Another success of SpaceX engineersallowed its head and founder, Elon Musk, to declare that "... Mars is getting closer." The reason for Musk's enthusiastic and as always laconic tweet was the successful test of the Starship SN5 interplanetary spacecraft prototype, whose main task was to test the capabilities of the Raptor rocket engine.
Early in the morning at 02:On August 27, Moscow time, on August 5, at the test stand of the Boca Chica cosmodrome in the state of Texas, SN5 was launched, which outwardly resembles a huge cylindrical barrel or a silo tower. A vertically located shiny cylinder slowly rose 150 meters above the Earth, moved horizontally and landed neatly on the landing pad.
Previously tested previous prototypes from SN1 toSN4 ended in explosions, but the test of a prototype called Starhopper in 2019 was successful. The future Starship will receive five Raptor engines, and the Super Heavy launch vehicle will be powered by 31 Raptors. The SN5 prototype just tested had only one engine installed.
The first manned interplanetary flight to the moon is scheduled by NASA in 2024. One of the candidates for the role of a spacecraft designed to return earthlings to the moon is Starship from Elon Musk.