SpaceX Launches Mars-Colonizing Starship For the 4th Time: Videos

“Despite loss of many tiles and a damaged flap, Starship made it all the way to a soft landing in the ocean!” Musk posted on X.

SpaceX Starship
SpaceX’s Starship hit another milestone. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

SpaceX today (June 6) launched the fourth orbital test of Starship and achieved several important goals set out by CEO Elon Musk, marking another milestone in the company’s long-term ambition to colonize Mars. The giant two-stage rocket, consisting of a prototype Starship upper stage and a Super Heavy booster, lifted off at 8:51 a.m. ET from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. About 10 minutes into the test, the rocket performed a hot-staging separation—a main goal of the test—where the upper stage Starship ignited its own engines and separated from the booster.

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A webcast on the Musk-owned X offered a live view of Super Heavy booster performing a flip maneuver and the jettisoned hot stage. “This is a temporary fix to help reduce the weight of the booster. Future iterations will have a lighter-weight, integrated hot stage structure that won’t need to be jettisoned,” a host said during the webcast.

The booster then splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, while the upper stage Starship continued soaring into orbital altitude and coasted about halfway around the globe before splashing down in the Indian Ocean.

“Despite loss of many tiles and a damaged flap, Starship made it all the way to a soft landing in the ocean!” Musk posted on X today.

Starship last flew in mid-March. That test successfully performed a number of tests while in space and made it further into flight than the two previous tests in November 2023 and April 2023. The flight lasted about 48 minutes until SpaceX lost communication with the Starship spacecraft earlier than expected.

 

 

SpaceX Launches Mars-Colonizing Starship For the 4th Time: Videos