‘Mars, Here We Come!,’ Musk Says After Starship Test Flight
Elated by the partial success of his Starship space test flight, Elon Musk has set his eyes on the next phase of his ambitious space project – Landing the giant spaceship on Mars.
“Congratulations to the entire Starship and SpaceX teams on today’s test! Serial number 9 (SN9) is up next – Mars, here we come!,” Musk said after the test launch of the latest prototype of a rocket built by his company SpaceX.
The experimental model of the 160-foot-tall Starship serial number 8, or SN8, lifted off from SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch pad in Cameron County on Wednesday.
However, it crashed after reaching the targeted high-altitude suborbital point in a test flight along Texas coast.
After successfully soaring 12.5 kilometers in 4 minutes and 45 seconds, its third engine extinguished and the giant spaceship came back down as planned in its expected path, and crashed hard into the ground in flames and smoke.
The engine was restarted before landing in an effort to slow the ship, but it was too late, reports say.
As per the official version, it was a successful test flight. The rocket “successfully ascended, transitioned propellant, and performed its landing flip maneuver with precise flap control to reach its landing point”, SpaceX said. “Low pressure in the fuel header tank during the landing burn led to high touchdown velocity resulting in a hard landing,” according to the company.
Elon Musk thanked the local community in Cameron County for their support.
The U.S. business tycoon, who is the CEO of the California-based space manufacturing and transportation services company, believes the Starship concept can transform the economics of spaceflight.
SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket (collectively referred to as Starship) represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both human beings and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon and Mars. Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, with the capacity to carry more than 100-tons to Earth orbit.
Landing a Starship on the lunar surface in the next few years is Musk’s dream project for NASA.
Source: Read Full Article