The wait has been long, but the many enthusiasts who eagerly awaited the images of the Starship rocket in the air were not disappointed, despite its spectacular explosion on landing Wednesday in Texas.
After a first launch attempt on Tuesday, the SpaceX prototype, which foreshadows the sending of humans to the Moon and Mars, finally flew the next day, for six minutes.
After ascending in a straight line, the three Raptor engines, newly developed by SpaceX and used for the first time in real conditions, died out one by one, which Internet users around the world could see thanks to the onboard cameras.
Starship SN8 then went to bed as planned, before the engines were turned on again, a few seconds before landing, in order to put her back on her right.
But the prototype hit the ground at high speed, causing an impressive explosion.
"Congratulations to the team"
Known for his enthusiastic temperament, SpaceX boss Elon Musk turned this failure into success.
“Mars, here we are!
", He tweeted, as an equally optimistic message accompanied the images of the rocket in ashes:" Great test.
Congratulations to the Starship team!
March, here we come !!
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2020
Elon Musk spoke of a too fast arrival speed but also congratulated himself on the successful stages before landing.
“We have all the data we need!
Congratulations to the SpaceX team yeah!
During this test, the rocket was expected to reach an altitude of around 12,500 meters, but SpaceX did not say whether that height had indeed been reached.
The rocket, if it becomes operational, could take humans to the Moon, where NASA wants to restore a lasting presence from 2024. The American agency also presented on Wednesday the faces of the 18 astronauts who will participate in future lunar missions of the Artemis program.
Equal, this club includes the first woman to set foot on our satellite.
But it is the Space launch system (SLS) developed by NASA, and not Starship, which will send it there.
The @Nasa unveiled the 18 astronauts selected for the @NASAArtemis lunar program.
Among them are the next humans who will walk on the moon;
the 13th human and the first woman.
- Philippe Henarejos (@Philhena) December 9, 2020