Successful fourth test of SpaceX’s massive rocket: landing of the spacecraft in the sea

Successful fourth test of SpaceX's massive rocket: landing of the spacecraft in the sea
The launch took place from SpaceX’s launch site in Boca Chica, Texas

Noos News

The fourth attempt at a test flight into space using Starship, SpaceX’s new massive rocket, has succeeded. After a successful launch in Texas, the spacecraft landed in the Indian Ocean just before 4pm (Dutch time). Such a smooth landing in the sea was not possible in previous test flights.

SpaceX has big plans for Starship, which will be launched on the most powerful rocket ever built. The new spaceship should be able to take astronauts to the moon and even to Mars in the future. NASA wants to use a modified version as a lunar lander for the first Artemis mission. The new transportation system must also put satellites into orbit.

  • SpaceX

    Cheering at SpaceX after landing at sea
  • SpaceX

    During re-entry into the atmosphere, the protruding parts of the rocket suffered severely

The combination, more than 120 meters high, consists of two parts: the Super Heavy booster rocket and the Starship spaceship that stands atop it. The goal of this fourth attempt was mainly to make a soft landing in the sea using both the booster and the spacecraft itself.

In contrast to previous attempts, the missile stopped well during this test, just before landing in the sea, without crashing. Both parts, the booster and the spacecraft, must be reusable in the future and be able to land on a platform after their flight.

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During the landing, SpaceX collected data to improve the landing program. The prototypes that have been flown on test flights so far have not yet been reused. This will only happen when a new version is introduced, at the earliest after the sixth test flight.

The first flight on April 20 last year ended within minutes when the missile went out of control. The launch pad was also partially destroyed during that test.

During the second attempt on November 18, the spacecraft succeeded in reaching space, but it had to be detonated because it threatened to deviate from its course. During the third test on March 14, the spacecraft went the farthest: it reached the desired trajectory in space, but was lost during re-entry.

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