SpaceX hopes to launch its first orbital Starship test flight from its Starbase facility in Texas in the coming months. A new video shows the company's progress thus far in building the gigantic rocket.
The 90-second sequence, which SpaceX shared on Twitter, shows the Starship spaceship being wheeled to the launch pad, lifting off, doing intricate flips, and landing safely on the ground. From this vantage point, astronauts may also see Earth.
"Gateway to Mars," SpaceX wrote in its Twitter sharing the video on Saturday. A day earlier, SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk shared a stunning image of its Starship and Super Heavy booster with the nearly full moon behind them at its Starbase site near Boca Chica in southern Texas. "Starbase under construction," Musk wrote.
Starbase under construction pic.twitter.com/cFXJKvYJjY— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2021
SpaceX Rocket: A Gateway to Mars
The recent footage, according to CNet, comes after the firm successfully fired a Raptor vacuum engine mated to a Starship prototype for the first time.
Gateway to Mars caters to SpaceX's ardent fans, but it also serves as a best-of compilation for Starship's development, with footage ranging from in-flight acrobatics to a panoramic drone shot of the spacecraft dangling from a crane.
Gateway to Mars pic.twitter.com/cej13QdyJP— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 23, 2021
The movie serves as a smart marketing piece for Starship. Still, it's also a sign of progress as SpaceX's next-generation spaceship hopes to make history by becoming the first spacecraft to reach orbit.
The business did not specify the Starship flights. Elon Musk, the millionaire founder of SpaceX, claims that the current generation of Starship prototypes would guide future Mars colonization attempts. However, there are still obstacles to overcome.
Last week, Science Times said the current prototype SN20 blazed to life during a typical static fire test. SpaceX is awaiting a decision from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on whether the program may move forward with an orbital trip from Texas.
If all goes well, Starship will be ready for its first orbital launch attempt next month, pending regulatory approval— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2021
"If all goes well, Starship will be ready for its first orbital launch attempt next month, pending regulatory approval," Musk tweeted earlier this month.
Heading Out To Orbit
Since those fireballs, SpaceX has come a long way. Science Times reported that the sixth full-scale prototype, dubbed SN15, successfully landed in May.
After a few months, the corporation has built a gigantic tower capable of catching both Starship and its Super Heavy rocket.
The first orbital-class Starship prototype lighted up for the first time during a static fire test on Thursday night. Futurism said a Raptor engine SpaceX built to lift the beast through the void of space powered the space rocket for the first time. The test paved the way for SpaceX's first test trip to orbit in the following months, though it's unclear when that will happen.
Other SpaceX Updates
SpaceX is constructing the Starship, a heavy-lift transportation system that will transport people and goods to the moon, Mars, and other deep-space destinations. The technology was chosen in April to help NASA with its Artemis moon-landing program. Still, controversy has marred the contract and is now on hold while a lawsuit is being resolved.
Last month, Musk slammed Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, stating that Bezos should focus more on launching his own stuff into orbit. According to Science Times, Musk underscored in September that Jeff Bezos could sue his way to the moon regardless of how good his lawyers are.
Starship has already broken at least one record while still in production. When SpaceX initially piled the spacecraft on top of its Super Heavy rocket in August, the stacked spacecraft was the world's highest at 120 meters (395 feet).
Check out more news and information on SpaceX in Science Times.