Watch: SpaceX Successfully Completes High-Altitude Flight Test And Landing Of Starship Prototype

Watch: SpaceX Successfully Completes High-Altitude Flight Test And Landing Of Starship PrototypeSpaceX Starship SN15 after landing

SpaceX on Wednesday (5 May) successfully completed the high-altitude flight test and landing of the Starship rocket prototype SN15 from Starbase in United States' Texas.

The latest flight of the rocket was the fifth and first successful attempt of the Elon Musk led company to land the Starship prototype. Earlier, the SN9 crash-landed but exploded a few minutes later.

The Starship SN-15 prototype lifted off Wednesday from SpaceX’s seaside launch pad at about 5.24 pm local time in Boca Chica, Texas. The rocket flew to an altitude of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) before a controlled descent.

Similar to previous high-altitude flight tests of Starship prototypes, SN15 was powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee – approximately 10 km in altitude.

SN15 performed a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent, the SpaceX said in a statement.

"The Starship prototype descended under active aerodynamic control, accomplished by independent movement of two forward and two aft flaps on the vehicle. All four flaps were actuated by an onboard flight computer to control Starship’s attitude during flight and enabled precise landing at the intended location," the company added.

SN15’s Raptor engines reignited as the vehicle performed the landing flip maneuver immediately before touching down for a nominal landing on the pad, it said.

The company said that the test flights of Starship are being carried out to improve its understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights, and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.