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Elon Musk’s Starship Successfully Returns After Orbiting Earth

Daniel Kim Views  

Starship, the large spacecraft from SpaceX led by Tesla CEO Elon Musk successfully returned on the 6th after orbiting the Earth on its fourth test flight.

The spacecraft did not explode while entering the atmosphere, which was the top priority in the development of Starship. This feat was also the core of Musk’s dream of interplanetary exploration: sending humans to Mars and the plan for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to send American astronauts back to the moon.

Starship launched from the Starbase space launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas at 7:50 AM (CST) and splashed down in the Indian Ocean 65 minutes later.

Before the splashdown, Starship flew at an altitude of 130 miles at about 16,280 mph along the planned Earth orbit route. Then it flew towards the Indian Ocean at about 16,000 mph from an altitude of about 124 miles.

The Super Heavy rocket, the lower part of the nearly 394-foot giant two-stage launch vehicle, separated Starship at an altitude of 46 miles about 3 minutes after launch and achieved the main goal of the flight test about 8 minutes after launch by soft landing in the Gulf of Mexico.

During its first test flight in April last year, it exploded about 4 minutes after launch at an altitude of about 25 miles, and on its second test flight in November of that year, it exploded after reaching space about 8 minutes after launch. During the flight in March, it flew for 48 minutes but exploded during the re-entry process at an altitude of about 40 miles over the Indian Ocean.

This time, Starship was reported to be significantly damaged while entering the atmosphere, but it did not explode.

Musk wrote on X, “Many tiles were lost and the flap was damaged, but Starship was able to soft-land in the sea.”

Starship, designed to be cheaper and more powerful than SpaceX’s flagship Falcon 9 rocket, symbolizes the future of major satellite launches and astronaut business. According to Reuters, it is expected to be used within a few years by NASA to send astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972.

NASA’s plan has been postponed from early this year to September 2026.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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