The launch came just two days after the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft brought two astronauts safely back to Earth in a historic splash down in the Gulf of Mexico, and involved a silo-like structure powered by a single Raptor engine using liquid oxygen and high-energy methane propellant. Its test flight saw the ship launch and rise up to roughly 150 meters off the ground before moving to the side and landing back down on a designated landing pad.
While this was a smaller-scaled prototype, the final rocket will stand 394 feet tall and consist of two stages: a massive reusable booster called the Super Heavy and an actual Starship on top. The former will be powered by a whopping 30 Raptor engines to generate 16 million pounds of thrust, while the second part will carry six Raptor engines for a combined thrust of 1.6 million pounds. Its final goal is to reach Mars and carry out multiple entries using a heat shield technology currently under development.
Upon successful launch, the company’s CEO Elon Musk Tweeted “Mars is looking real” and said that the next stage will be to carry out more of these “short hops” to “smooth out” the launching sequence.
Elsewhere in tech, Instagram has launched its new Reels feature in the U.S.
Mars is looking real
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2020