SpaceX showed off a new 2-minute video of its Starship high-altitude flight test, which focuses on the successful execution of the landing flip maneuver.
The video shows the spectacle of a 12-story-tall vehicle executing a controlled fall and landing flip maneuver, and even though Starship exploded upon landing, SpaceX still considers this event the beginning of a new era in space transportation.
On December 9, the Starship SN8 vehicle successfully ascended, transitioned propellant, and demonstrated a controlled aerodynamic descent and landing flip maneuver. This would enable landing in places without prepared surfaces in the future, such as on Mars and the Moon.
SpaceX’s latest prototype of the next-generation super heavy-lift Starship SN8 rocket was launched from a facility on a test flight in Boca Chica, Texas, on December 9. The rocket lifted off to 12.5 km and reached the highest altitude yet. This test was intended to check if the three main Raptor engines worked properly and if Starship could perform a controlled flight.
The short flight was also supposed to show a vehicle’s belly-facing re-entry to the atmosphere of Earth as well as demonstrate a bunch of maneuvers.
SpaceX has already rolled the next prototype of the Starship vehicle out of the hangar, so it may not take long until we see the next successful launch. Starship is currently SpaceX’s first priority because it can lift more than 100 tons of cargo, including hardware, satellites, and even people, into the Earth’s orbit.