SpaceX developed the next-generation Starship starship at its location in Boca Chica, Texas. To date, the company has built a number of different Starship prototypes, including an earlier version called Starhopper, which was essentially only the lower part of the rocket. Today, the company flew its first full-size prototype (minus the dome cap that will appear in the final version, and without the control fins that appear further down on the sides), and achieved a first flight of about 150 m (just below) 500 feet ).
This is the longest way that one of these prototypes traveled in the test process. It is called the Starship SN5 and is the fifth serialized test article. SpaceX actually built a first full-fledged demonstration ship, the Starship Mk1, before switching to this new naming scheme. This makes it the sixth of this size they have built – with previous versions experiencing errors at various points during preparation, including pressure testing and after a static engine test fire.
SN5 is now the first of these larger test vehicles to actually start and fly. This prototype underwent a successful static test fire earlier this week and paved the way for this short flight test today. It is equipped with only one Raptor engine, while the last spaceship will have six Raptors on board for much more thrust. He managed to fly and land upright, which means that everything went according to plan, according to all external signs.
Starhopper had previously made a similar jump in August 2019. SpaceX has an aggressive prototype development program to try to put Starship into operation with the ambitious goal of flying payloads with the functional orbital vehicle as early as next year. Ultimately, Starship is designed to be combined with a future Falcon Heavy Booster to deliver large payloads into orbit around the Earth, as well as to the Moon and ultimately to Mars.