- Elon Musk said SpaceX “might try to refly SN15 soon,” after a Starship prototype’s Wednesday landing.
- SpaceX has launched five Starships in five months. The latest version is the only one to not explode.
- It takes SpaceX one step closer to creating a fully reusable rocket that can fly to orbit and back.
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Elon Musk on Friday said his aerospace company SpaceX may attempt another blast off of its fifth Starship rocket soon, following its successful landing on Wednesday.
Starship serial No. 15, or SN15, lifted off from SpaceX’s launch facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, and flew to high altitude, before plunging back down to Earth and landing smoothly back on the landing pad.
-Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2021
It’s taken SpaceX five months to get the rocket landing right. The first Starship test flight was in December, the second happened in February, the third and fourth both lifted off in March, and the most recent launch was on Wednesday.
The latest version of the mega-spaceship was the only version to not explode, taking SpaceX closer to adding another reusable launch vehicle to its collection. The previous four Starship prototypes burst into flames either during or shortly after landing.
These prototypes are the upper stage of a two-part system. SpaceX want to add on a Super Heavy booster, which will fire the rocket towards orbit, the moon and eventually Mars. The idea is that Starship will return to Earth so the mission can be repeated again and again.
A final version of the 16-story tall Starship rocket is set to land the first humans on the moon since 1972 under an exclusive contract with NASA. The spaceship will send two astronauts to the moon as early as 2024.