The test of the prototype spacecraft Starship of the American company SpaceX may be evidence of a revolution in modern astronautics, said in The Drive.
“Today’s firing test indicates that the U.S. space program may be on the cusp of a revolution unseen in nearly half a century. The goals of [SpaceX head Ilon] Musk are extremely ambitious, but the realization of a working Starship in any of the possibilities would mean a huge leap in the availability of spaceflight,” the American publication wrote.
According to RIA Novosti, head of the Space Policy Institute Ivan Moiseyev is convinced that “Starship is a technique that has nothing to do with the actual design and construction of spaceships.” In his opinion, such products are not built, like “Know-Nothing on the Moon”, in an open field.
During the test flight, the Starship eighth version (SN8) prototype spacecraft rose to an altitude of 12 kilometers, landed, and then exploded. The product was in the air for 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
In September, Musk published on Twitter a photo of Starship SN8, which received a tail feathering. At the time, the engineer said the flaps of the product are now directly driven by electric motors with a gearbox, that is, without hydraulics. According to Musk, Starship SN8 will take to 15 kilometers in the air.
Starship is the second stage of the reusable space transportation system Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) created by SpaceX. The second stage will have six Raptor engines, while the first stage will have 31. Raptor, which works on methane and oxygen, features the greatest thrust-to-weight ratio (the ratio of the thrust developed by the power unit to its weight) among all rocket engines ever created. In the reusable variant BFR system is meant for launching to the near-Earth orbit up to 150 tons of payload and 50 tons of return to the Earth, as well as comfortable transportation of up to 100 people (2-3 in a cabin) to the Moon and Mars. The system should fly in the first half of the next decade.