Prototype of SpaceX’s future Starship rocket flies short hop to 500 feet

SpaceX’s Starship prototype during the test hop, recorded by LabPadre’s livestream | Image: Screenshot from LabPadre livestream

Just two days after returning its first astronauts back to Earth, SpaceX successfully flew a prototype of its next-generation, deep-space rocket in south Texas, sending the vehicle up to 500 feet and then landing it back down on Earth. It’s the largest test version of the massive spaceship to see some air.

The prototype is that of SpaceX’s Starship, a spacecraft the company wants to build to transport people to deep-space worlds like the Moon and Mars. The final version of the spaceship would stand at nearly 400 feet high and 30 feet wide, and be capable of sending more than 100 tons of cargo into low Earth orbit, according to SpaceX. Starship is designed to fly to space mounted on top of a giant rocket booster, known as Super Heavy, and…

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