SpaceX celebrates major progress on the third flight of Starship

Enlarge / SpaceX’s Starship soars through the sky over South Texas, powered by 33 methane-burning Raptor engines. (credit: Stephen Clark/Ars Technica)

SpaceX’s new-generation Starship rocket, the most powerful and largest launcher ever built, flew halfway around the world following liftoff from South Texas on Thursday, accomplishing a key demonstration of its ability to carry heavyweight payloads into low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX’s third towering Starship rocket, standing some 397 feet (121 meters) tall and wider than the fuselage of a 747 jumbo jet, lifted off at 8:25 am CDT (13:25 UTC) Thursday from SpaceX’s Starbase launch facility on the Texas Gulf Coast east of Brownsville. SpaceX delayed the liftoff time by nearly an hour and a half to wait for boats to clear out of restricted waters near the launch base.

Hitting its marks

The successful launch builds on two Starship test flights last year that achieved some, but not all, of their objectives and appears to put the privately funded rocket program on course to begin launching satellites, allowing SpaceX to ramp up the already-blistering pace of Starlink deployments.

Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *