Musk’s huge Starship rocket avoids blowing up as fourth test ends in success

US

Space X’s Starship has splashed down in the Indian Ocean after ditching its booster rocket – a success after previous attempts ended in spectacular explosions.

Elon Musk’s company upgraded software and made other changes for this fourth attempt, which blasted off from Texas for a half lap around the planet.

Posting on X, SpaceX said: “Splashdown confirmed! Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team on an exciting fourth flight test of Starship!”

Image:
The spacecraft blasted off from Texas

Starship is the world’s largest and most powerful rocket at nearly 400ft (121m) tall.

The first-stage booster successfully detached and landed in the Gulf of Mexico minutes after lift off.

After a flight of about an hour, Starship began its own crucial re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and splashed down in the sea as planned.

There were cheers at mission control in California as the team finally achieved their goal.

Image:
Starship made a brief journey into space

The tests are a stepping stone in Space X’s ultimate goal of making Starship reusable, so it’s important to show the descent of the spacecraft and booster can be controlled.

NASA has ordered two Starships for moon-landing missions later this decade and Musk’s company is already selling tourist trips around the moon.

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