SpaceX successfully lands Starship SN15 for first time without explosion


SpaceX on May 5, 2021, successfully launched and landed its Starship SN15 without any explosion for the first time. The Starship SN15 became SpaceX’s first Starship prototype that did not get destroyed during its test flight.

SN15’s successful landing brings Elon Musk closer to his aim to transport cargo and launch manned space missions to the Moon and Mars.

The Starship SN15, during its fifth flight test, took off from the Starbase in Boca Chica, Southern Texas, at 5.24 pm IST (10.25 GMT) and flew up to an altitude of 10 km. The starship carried out a horizontal descent and landed successfully without exploding.

However, there was a small fire at the base which SpaceX explained as ‘not unusual with the methane fuel we are using’. The design issues are being worked out by the engineers.

Elon Musk who owns SpaceX triumphantly tweeted, “Starship landing nominal”, after the successful landing.

All the previous SpaceX’s Starship prototypes, SN8, SN9, SN10, and SN11, had exploded during or after landing.

SpaceX’s Starship: Significance

US space agency NASA has selected SpaceX and two other companies to develop the first commercial moon-lander systems for the Artemis program.

SpaceX won the $3-billion contract to develop a Starship that will land the first woman and person of colour on the Moon.

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