On Wednesday, December 9, Starship serial number 8 Thank you to all the locals supporting our efforts in
(SN8) lifted off from our Cameron County launch pad Cameron County and beyond. Congratulations to the
and successfully ascended, transitioned propellant, and entire Starship and SpaceX teams on today’s test! Serial
performed its landing flip maneuver with precise flap number 9 (SN9) is up next – Mars, here we come!
control to reach its landing point. Low pressure in the
fuel header tank during the landing burn led to high
touchdown velocity resulting in a hard (and exciting!)
landing. Re-watch SN8's flight here.
SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy
rocket (collectively referred to as Starship)
represent a fully reusable transportation system
designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth
orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship will
be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever
developed, with the ability to carry in excess of
100 metric tonnes to Earth orbit.
LANDING ON MARS
Starship will enter Mars’ atmosphere at 7.5 kilometers per
second and decelerate aerodynamically. The vehicle’s heat shield
is designed to withstand multiple entries, but given that the
vehicle is coming into Mars' atmosphere so hot, we still expect to
see some ablation of the heat shield (similar to wear and tear on
a brake pad). The engineering video below simulates the physics
of Mars entry for Starship.
The Raptor engine is a reusable methalox staged-
combustion engine that powers the Starship launch
system. Raptor engines began flight testing on the
Starship prototype rockets in July 2019, becoming the
first full-flow staged combustion rocket engine ever
HEIGHT 120 m / 394 ft
DIAMETER 9 m / 30 ft
PAYLOAD TO LEO 100+ t / 220+ klb
On September 17, 2018, SpaceX announced
fashion innovator and globally recognized art
curator Yusaku Maezawa will be the company’s
first private passenger to fly around the Moon
in 2023. This first private lunar passenger
flight, featuring a fly-by of the Moon as part of
a week-long mission, will help fund
development of SpaceX’s Starship and Super
Heavy, an important step in enabling access for
everyday people who dream of flying to space.
Watch the announcement here.