Starships since 2019 at its facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Elon Musk believes these Starships will one day help us to become a multi-planetary species.
This latest prototype, designated SN5 (Serial Number 5), is as you guessed it, the fifth iteration of the space vehicle. If you include the first demonstration vehicle, the Starship Mk1, it’s actually the sixth the company has built.
On Monday, SpaceX conducted a successful static fire of the engine on SN5, paving the way for its attempt at a short, but important 150m (500ft) flight on Tuesday.
After the single Raptor engine fired up, SN5 went vertical, reaching its targeted altitude before slowly coming back down to land nearby at the SpaceX facility. The final production versions of the Starships will have six Raptor engines, providing much more thrust than what was seen during this latest test.
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 (@DriveTeslaca) August 5, 2020
This isn’t the first time one of the Starship prototypes has taken to the air. In August 2019, the Starhopper prototype conducted a similar test flight, also reaching about 150m in altitude. Since then, other prototypes have suffered failures at certain points of testing, including pressure testing and static engine test fires.
Shortly after the successful test flight, Musk took to Twitter to say the goal of reaching Mars and becoming an multi-planetary species is now one step closer.
Mars is looking real
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2020
Featured image via @austinbarnard45