SpaceX launches Starship with first successful landing
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SpaceX fans were delighted to see the Starship SN15 succeed where its predecessors had failed, earlier this month. The Mars rocket prototype was launched on May 5, and soared to an altitude of 32,000ft (10km), before coming back to Earth and landing in one piece.
It was the first time Space X and Elon Musk successfully landed one of their rockets.
SN8, SN9, SN10 and SN11 all attempted the same feet previously, but ended up crash landing in spectacular fashion.
The space agency’s plan is to find a way of successfully landing rockets so they can be used for commercial travel into space.
SpaceX had previously teased that SN15 could be ready for its second launch in just a matter of days.
The space agency founder, Musk, had also tweeted on May 7: “Might try to refly SN15 soon.”
SpaceX followers were delighted by the prospect of seeing SN15 take off from the Boca Chica facility, in south Texas, once again.
“THIS IS BIG!!!!!!,” tweeted one SpaceX follower, while another added: “Seeing it fly again would be a huge step forward in the program, hope they’ll go for it!!”
One Twitter user said: “I would like to see that. Maybe even again after that.”
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Will Starship SN15 launch this week?
If SpaceX is to launch the SN15 this week, there would need to be road closures and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in Cameron County – where Boca Chica is based.
The roads need to be closed in case of falling debris, which may occur if the rocket explodes while in mid-air.
But, there are currently no road closures in effect for Cameron County, and there are no TFRs issued.
There are rarely any road closures over the weekend, so as to minimise travel disruption when most people aren’t working.
That means it’s unlikely the SN15 will be launching this week.
The next likely opportunity for SpaceX to launch the rocket will be next week.
However, it’s not uncommon for TFRs or road closures to be announced at relatively short notice.
SpaceX will almost certainly be constantly monitoring the situation, as SN15 looks set for another mission.
Starship SN15 is currently sat on Launch Pad B, hinting that a flight could be quite soon.
The 164ft-tall spacecraft will require inspection and repair since its last mission.
The landing gear may be replaced or upgraded, while the space agency might want to perform a new static fire test of the rocket’s three Raptor engines.
SN15 is an upgraded version of the Starship prototype, which likely contributed to its success last week.
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