SpaceX Celebrates Accomplishments With Fireworks At The South Texas Starship Facility

SpaceX Celebrates Accomplishments With Fireworks At The South Texas Starship Facility

Featured Image Source: SpaceX & SPadre @SpacePadreIsle via Twitter

SpaceX ignited the night sky with a colorful fireworks show at the South Texas Starship facility last night. “Celebrating a year of great work by the SpaceX team!” SpaceX founder Chief Engineer Elon Musk wrote via Twitter under a video space enthusiasts shared of fireworks above the rocket factory at Boca Chica Beach (video below). Musk calls the region the ‘Gateway to Mars’. He recently floated the idea of renaming the area to ‘Starbase, Texas’ where he envisions the first Mars settlers will liftoff on an adventure to colonize the Red Planet.

The firework celebration comes after SpaceX accomplished landing a Starship test vehicle for the first time earlier this month, which came after two failed landing attempts. SpaceX Boca Chica teams have worked on the spacecraft’s development tirelessly since 2019. The year 2020 brought the most advancement for the Starship launch vehicle’s development amid a challenging year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Last year, teams successfully launched and landed twin prototypes that were just a cylinder structure with no aerodynamic flaps, Starship SN5 and SN6. Both performed low-altitude ‘hop’ flight tests of approximately 150-meters above Boca Chica. The successful flight tests enabled the company to move forward with the next phase of development (videos below).

Starship SN5 & Starship SN6


By December 2020, SpaceX teams launched Starship SN8, the first ever full scale vehicle with three methane-fueled Raptor engines. Starship SN8 was the first fully-assembled vehicle to conduct a high-altitude flight test of around 12-kilometers, as well as the first-of-its-kind aerodynamic flight and belly-flip maneuver controlled by its flaps. Even though SN8 ended with a failed landing, the fact that SpaceX aced an aerodynamic flight and the vehicle’s onboard computers performed all tasks accordingly was a huge milestone accomplished.

Starship SN8


By January 2021, SpaceX teams felt confident to speed up the spacecraft’s development. They rolled out two full-scale spacecraft prototypes to the launch pad, Starship SN9 and SN10. Early February, SN9 performed a high-altitude flight of 10-kilometers. The incredible view looked like a scene from a Sci-Fi movie as Starship SN9 lifted off with its powerful Raptor trio while SN10 stood at the launch site. Though just like its predecessor, SN9 also exploded upon landing. SpaceX teams found the cause of the issue and learned from it ahead of the next flight test.

Starship SN9 


'The third time is a charm!' SpaceX’s Starship SN10 aced the landing early March, a great reason to celebrate this week! The stainless-steel SN10 vehicle flew 10-kilometers above the sandy village on March 3rd. It performed an amazing aerodynamic flight and touched down on a nearby landing pad after a six-minute-long flight –marking the first time SpaceX lands a fully-assembled Starship prototype. Minutes after acing the landing, SN10 exploded due to “low thrust” caused by a “partial helium ingestion from fuel header tank” that caused SN10 to impact with high force “crushing its legs,” according to Musk. However, the propulsive landing is still a success for the company that aims to make launching and landing stainless-steel Starship prototypes routine in South Texas. “All in all a great day for the Starship teams – these test flights are all about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights, and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond. Congratulations to the entire Starship and SpaceX teams on the flight test!” the company said.

Starship SN10


Now, Starship SN11 awaits a flight test at the launch pad (pictured below). If preflight testing goes smoothly, we could see another shiny vehicle soar above Starbase this month.


 Featured Image Source: SpaceX & SPadre @SpacePadreIsle via Twitter

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

Follow me on X

Reading next

SpaceX Launches Twenty-first Starlink Satellite Cluster To Increase Broadband Coverage
Rumor: Tesla Is in Talks with Tata Power to Build a Charging Infrastructure in India

Tesla Accessories