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Home » Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team, Starship Flight 4 First Splash Down Landing

Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team, Starship Flight 4 First Splash Down Landing

SpaceX Starship

In a thrilling new milestone for SpaceX, the towering Starship Flight 4 rocket aced its first-ever soft ocean landing during the latest test flight. Yeah, you read that right – it actually stuck the landing.

After launching from SpaceX’s Starbase, Starship 4 separated from the Super Heavy booster as planned and entered orbit. While the booster landed without issue in the Gulf of Mexico, all eyes were on Starship to see if it could nail the critical re-entry and landing sequence.

In a dramatic break from Flight 3, Starship 4 took a more gentle re-entry path to reduce the extreme heat and forces involved. It emerged from the communication blackout around an hour into the flight, signaling it had survived the hellish plunge through the atmosphere.

Then, in a move that would make any rocket envy its core strength, Starship reignited its engines, transitioned to the vertical, and attempted a controlled descent into the Ocean. Despite taking a beating with lost heat tiles and a damaged flap, it managed to pull off a remarkably smooth splashdown landing.

“Despite loss of many tiles and a damaged flap, Starship made it all the way to a soft landing in the ocean!” an elated Elon Musk post on X shortly after. “Congratulations SpaceX team on an epic achievement!!”

At 120 meters tall, Starship is the biggest rocket ever with more than double the thrust of NASA’s legendary Saturn V moon rocket from the 1960s. It’s designed to eventually carry crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars and beyond in SpaceX’s ambitious expansion of human presence outward from Earth.

While the landing didn’t go perfectly, the fact Starship survived its first full test of the punishing entry environment bodes well for SpaceX getting closer to nailing an orbital re-entry and landing on land in future tests later this year. It’s a huge leap forward as Elon and company continue checking off key milestones on the long road to making SpaceX’s interplanetary dreams a reality.

Related Post: Elon’s Moonshot: Why SpaceX’s Absurdly Cheap Starship Could Upend Spaceflight

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