SpaceX Successfully Launches — and Lands — Starship Prototype
May 6, 2021 at 2:05 PM - Views: 59 #421604
William Harwood 2 hrs ago
SpaceX launched its latest Starship prototype Wednesday evening, sending the methane-fueled rocket up to an altitude of about 6 miles. The craft then flipped over on its side in a now-familiar “belly-flop” maneuver and plunged back to Earth, righting itself and restarting its engines to stick an on-target touchdown.
smoke coming out of a fire hydrant: 050521-launch1.jpg© SpaceX 050521-launch1.jpg
The previous four test flights of a Starship prototype were only partially successful, all of them ending with spectacular explosions, either before, during or just after touchdown.
But the current prototype, known as SN15, appeared to pull off its first flight in fine fashion, a welcome milestone for SpaceX and for NASA, which is counting on a future variant of the rocket to carry astronauts to and from the surface of the moon in the agency’s Artemis program.
Despite a low deck of clouds obscuring visibility, the retro-looking rocket blasted off at 6:24 p.m. EDT, climbing away from SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas, manufacturing and flight test facility atop a jet of bluish exhaust.
May 6, 2021 at 3:04 PM #421620David the GnomeParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,033
Musk finally managed to NOT blow up one of his rockets. I think he should be part of whatever human crew gets launched first in his spaceships. On a long, long voyage.
May 6, 2021 at 3:30 PM #421625
over the decades before successfully(until it wasn’t) putting men and women into orbit???
May 10, 2021 at 8:29 AM #422484ArtfromArkParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,476
when the first moon landing was accomplished, only 3 astronauts died in an actual rocket. They were the crew of the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, who perished in a tragic fire on the launch pad on January 27, 1967. Between then and the January 1986 Challenger disaster, NASA had no fatalities in spacecraft, while it had 6 successful moon landings, and a successful Skylab mission (9 successful round trips), as well as a successful hookup with Russian cosmonauts in the July 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission. Even the astronauts in the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission returned to Earth safely.
“There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)
May 6, 2021 at 5:53 PM #421647
May 6, 2021 at 6:49 PM #421654GryneosParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,511
loves to dunk on Musk, and I don’t blame anyone for that. But every contractor to NASA has a CEO, and if we knew all of them, we probably wouldn’t like them either.
It’s just that the CEO isn’t important to the task at hand. That’s the product of the engineers and project managers, not to mention the drafters, designers, manufacturers and builders. They are the ones responsible for all of these rockets, whether they fail or not. NASA blew up its fair share of rockets in the early days, just as has happened with every other country on the planet that has dared to go into space. It’s a necessary evil. They learn from their mistakes, and usually they do so before they kill people.
The number of humans who have lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration pales in comparison to the number of humans who have lost their lives developing and testing military equipment and products. No one ever mentions that. NASA seems to perpetually be low hanging fruit for everyone to bash, especially here. We wouldn’t be talking at all if not for NASA.
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May 6, 2021 at 10:55 PM #421731jbnwParticipant
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Israel has had one fatality, the USSR and Russia have had six, and the US has had 23 fatalities.
May 10, 2021 at 1:58 PM #422510ArtfromArkParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,476
How many shuttle missions was Russia launching in the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s? They had several successful launches to their space labs (Solyut, Mir, etc.) starting in the 1970s, but how many people died training for those missions? At least three died, but who knows how many more died since Russia (USSR) was a very secretive society in those days. And who else was sending people into space from the ’80s into the early 2000’s?
May 7, 2021 at 4:07 PM #421951Cold Mountain TrailParticipant
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“future variant of the rocket to carry astronauts to and from the surface of the moon”
I seem to recall NASA had a vehicle which did this back in the 70s? Was that a dream?
May 7, 2021 at 4:34 PM #421961
like it was yesterday.
I was 11yo.
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