South Texas was filled with excitement on Wednesday afternoon when SpaceX launched the Starship SN10 prototype into an altitude of approximately 10-kilometers above Boca Chica Beach. Space enthusiasts gathered at South Padre Island to watch the launch from across the ocean. The amazing flight test showcased SpaceX teams engineering talent as the stainless-steel vehicle propelled into the sky powered by a Raptor engine trio. During the flight, Starship SN10 reached apogee, shut down its engines in sequence to perform an aerodynamic flight controlled with its four flaps as the 15-story-high vehicle fell down from the sky. The vehicle descended, reignited its engines and conducted an incredible landing-flip-maneuver that enabled a touch down on a nearby landing pad. Spectators cheered with excitement as the vehicle aced the landing! The touchdown is special because it is the first time SpaceX successfully lands a Starship vehicle after two failed landing attempts. “Third time’s the charm, as the saying goes – we’ve had a successful soft touchdown on the landing pad,” SpaceX Principal Integration Engineer John Insprucker said during the flight’s live broadcast. “The Texas team has several more suborbital test vehicles in build, with [starship] number 11 ready to roll out to the pad in the very near future,” Insprucker said. A TESMANIAN correspondent captured footage of Starship SN10’s flight test, video below. Congratulations SpaceX!
Starship SN10 Flight Test – TESMANIAN
“Starship SN10 landed in one piece!” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted with excitement on March 3rd, “SpaceX team is doing great work! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace,” he said. However, after the successful flight test, Starship SN10 somehow exploded, it is unclear what caused the issue. “RIP SN10, honorable discharge,” Musk joked. SpaceX aims to make flying and landing stainless-steel Starship prototypes routine at Boca Chica Beach. Musk recently suggested the area could be renamed to ‘Starbase, Texas,’ from where he envisions a Starship fleet will liftoff to colonize Mars.
The company is working on a tight schedule to develop the spacecraft, with a planned crewed flight around the Moon scheduled for the year 2023. “I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023. And that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023. It’s looking very promising,” he said during a video announcement of the ‘Dear Moon’ mission that was released earlier this week. The Dear Moon mission will launch civilians and it could be you! Dear Moon is hosting a contest to choose eight passengers to travel aboard Starship. Find out how to register in our previous article: Yusaku Maezawa Invites The Public To Register For A Chance To Win A Trip Aboard SpaceX’s Starship To The Moon
SpaceX Starship SN10 Fight Test
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About the Author
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.