On Wednesday, SpaceX successfully launched and landed its Starship moon and Mars rocket for the first time in Texas. Liftoff of the rocket prototype, SN15, occurred at 6:25 p.m. EDT at the company’s Starbase spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, about 23 miles east of Brownsville.
The flight was the fifth for a Starship prototype, after all previous ones ended with a fiery explosion. One flight, named SN10 in March, landed upright briefly, but exploded minutes later. The successful flight is part of an “outstanding period as we work to enable the future of human spaceflight and expansion into the solar system,” said SpaceX principal engineer John Insprucker. Just after the landing, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter: “Starship landing nominal!”
NASA selected Starship to land astronauts on the moon as part of the planned Artemis missions. SpaceX also has sold a private flight around the moon using Starship to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, scheduled for early 2023.
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