A month after SpaceX's SN9 flew more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) high, its successor, SN10, duplicated the feat, flying high above Texas before nailing the landing -- a first for the prototype. SN10 is the third such developmental prototype of Starship, Elon Musk's next-generation rocket destined for the moon and Mars, to make a high-altitude flight since the mesmerizing flight and explosive ending of SN8 in December 2020 . SN9 flew high and then crash-landed and exploded on Feb. 2. The third try was the charm for SN10. SN10 reached its targeted altitude of 6 miles, cutting off each engine in series on the way up to throttle down and hit the desired apogee. The rocket then began an extended picturesque period of free fall -- a "belly flop" as it has come to be known -- before firing the engines back up to perform its trademark flip maneuver to make a vertical landing. After a six-minute journey, SN10 came to rest on the pad at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica. … [Read more...] about SpaceX Starship prototype SN10 flies high, nails landing, then explodes
Acclimatization to high altitude
The SpaceX Starship rocket prototype, SN10, ignited its engines for a split second on Wednesday afternoon, but an issue with the launch procedure triggered an automatic abort. Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, said the rocket had a "slightly conservative high thrust limit" but the team would recycle propellant and try again . The company is now planning to try again at around 2:30 p.m. PT and if you want to watch live, we've got you covered. These prototype tests have been coming extremely quickly for SpaceX's Starship program. Only weeks after its predecessor SN9 flew high and then crash-landed on Texas' Gulf Coast, SN10 will attempt to improve on that performance. Continue to check back here as we'll embed the livesteam for the next attempt. Alternatively, you can keep one eye on the SpaceX website , which begins a stream about five minutes prior to flight. SN10 and SN9 are the latest iterations of SpaceX and Elon Musk's Starship prototypes that the company has been developing in … [Read more...] about SpaceX Starship SN10 launch: How to watch rocket prototype fly today
So what, exactly, are we to make of the third flight of a full-scale Starship prototype? If nothing else, Wednesday afternoon's flight provided several minutes of first-rate entertainment: Rocketship goes up. Rocketship comes down. Rocketship lands. And then, with an incredible plot twist 10 minutes later, rocketship briefly ascends again and then blows up. It all looked remarkable. Like many of the most inspiring things SpaceX has accomplished over the last decade, this launch, landing, and subsequent explosion looked almost otherworldly. It felt like a peek into the future, a glimpse of something yet unseen, that might yet be. Further Reading Putting the latest Starship crash into perspective—it’s “stupidly difficult” SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk seemed pleased after the flight. "SpaceX team is doing great work! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace," he tweeted . So the Starship program is clearly … [Read more...] about Starship goes up. Starship goes down. But is the program moving forward?
SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype landed on Wednesday for the first time after carrying out a high-altitude test flight in Texas — but exploded minutes later on its landing pad. The rocket, an early test version called SN10, demonstrated a few complex dances in mid-air before clinching a soft touch down, aiming to nail a key milestone in Elon Musk’s campaign to build a fully reusable rocket system. After aborting an initial launch attempt earlier in the day, the prototype lifted off at 6:14pm ET and soared 6 miles above SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas facilities. Unlike the last two tests with SN8 and SN9, which launched successfully but exploded on their landing attempts, SN10 stuck a lopsided landing on a slab of concrete not far from its launchpad, appearing to survive its daring landing maneuver for a few moments before being consumed in a fireball. The launch test’s main objective was to demonstrate the computer-controlled movements of the rocket’s four aerodynamic flaps that … [Read more...] about SpaceX lands Starship prototype for the first time — and then it blows up
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo The spaceship replica was on display at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum for a few days. Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Front Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Side Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Back The engine Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Wings The spaceship folds into a kind of badminton ballcock shape. Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Top and Side Note that there are windows on the side and top. Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Art The history of flight sits on top of the spaceship. Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Up Close Image: Mashable, Will Fenstermaker Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo Engine View You can see the Intrepid … [Read more...] about Virgin Galactic SpaceshipTwo: What Your $250K Flight Will Feel Like