SpaceX successfully landed a Starship prototype for the first time
SpaceX launched a high-altitude Starship prototype rocket and successfully landed it for the first time on Wednesday, overcoming a key technical challenge in Elon Musk’s whirlwind test campaign to build a fully reusable Mars rocket. Musk has said the SN15 rocket contained “hundreds of design improvements” over past high-altitude prototypes, which were all destroyed during explosive landing attempts.
Starship SN15 lifted off at 6:24PM ET from SpaceX’s remote Boca Chica, Texas facilities, soaring over 6 miles in the sky to test a number of in-flight maneuvers. As it neared peak altitude, SN15’s three Raptor engines gradually shut down to begin a horizontal free-fall back toward the ground before reigniting two of its engines to execute a…