SpaceX made it. The rocket Starship SN15 finally landed correctly after a test flight without exploding either in flight or on the landing pad where Elon Musk’s rocket correctly positioned itself vertically, landing on its mounts. It is the first time that the Starship, the ship that will take man into space, has successfully completed the test flight, confirming the possibility of flying and returning to earth safe and sound. It is the first step towards using the SpaceX rocket in the space missions of the future, especially human ones: the Spaceship will take man to the Moon and, hopefully, also to Mars.
Previous launches of the Starship program hadn’t gone exactly as planned – SN11, SN10 and SN9 are all exploded on landing, making the traditional media talk about half failures. The reality, however, is different: these rockets are iterative prototypes whose purpose is precisely to contribute to the improvement of the project, even at the cost of pyrotechnic failures. If the rocket had performed perfectly right from the initial prototype it would have been the ideal scenario, and there would have been no other models after the first.
After all, the procedure to which he must undergo to return to earth unharmed is not trivial: once he has reached his maximum altitude and dropped his load beyond the stratosphere, starship must make a flip and return to the ground vertically, using lateral thrusters to stay in balance and slow down at such a speed that landing on the ground does not cause the entire structure to collapse on itself. One of the most successful experiments in this sense was the penultimate one, the one that involved Starship SN10: on that occasion the rocket managed to touch the ground without damage, and then explode a few seconds after landing.
The reason why Elon Musk and his SpaceX insist on perfecting the rocket is simple: completing it will give scientists a much cheaper way to launch into space compared to the current method, in which launch rockets end up destroyed or partially destroyed, requiring large sums of money for each new mission. Cost cutting is one of the factors that will finally make it possible to explore the next frontiers of space exploration, including the arrival of man on Mars.
Source: Fanpage by tech.fanpage.it.
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