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Elon Musk says SpaceX could re-fly Starship SN15 ‘soon’ following the rocket’s historic landing

Elon Musk says SpaceX could re-fly Starship SN15 ‘soon’ following the rocket’s historic landing last week that brought firm closer to goal of creating reusable ships that could take humans to Mars

  • Elon Musk shared on Twitter that SpaceX could re-fly Starship SN15 soon
  • This would make it the first reused prototype, which is part of SpaceX’s plan to send people to Mars
  •  SN15 is the only Starship prototype that survived the first flight test
  • Four previous prototypes took off, but exploded  when attempting to land
  • SpaceX is also aiming to send the first Starship into orbit this July 

SpaceX’s Starship Serial Number 15 could be the firm’s first reused prototype.

CEO Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that he might ‘try to re-fly SN15 soon,’ as it is the only Starship to survive a test flight.

The latest success gave SpaceX the first full flight data and allowed the team to thoroughly inspect physical conduction of the rocket – specifically how the massive Raptor engines performed.

Last week’s event also puts the Musk-owned firm on track for the first orbital test that is set for July, which will see Starship Serial Number 20 venture to the edge of space.

This also brings Musk one step closer to reusing Starships, which is a key part of his ambitious plan to send one million humans to Mars by 2050. 

 

SpaceX’s Starship Serial Number 15 could be the firm’s first reused prototype. CEO Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that he might ‘try to re-fly SN15 soon,’ as it is the only Starship to survive a test flight

The first orbital flight will also bring SpaceX closer to reaching the ultimate goal of launching humans aboard the rocket to Mars.

One of the first phases of this ambitious plan is to ensure Starship rockets are fully reusable – and re-flying SN15 could be the start. 

Musk has calculated that to put one million humans on Mars by 2025, his Starship rockets would need to conducted around three flights a day and a total of 1,000 flights a year.  

The latest success gave SpaceX the first full flight data and allowed the team to thoroughly inspect physical conduction of the rocket – specifically how the massive Raptor engines performed. Pictured is SN15 after it made a safe landing on the pad May 5

The latest success gave SpaceX the first full flight data and allowed the team to thoroughly inspect physical conduction of the rocket – specifically how the massive Raptor engines performed. Pictured is SN15 after it made a safe landing on the pad May 5

Re-fly SN15 would spark a new market of Starships for SpaceX. It is also part of Elon Musk's plans to reuse Starship rockets to send humans to Mars

Re-fly SN15 would spark a new market of Starships for SpaceX. It is also part of Elon Musk’s plans to reuse Starship rockets to send humans to Mars

The firm’s latest success follows a number of failed Starship prototype flights: SN8, SN9, SN10 and SN11 all exploded on the launch pad.

All of the rockets, except one, were able to collect troves of data that helped SpaceX improve the next vehicle and allowed them to skip three models – SN12, SN13 and SN14.

And the firm is ready to roll SN16 out to the launch pad within the next week.

Musk has also noted that there will be several failed attempts when sending a Starship to orbit, just as there was many before on actually stuck the landing.

Once a Starship is capable of reaching orbit, SpaceX is set to move focus to building and testing its Super Heavy booster that will be the largest rocket in history and the vehicle to take people to Mars.

The plan has always been to build the massive Super Heavy booster and has been slowly working on its design and prototypes.

The first prototype, BN1, was disassembled in April that was followed by BN2 and BN3.

BN3 is likely to be the only booster to get off the ground, while the other two will be tasked with performing static fire tests.

One of the first phases of this ambitious plan is to ensure Starship rockets are fully reusable - and re-flying SN15 (pictured) could be the start. Musk has calculated that to put one million humans on Mars by 2025, his Starship rockets would need to conducted around three flights a day

One of the first phases of this ambitious plan is to ensure Starship rockets are fully reusable – and re-flying SN15 (pictured) could be the start. Musk has calculated that to put one million humans on Mars by 2025, his Starship rockets would need to conducted around three flights a day

Musk aims to use Starship testing to finalize the final rockets to take humans to Mars – however, his company was yet to see one survive the first test flight on Earth.

SN15 is the first Starship prototype that was not blown to pieces after a high-altitude test – although a fire sparked at the base after it touched down.

It took off May 5 at around 6:24pm ET from SpaceX’s testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

The prototype climbed through the sky until it reached six miles, hovered for a moment and then performed the infamous sideways flip, dubbed a ‘belly flop’ maneuver by Musk.

‘Starship landing nominal,’ Musk tweeted moments after his pride and joy made a safe and successful landing on the pad.

WHAT IS ELON MUSK’S ‘BFR’?

The BFR (Big F***ing Rocket), now known as Starship, will complete all missions and is smaller than the ones Musk announced in 2016.

The SpaceX CEO said the rocket would take its first trip to the red planet in 2022, carrying only cargo, followed by a manned mission in 2024 and claimed other SpaceX’s products would be ‘cannibalised’ to pay for it.

The rocket would be partially reusable and capable of flight directly from Earth to Mars.

Once built, Musk believes the rocket could be used for travel on Earth – saying that passengers would be able to get anywhere in under an hour.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk