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Elon Musk’s SpaceX conducted its fifth high-altitude test flight on Wednesday, and then launched and landed the latest Starship rocket prototype on Wednesday.
The prototype rocket serial number 15, or SN15, of the interstellar spacecraft was launched and flew 10 kilometers, or about 33,000 feet. The rocket is made of stainless steel and represents an early version of Musk’s rocket launched in 201
“The starship has landed!” After landing, Musk tweeted on Twitter. Nominal is a term used in the aerospace industry to refer to the time when things go according to plan.
Although the SN15 is not the first soft-landing aircraft, it marks the first interstellar spacecraft prototype that SpaceX did not destroy after the high-altitude test flight.
The prototype rocket SN15 of the interplanetary spacecraft stands on the company’s launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas.
The company is developing interstellar spacecraft to launch manned and manned missions to the moon and Mars.
Earlier this month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded SpaceX a nearly $3 billion contract to build a lunar variant of an “interplanetary spacecraft” that will transport astronauts to the surface of the moon to perform the agency’s Artemis mission. However, although Musk’s company continues to promote the development of interstellar spacecraft, it has been proposed by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Leidos’ subsidiary Dynetics. After protesting against NASA’s award of the contract, NASA suspended SpaceX’s HLS program.
The flight of SN15 is similar to that of SpaceX in the past six months, with prototype SN8, SN9, SN10 and SN11 test flights. Although each of the previous rockets was successfully launched and completed multiple development goals, all four prototypes were explosively damaged-SN8 and SN9 were impacted during the landing attempt, SN10 a few minutes after landing, and SN11 during the landing attempt The moment before.
The prototype of the interplanetary spacecraft is about 150 feet tall, or about 15 stories high, and each is powered by three Raptor rocket engines.
SpaceX noted in a statement on its website that compared to previous Starship prototypes, SN15 has “vehicle improvements in structure, avionics and software.”
“In particular, a new enhanced avionics kit, updated propellant structure in the rear skirt and new Raptor engine design and configuration,” SpaceX said.
The FAA has inspectors at SpaceX’s facilities to observe the test flight and conducted an “unfortunate” investigation of flight SN11.
Last week, the FAA announced the approval of the launch of the next three SN15, SN16 and SN16 interstellar spacecraft, saying it would “verify that SpaceX has implemented corrective measures resulting from the investigation of the SN11 accident.”
The FAA approved multiple launches at a time because “SpaceX rarely changes its launch vehicle and relies on methods approved by the FAA to calculate risks to the public.”