SpaceX has successfully tested a prototype of its Starship, which it’s developing with a view to Moon and Mars missions. The rocket is a long way from an inaugural manned flight, but Elon Musk is happy with progress.
Starship prototype Serial Number 6 (or SN6) took off from a launch pad at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas on Thursday. The stainless steel rocket ascended some 152 meters (500 feet) above ground and was able to land without complications less than a minute later.
This was the second successful test flight by SpaceX in a month, with an SN5 prototype performing the same stunt on August 4.
The company released an impressive video from the launch, which combined drone footage and shots from the cameras installed on the rocket itself.
It was later retweeted by SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, who followed the footage with a cheerful comment: “Turns out you can make anything fly haha.”
Musk hopes that his Starship project will someday be able to deliver both people and cargo to Earth’s orbit, as well as to the Moon and Mars. He’s aiming for a fully reusable rocket that would only require refueling and short breaks between flights.
However, the entrepreneur acknowledged earlier this week that the Starship is still a long way from carrying out a manned flight, saying that it has to do “hundreds of missions with satellites before we put people on board.” The rocket’s first test flight to orbit may happen in 2021, according to Musk.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!