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Space

Finally, the SpaceX Starship model flies

Following months of setbacks and development failures, at the firm’s South Texas testing facility, a prototype of the next-generation modular launch system, SpaceX provided a quick “jump” flight 4th Aug. The Starship SN5, propelled by a single Raptor engine, was lifted off just before 8 p.m. Eastern at Boca Chica, Texas site of SpaceX. The purpose of the flight was to achieve a height of 150 meters; however, SpaceX did not reveal the precise altitude the vehicle attained.

After flying sideways, a short distance, it descended about 45 seconds after liftoff to a landing on a nearby pad. Six legs of arrival, tucked under the skirt covering the engine bay, were deployed just before landing. There seemed to be some minor quibbles to the test. Video of the aircraft issued by SpaceX revealed some debris was falling off the starting stand following liftoff, whereas sections of the Raptor engine seemed to be on fire as the plane went down. Neither did appear to impact the vehicle’s flight.

The test flight, however, is months behind last September’s Musk schedule. The whole thing should take off, travel about 20 kilometers to 65,000 feet, and come down to land within just one or two months. The prototype, however, was decimated last November during a tanking test. In later experiments, three other Starship models destroyed, including the SN4 spacecraft, which detonated after a 29th May compressed-fire test.

SpaceX was coming under fire from NASA. At just the time of that occurrence for attempting to commit resources to Starship than its commercial crew vehicle, Crew Dragon. The agency relied on SpaceX to accomplish to allow the restoration of human interstellar spaceflight to the U.S. SpaceX delivered with the Demo-2 flight, which ultimately flew two NASA astronauts to the space station and brought them on a two-month trip to Earth on 2nd Aug.

Musk was at the same event, calling the productive Demo-2 flight the start of a “new age of space exploration,” which included going to the Moon and Mars. He further added that they must head to the Moon and that they’re going to have a Moon base and also send people to Mars and make life multi-planetary. 

In conclusion, SpaceX has not revealed specifics of upcoming tests. While temporary flight restrictions to facilitate hop tests by the Federal Aviation Administration remain valid until 6th Aug, Max tweeted that to level out the launch cycle, and they must do some short hops and go maximum elevation with body propellers.