SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket records first successful test flight

June 10, 2024
The hour-long test flight of the world’s most powerful rocket was followed by a splashdown in the Indian Ocean, Richard Luscombe writes for The Guardian.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Starship, the mighty space rocket designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, recorded its first fully successful test flight on Thursday, splashing down in the Indian Ocean minus any fiery explosion that ended previous attempts, Richard Luscombe writes for The GuardianContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

10 June 2024 - SpaceX noted on its website that the Super Heavy booster successfully lifted off and completed its ascent burn. After achieving a full-duration burn, the vehicle executed a hot-stage separation, which involved shutting down all but three of its Raptor engines. This allowed the ignition of the six second-stage Raptor engines before the vehicles separated. The Super Heavy booster then performed a flip maneuver, a boostback burn towards its splashdown zone, and jettisoned the hot-stage adapter. The booster concluded its mission with a landing burn and a soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, seven minutes and 24 seconds into the flight.

The company also noted that Starship's second-stage Raptor engines powered the vehicle into space, placing it on its planned trajectory. During reentry, Starship successfully managed peak heating and max aerodynamic pressure while using its flaps for controlled descent at hypersonic speeds. Starlink on Starship provided real-time telemetry and live high-definition video throughout the entry phases. Flight 4 culminated with Starship igniting its three center Raptor engines to perform a flip maneuver and landing burn, resulting in a soft splashdown in the Indian Ocean, one hour and six minutes after launch.

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Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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