SpaceX’s Starship completes first full test flight

This is a giant leap for mankind
  • SpaceX is in the testing stages of its incredibly powerful rocket, Starship
  • Its first three test flights have ended with explosions
  • Now the rocket has just completed a groundbreaking and successful fourth flight

Published on Jun 7, 2024 at 4:46PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jun 7, 2024 at 4:46PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

Good news – Starship managed to take off without exploding.

The world’s largest and most powerful rocket just completed its fourth flight.

But this was the only successful one so far.

Now SpaceX is another step closer to getting humans to the Moon and beyond.

READ MORE: Elon Musk reveals next-gen Starship to reach heights greater than Great Pyramids

NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to help them get astronauts back on the Moon for the first time since the 70s.

The aerospace agency is aiming for 2026, so SpaceX is ramping up its progress.

SpaceX has been testing out Starship, its rocket that is nearly 400 feet tall, making it taller than Big Ben.

It’s twice as powerful as the rocket used for the Apollo mission and will be used for missions to the Moon and Mars, and more.

But while it’s undeniably powerful, Starship has had a rough journey to the top.

SpaceX’s journey with Starship so far

The rocket’s first test flight was in April 2023 and exploded minutes after lift-off, unfortunately for the minivan that was obliterated by its debris.

The second test flight was more successful, making it to space before exploding too.

Starship bettered itself again for its third launch, managing to leave and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

But ultimately SpaceX is trying to build a reusable rocket, and thus far its rocket hasn’t been able to safely land back on Earth.

Luckily the fourth test flight turned out to be the charm.

Starship’s soft landing

This test flight had two goals – for the first-stage booster Super Heavy to have a soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, and for the main Ship to achieve a controlled reentry to Earth.

After takeoff, Super Heavy successfully detached and landed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Next, the Ship also pulled off its landing, even though super-heated plasma melted through one of its control flaps.

“Despite loss of many tiles and a damaged flap, Starship made it all the way to a soft landing in the ocean!” Elon Musk posted on X.

Musk considered none of these test flights to be failures though, as they’ve all been huge learning curves.

Now his engineers will be working overtime to figure out how to overcome the issue of heated plasma.

We’re now significantly closer to visiting the moon and building homes on Mars.

And Musk is closer to meeting his long-lost alien family members.

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