- Tram Ho
Just 2 days after bringing his astronauts back to Earth, SpaceX achieved another important success: flying a prototype of his new generation interplanetary rocket in Texas. Here the prototype flew 500 feet (over 150 meters) high and then landed safely on the ground. This is the largest test version to date taking off from the ground.
This prototype is for SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft, designed to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars. The final version of the ship will be 400 feet (over 121m) high and 30 feet wide (more than 9m), capable of bringing more than 100 tons of cargo into the low orbit of Earth. To leave Earth and fly into space, Starship will be put on an equally massive rocket, Super Heavy, and both of these vehicles use SpaceX’s new rocket engine, Raptor.
While the complete version of Starship is expected to have up to six Raptor rocket engines and will have a conical pointed tip on top, the test version just flew in Texas using only a Raptor engine and has a flat nose at the top. to add weight.
However, the success of the test today still marks a major turning point for SpaceX, which did not have much luck in the trials with the Starship spacecraft last year. Prior to this test, 4 different Starship prototypes either exploded, caught fire or failed before they could take off. This is the first time a large Starship prototype not only took off, but also successfully landed after the test.
Testing takeoff and landing for the miniature version of the Starship spacecraft
This test flight mainly tests the vehicle’s ability to control the engine during takeoff and landing. Starship is designed to proactively land in other worlds, using hull engines to slowly land on surfaces like on the Moon or Mars in the future – where water or roads are not available. ice like on Earth. This is also the way SpaceX uses to land and reuse their Falcon 9 missiles after each flight.
After recent successful testing, it is likely that this prototype will continue flying again in the future. However, SpaceX has also created six other prototypes, and the company is rapidly developing new vehicles for testing over the next few months.
Ultimately, SpaceX is attempting to fly to higher altitudes, and the company will also add more equipment to its vehicles, including more Raptor engines.
Refer to The Verge
Source : Genk