Virtually a yr after we noticed SpaceX’s ‘Starhopper’ test vehicle make a short trip into the air, the corporate has efficiently flown and landed a full-size Starship prototype. The SN5 automobile is lacking its nostril cone, so it’s a bit like a taller “flying water tower” similar to the sooner take a look at rig, but it surely went up and down from SpaceX’s Boca Chica, TX launch pad all the identical.
You may watch the NASASpaceflight YouTube stream that captured the occasion (begin at about 1:14), and see the only Raptor engine-powered hop, that took SN5 about 150 meters into the air. According to Elon Musk, the following steps embody a number of extra brief hops earlier than going “excessive altitude” with physique flaps hooked up. That makes SpaceX two for 2 on the week, after safely returning two astronauts from the ISS aboard its Crew Dragon vehicle, and is a notable step ahead for reusable spacecraft.