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Elon Musk shares ‘hottest video ever captured’ of Earth with Starship plasma field

It was taken as the Starship re-entered Earth's atmosphere.

  • This video from Elon Musk shows a plasma field enveloping SpaceX rocket, Starship upon its re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere
  • It launched and came back into Earth’s atmosphere on Thursday (14 March)
  • The world’s biggest rocket was launched from a launchpad at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas

Published on Mar 14, 2024 at 9:27PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 15, 2024 at 4:13PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis

Check out this video from Elon Musk of a plasma field enveloping SpaceX rocket, Starship upon its re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere.

The SpaceX Starship rocket was seen enveloped by plasma as it came back into Earth’s atmosphere Thursday (14 March).

The world’s biggest rocket was launched from a launchpad at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

READ MORE! SpaceX makes history using Starlink’s ‘Direct-to-Cell’ satellites

It was the third and most ambitious test flight to date.

“Watch the super hot plasma field grow as Starship re-enters the atmosphere,” Musk said to caption the video he posted to X.

According to SpaceX’s live stream commentator: “This is the furthest and fastest that Starship has ever flown”.

This fact was met by cheers from the gathered, excited crowd.

X/Elon Musk

However, the positivity was a mixed bag as SpaceX later confirmed it lost Starship after it fell to Earth.

It’s presumed to have landed into the Indian Ocean as planned.

What that likely means is that the Starship broke up as it came down and wasn’t able to perform a bellyflop at speed as planned.

The mission has already been deemed a success, getting well beyond the milestones achieved on the two previous test flights last year.

All 33 engines at the base of the booster fired up and took the vehicle to the anticipated staging point.

X/Elon Musk

There the craft separated and pushed on into space.

The Ship completed powered ascent, shutting down its engines at the appropriate time before coasting around the Earth.

It was supposed to reignite its engine system to de-orbit, but controllers skipped this because the vehicle had a good trajectory.

You can see the vehicle moving its flaps to try to control the descent in the video above.

Then the signal fell over, as expected in such an extreme environment.

X/Elon Musk

Today’s launch was a huge test of Elon Musk’s ultimate ambitions to get humans to Mars.

It was the third test for the Starship rocket.

SpaceX shared pictures of the fully stacked rocket system on X on Wednesday (13 March).

It measures an approximate 120 metres in height .

This is the 319th launch for Elon Musk’s SpaceX with one flight crew member accidentally catching this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ Falcon 9 liftoff.

X/SpaceX

Previously SpaceX’s Dragon completed ‘splashdown’ as Crew-7 Mission returned to Earth.

Sadly two previous attempts to fly the uncrewed Starship spacecraft from Texas to Hawaii ended in high-altitude explosions.

Starship’s second flight test achieved a number of major milestones.

It provided invaluable data to continue developing Starship at speed.

Despite simply being ‘tests’, they are ways to put “flight hardware in a flight environment to maximize learning”.

SpaceX was hopeful for a more positive outcome this time, however, as this third launch tested a different route.

Ultimately they are working to build a fully reusable transportation system capable of carrying both crew and cargo to Earth orbit.

It’s hoped that from there it can help humanity return to the Moon and ultimately travel to Mars and beyond.

And spirits were high as SpaceX posted: “Weather is 70% favorable for today’s third integrated flight test of Starship.”

“Each of these flight tests continue to be just that: a test,” SpaceX said ahead of the launch attempt.

“They aren’t occurring in a lab or on a test stand, but are putting flight hardware in a flight environment to maximise learning.”

In a similar display, see the Falcon 9 lighting up the sky ahead of returning to Earth.

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