Elon Musk and his SpaceX are the latest step toward Mars and the goal of turning humans into multi-planetary species,media reported. The aerospace technology company is reported to have fired a huge metal “hot water bottle” into the texas sky. The company completed a nearly 500-foot (150-meter) performance. The SN5 Starship prototype is tested at the Boca Chica Research and Development Center at 5 p.m. Pacific time tuesday.
The nearly nine-story test ship ignited its single Raptor engine, slowly rose into the air, then gently returned to the ground and landed upright not far from the takeoff point.
For some time after the engine first ignited, the SN5 looked like it was struggling to fly into the air, but then it rose from its smoke and circled in the air, then landed on the ground. Musk hopes the company’s last starship will travel 35 million miles to send humans to Mars, and it’s clear that its current flight distance is only a very small part of it.
Several prototypes failed without leaving the ground, most of them during stress tests, before the long-awaited low-altitude test flight.
The SN5 is designed to be able to orbit, but it must first complete the relatively small jump before it can advance into space.
The ship, about 98 feet (30 meters) tall, is the last simplified version of the Starship, with no front cones and tails. It is 30 feet (9 meters) wide, basically a combination of a fuel tank and a single Raptor engine, with a top weight that simulates a payload. And the prototype looks like a thermos bottle.
August was a big month for SpaceX, whose manned Dragon spacecraft successfully brought NASA astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley back to Earth from the International Space Station and finally landed in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Mars (target) looks real,” Musk tweeted after the test.