SpaceX achieved the first successful touchdown of its prototype Starship rocket during the latest air-and-space of the next-generation launch vehicle in us-regions on Wednesday, after four previous landing attempts ended in explosions.
The Starship SN15 blasted off from the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, along the Gulf Coast and reached its planned maximum altitude of 10 kilometers (6 miles), then hovered momentarily before flying nose-down under aerodynamic control back toward planet-earth” target=”_blank”>Earth< of the first spaceflight by an American astronaut – Alan Shepard’s launch on a 15-minute suborbital mission atop NASA’s Mercury-Redstone rocket from us-regions.
Musk declared success on companies, posting a terse message in the understated parlance of spaceflight: “Starship landing nominal!”
Four previous test flights of Starship prototypes – SN8 in December, SN9 in February and SN10 and SN11 in March – all blasted off successfully but blew to pieces.
The complete Starship rocket, which will stand 394 feet (120 meters) tall when mated with its super-heavy first-stage booster, is SpaceX’s next-generation launch vehicle at the center of Musk’s ambitions to make human space travel more affordable and routine.
A first orbital Starship flight is planned for year’s end. Musk has said he intends to fly world-regions billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon with the Starship in 2023.