SpaceX soars through new milestones in test flight of the most powerful rocket ever built

SpaceX successfully launched its Starship rocket, the most powerful launch vehicle ever built, from the Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, at 7:50 a.m. CT on June 6, 2024. This marked the fourth test flight of Starship and the second uncrewed test of the year.

Out of the rocket's 33 engines, 32 ignited during launch. The Super Heavy booster executed a landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time, while the Starship capsule achieved orbital insertion and a controlled reentry, landing in the Indian Ocean.

SpaceX provided live coverage of the launch and reentry on X (formerly Twitter), drawing millions of viewers. The event was also supported by Starlink satellites, ensuring continuous livestream during reentry.

The primary goal of the flight was to demonstrate the reusability of both the Starship and the Super Heavy booster. Despite some issues, such as a damaged flap and lost heat shield tiles, the spacecraft successfully completed its objectives, showcasing significant progress towards a fully reusable

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA administrator Bill Nelson praised the mission's success. Musk highlighted the achievement despite minor damages, and Nelson celebrated the milestone as a step closer to returning humans to the Moon and eventually Mars under the Artemis program.

Leading up to the launch, SpaceX made significant hardware and software upgrades based on lessons from previous flights. This included improvements to the booster engines, additional thrusters to prevent unplanned rolling

The success of this flight is crucial for SpaceX's long-term goals, including human missions to Mars. Starship's role in NASA's Artemis program is pivotal, with the spacecraft expected to ferry astronauts from lunar orbit to the Moon's surface. The successful demonstration of propellant transfer.