SpaceX StarShip first major test flight


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A new, very large rocket is in development, name ‘Starship’, and its about to take its first high flight into the atmosphere.

The rocket is being built by SpaceX at their new facility in Boca Chica (Texas) US.  A couple of small hop tests were successfully made last year, but now its ready for full flight test.  They will be aiming for around 41,000ft (12.5km) height, and re-landing near the launch site.

The ship is designed to be totally reusable multiple times as to bring the cost of travelling to space down to a fraction of the current price.  A whole production line of these large rockets are being built, about 25 of them so far, each being a newer/better version of the previous.

SpaceX has also spent the last few years developing their new methane engines specially designed for this rocket, which have proven to be some of the most powerful and efficient rocket engines ever built while in testing.

You will see many versions of these rockets take flights over next year, but none will be used for any missions until its proven to be a stable and usable vehicle for space.  We’re very likely to see some catastrophic failures in these early versions which SpaceX is already prepared for.  They hope to design out all the problems they come across in future versions.

A couple of small test flights was performed last year, nicknamed ‘Star Hopper’.  It was a short stubby version of the final design, which only flow 150 metres up, but it was a start of things to come.

Who’s funding it?

Elon Musk heads SpaceX, which was originally started with millions of his own personal money, and a little investment from others.  But today, with proven flights to the international space station using their smaller Falcon 9 rocket, they have won many grants from NASA to take crew and cargo to the station, and to build future craft that will enable NASA to go to the Moon and Mars.  StarShip is much different and bigger than the current Falcon 9 design [click here to learn more differences]

There has also been funding from a Japanese billionaire who wants to go around the Moon.

SpaceX wants their new rocket to be able to quickly return back to flight again and again, operating just like a commercial plane, and they want the same rocket to be capable of reaching Mars.   Many flights will be needed, so many rockets will be built!

21 Dec 2015:  SpaceX first Falcon 9 rocket landing
25 July 2019: SpaceX ‘Star Hopper’ taking its first hop: (multiple camera angles)
4 Aug 2020: SpaceX ‘StarShip’ hop
8 Dec 2020 : SpaceX ‘StarShip’ high altitude test flight
4 Mar 2021 : Update!  Successful flight by SN10

Community youtube channels:


Official SpaceX website:


Update, other videos taken:

  • Austin Barnard :
  • Trevor Mahlmann :
  • Evelyn Janeidy :
  • Tommy J. Saenz :
  • Spaceflight Now team:
  • Spacex:

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