SpaceX is developing Starship to launch astronauts back to the Moon and colonize Mars. The spacecraft is under development at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Facility located at Boca Chica Beach in the southernmost tip of Texas. The founder of SpaceX Elon Musk envisions a fleet of crewed Starships embarking on a journey to colonize the Red Planet. He says Starship is ‘key’ to preserving the ‘light of consciousness. –“It appears that consciousness is a very rare and precious thing… We should take whatever steps we can to preserve the light of consciousness,” Musk said, “Only now, after 4.5 billion years has that window been open. That’s a long time to wait and it might not stay open for long. I’m pretty optimistic by nature, but there’s some chance that window will not be open for long, and I think we should become a multi-planet civilization while that window is open.” He aims to land the first Starship on the Martian surface by 2024 and send the first astronaut crew in 2026.
However, Starship SN8 performed an excellent flight. SpaceX said SN8 is "designed to test a number of objectives, from how the vehicle’s three Raptor engines perform to the overall aerodynamic entry capabilities of the vehicle (including its body flaps) to how the vehicle manages propellant transition [...]," the company wrote on its website, “With a test such as this, success is not measured by completion of specific objectives but rather how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship.” Musk shared the vehicle achieved going through all the testing objectives -“Successful ascent, switchover to header tanks & precise flap control to landing point!” he wrote via Twitter. He also shared that the reason why Starship SN8 exploded upon landing was because the –“Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD [Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly], but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!” Musk stated via Twitter after the successful test flight today. “SN8 did great! Even reaching apogee would’ve been great, so controlling all way to putting the crater in the right spot was epic!!” he said.
Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2020
Starship is in its early phase of development, through trial and error is how engineers learn to improve the spacecrafts design, hardware, and software. Each test in South Texas offers engineers insight towards the development of the spacecraft that could transform humans into a spacefaring civilization one day. “Mars, here we come!! Thank you, South Texas for your support! This is the gateway to Mars,” Musk said. You can watch SpaceX’s Starship SN8 incredible test flight in the video below.
Thank you, South Texas for your support! This is the gateway to Mars.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 10, 2020
WATCH STARSHIP SN8's EPIC TEST FLIGHT!
Video from TESMANIAN Correspondent's perspective.
SpaceX Official Video
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.