SpaceX today flew the 15th prototype of its next flight with a fully reusable next-generation rocket, a test flight that included a successful climb to about 30,000 feet, as well as a controlled flip, descent and soft Landing was also included. Shortly after landing, a very small fire appeared at the base of the rocket, but it was included. The craft was powered by three Raptor rocket engines, which take off in first order from the vehicle, which is the vehicle reaching Apoji (this is the highest point, about 10 km).
This is a major milestone for SpaceX, which has also flown prototypes before, but which has yet to be seen as a test conclusion with the test vehicle. The prototypes SN8 and SN9 were destroyed during an attempt to land, while SN10 exploded soon after landing. This is the final test launch, the SN11, culminating in an explosion and the rocket’s total loss just before touchdown.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed a nice 150-foot SN15 touchdown just after the conclusion of the launch livestream. This is an important step in the development of the starship’s orbital capabilities, which would require the vehicle to perform this landing maneuver, as it would make a super heavy booster rocket (also in development) after launching into space and a return trip from orbit. is.
The SN15 also includes a number of “vehicle improvements across structures, avionics and software”, including “engines that will allow greater speed and efficiency during production and flight: in particular, a new enhanced Avionics suite, aft Updated propellant architecture in the skirt, and new Raptor engine design and configuration, ”SpaceX said on its website.
SpaceX aims to use the starship for future lunar and Mars launches and landings.
The Federal Aviation Administration last week authorized SpaceX to conduct the next three test flights of its starship program, including Wednesday’s flight. The next two will be flights to SN16 and SN17 starships.