Home / Technology / SpaceX successfully flies its Starship prototype to an altitude of about 500 feet – TechCrunch

SpaceX successfully flies its Starship prototype to an altitude of about 500 feet – TechCrunch

SpaceX has developed the Starship, its next generation spacecraft, in its place in Boca Chica, Texas. The company has built a number of different Starship prototypes so far, including an earlier version called Starhopper which was really just the lower part of the rocket. Today, the company flew its first full-scale prototype (minus the dome louse that will appear on the final version, and without the control fins that will appear further down its sides), which achieved a first flight of about 150 m (just under 500 feet).

This is the longest along one of these prototypes has come in the testing process. Starship SN5 has been nominated, which is the fifth series article. SpaceX actually built a first full-scale demonstration vehicle called Starship Mk1

before switching to this new naming scheme, so that this will be the sixth this size they have built – with previous versions failing at various points during the preparations, including pressure testing and after a static engine test fire.

The SN5 is now the first of these larger test vehicles to actually take off and fly. This prototype underwent a successful static test fire earlier this week and paved the way for this short flight test today. It is equipped with only one Raptor engine, while the last Starship will have six Raptors on board for much greater propulsion. It managed to fly and land upright, which means that everything with external indications went to the plane.

Photo credit: NASA Spaceflight (opens in new window)

Starhopper previously completed a similar jump in August 2019. SpaceX has an aggressive prototype development program to try to get Starship in working order, with the ambitious goal of flying payloads with the functional orbital vehicle as early as next year. Ultimately, Starship is designed to pair with a future Falcon Heavy booster to carry large payloads to orbit around the earth, as well as to the moon and eventually to Mars.

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