SpaceX continues to share incredible footage and images from Saturday’s unmanned test flight of the world’s most powerful rocket.
The Super Heavy booster and Starship spacecraft – known collectively as Starship – roared into space from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, powered by approximately 17 million pounds of thrust – Apollo Nearly twice the size of the Saturn V rocket used for the mission and NASA’s new Space Launch System lunar rocket.
SpaceX released some remarkable slow-motion video (below) on Wednesday that shows the spacecraft successfully separating from the first stage booster. Look carefully and you can even see most of the Super Heavy’s 33 Raptor engines shut down:
Saturday’s mission was only the second integrated test flight of the 400-foot-tall spacecraft, but it was the first time to achieve phase separation.
Both rocket sections were lost shortly thereafter, but the SpaceX team described the mission as an overall success and said it would use the data collected to improve flight systems before relaunching.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said this week that a new Starship will be ready to fly again in December. However, the final decision rests in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is still investigating Saturday’s mission.
SpaceX had multiple cameras — both still and video — trained on last weekend’s spectacular launch. Check out these stunning images of 33 Raptor engines pushing the rocket away from the launchpad. There’s also this fantastic 360-degree video that puts you directly on the launch tower, and a close-up tracking shot that shows the giant rocket roaring away from Earth.
Once fully developed, Starship should be capable of carrying crew and cargo on missions into deep space, and could be used for the first crewed mission to Mars. It is also planned to be used for the first civilian mission to the Moon, a trip paid for by Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and will include a passenger list of nine people.