Just two days after the historic splashdown of two astronauts after a 63-day Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission, Space X has all reasons to celebrate their most recent successful launch, or a “hop,” of its Starship SN5 prototype in Boca Chica, Texas.
The launch involved a silo-like structure powered by a single Raptor engine using liquid oxygen and high-energy methane propellant. Its test flight saw the ship launch and rise up to roughly 150 meters off the ground before moving to the side and landing back down on a designated landing pad.
While this was a smaller-scaled prototype, the final rocket will stand 394 feet tall and consist of two stages: a massive reusable booster called the Super Heavy and an actual Starship on top. The former will be powered by a whopping 30 Raptor engines to generate 16 million pounds of thrust, while the second part will carry six Raptor engines for a combined thrust of 1.6 million pounds. Its final goal is to reach Mars and carry out multiple entries using a heat shield technology currently under development.
Today marks the beginning of a new era, even though this is a small step. We are a giant leap closer to mars than we were yesterday, the future of interplanetary travel is upon us. MARS HERE WE COME!🔥🚀 pic.twitter.com/PM73bTBS5k
— Austin Barnard🚀 (@austinbarnard45) August 5, 2020
CEO of Space X Elon Musk tweeted: “Mars is looking real” upon the successful launch, further explaining that the next stage will be to carry out more of these “short hops” to “smooth out” the launching sequence. You can watch the “hop” below.