Close-up view of Starship stage separation captured by SpaceX tracking camera
The world’s most potent rocket conducted an unmanned test flight on Saturday, and SpaceX is still posting amazing pictures and video from the mission.
At SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, the Super Heavy booster and Starship spacecraft, together referred to as the Starship, blasted toward space with a thrust of approximately 17 million pounds, or roughly twice that of NASA’s new Space Launch System lunar rocket and the Saturn V rocket used for the Apollo missions.
On Wednesday, SpaceX shared some amazing slow-motion footage of the spacecraft successfully detaching from the first-stage booster, which you can see below. If you look closely, you can even see the majority of the 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy turning off:
The 400-foot-tall spacecraft had only completed two integrated test flights before, but this was the first time stage separation was accomplished.
The SpaceX team declared the mission a success overall and stated it would use the data collected to improve the flight system before trying the mission again, even though both sections of the rocket were lost shortly afterward.
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, announced this week that a new Starship will be prepared for flight again in December. The Federal Aviation Administration, which is currently conducting an investigation into Saturday’s mission, will ultimately make the decision.
Several still and video cameras were trained on SpaceX’s spectacular launch from last weekend. Watch these incredible photos of the rocket being pushed away from the launchpad by the 33 Raptor engines. In addition, there is an incredible 360-degree video that places you directly on top of the launch tower and a close-up tracking shot that displays the enormous rocket as it blasts off from Earth.
The Starship could be utilized for the first crewed mission to Mars once it is fully developed and capable of transporting both crew and cargo on deep space missions. Additionally, it will be used for the first-ever civilian moon landing, which will be funded by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and include nine passengers on the passenger list.