Fifteenth time’s the charm, it would seem.
Late Wednesday afternoon SpaceX’s Starship SN15 successfully completed its high-altitude flight test, and, crucially, landed afterward in one piece in Boca Chica, Texas.
“Starship landing nominal!” exclaimed SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
Starship landing nominal!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 5, 2021
Wednesday’s test stands in stark contrast to the fate of earlier Starship prototypes, many of which ran into various forms of trouble. Prototypes and , for example, had the tiny problem of exploding. So did SN10.
Of course, there was the small issue of SN15’s base appearing slightly on fire for a while after touchdown. But hey, when it comes to Musk’s vision for the future colonization of Mars, of which Starship plays a pivotal role, that hardly seems like that big of a deal.