Successful Test of SpaceX’s Most Powerful Rocket to Date

On June 6, the United States’ Starship, a record-breaking launch vehicle, achieved crucial milestones during its fourth test flight. The spacecraft was launched from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas at 7:50 p.m. local time. The launch system consists of the Starship spacecraft on the upper stage and the Super Heavy booster rocket. According to CNN, a total of 32 of the vehicle’s 33 engines fired during launch.

Throughout the test flight, Starship reached significant achievements. Despite experiencing extreme temperatures in Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft remained intact. Both the capsule and boosters successfully landed safely. For the first time, the Super Heavy booster handled engine burn and gently touched down in the Gulf of Mexico about eight minutes after launch. At the same time, the Starship capsule completed its orbit and initiated a controlled reentry about 50 minutes after takeoff. The heat shield of Starship was covered with 18,000 ultra-light hexagonal ceramic panels to protect it from intense heat during reentry process.

This test flight came just two days after SpaceX received approval from US Federal Aviation Administration for their license application for their operations at Boca Chica launch site. Each test flight is essential for gaining valuable experience as updates are made to software and hardware following every third test flight to optimize launch systems further .

The Starship is designed to carry people and cargo to Earth orbit, Moon, Mars and beyond – key components of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s vision of sending humans to Mars for the first time in history . Standing at an impressive height of 120 meters , this rocket generates nearly 8,000 tons of thrust upon launch making it one of most powerful rockets ever built . NASA has chosen Starship for its Artemis program which aims transport astronauts to Moon with plans for mission as early as 2026 .

By Sophia Gonzalez

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