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SpaceX will land the starship rocket SN15 after a test flight

The Starship prototype rocket SN15 landed on the company’s landing platform on May 5, 2020 in Bocachica, Texas.

SpaceX

Of Elon Musk SpaceX launched and landed the latest prototype of the Starship rocket on Wednesday in the system’s fifth high-altitude test flight.

Starship’s prototype rocket serial number 15, or SN15, flew 10 kilometers, or about 33,000 feet high.

“Starship landing name!” Mask tweeted after landing. Nominal is a space industry term used to refer to when things are going according to plan.

The SN15 marked the first starship prototype that was not destroyed after a high altitude test flight. After landing, a small fire broke out at the base of the rocket, but a few minutes later it appeared that the flame had been contained.

The company is developing a starship to launch cargo and people on missions to the Moon and Mars.

Earlier this month NASA awarded SpaceX about $ 3 billion A contract to build a variation of the Starship Moon to bring astronauts to the Moon for the institution’s Artemis mission.However, NASA subsequently suspended SpaceX’s work on the HLS program while Mask’s company was developing Starship. Jeff Bezos With Blue Origin Leidos‘Subsidiary Dynetics respectively Submitted a protest for the NASA Contract Award.

The flight of the SN15 was similar to that SpaceX made in the last six months, with test flights of the prototypes SN8, SN9, SN10, and SN11. Each of the previous rockets was successfully launched and achieved multiple development goals, but all four prototypes were explosively destroyed. SN8 and SN9, due to impact during landing attempt SN10 minutes after landing, And SN11 shortly before the landing attempt.

The Starship prototype is about 150 feet high, about the size of a 15-story building, each equipped with three Raptor rocket engines.

Made of stainless steel, it represents an early version of The rocket announced by Mask in 2019.

The Starship Prototype Rocket SN15 stands at the company’s lunch pad in Bocachica, Texas.

SpaceX

SpaceX said in a statement on its website that the SN15 features “vehicle improvements across structure, avionics, and software” compared to previous Starship prototypes.

“Specifically, a new enhanced avionics suite, an updated propellant architecture for the rear skirt, and a new Raptor engine design and configuration,” said SpaceX.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which has inspectors monitoring test flights at SpaceX’s facility, conducted an “accident” investigation of the SN11 flight.

Last week, the FAA announced approval for the following three Starship launches (SN15, SN16, SN16), saying it “confirms that SpaceX has taken corrective action resulting from the SN11 accident investigation.”

FAA has approved multiple launches at once. “SpaceX has made few changes to the launch vehicle and calculates the risk to the public based on FAA-approved methodologies.”

SpaceX will land the starship rocket SN15 after a test flight

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