SpaceX’s latest Starship rocket prototype successfully completed its test flight Wednesday with a first-ever successful landing.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to his official Twitter page to share the amazing news with his followers.
The newest 150-foot prototype, Starship serial number 15, or SN15, completed a climb of around 30,000 feet above its South Texas facility before executing a series of aerial acrobatics and returning to solid ground from an upright position.
This is a major milestone for Elon Musk as previous prototypes continuously failed to stick a successful landing.
The previous prototype, SN10 successfully reached its height goal of over six miles, and executed a “belly flop” where the rocket descended in free fall before the engines turn back on.
But a fire persisted around the rocket’s skirt. Then about 10 minutes later, an explosion thrust SN10 back into the air, leaving it in pieces.
SN8 exploded on impact. SN9 didn’t fare much better, returning awkwardly onto the landing pad, and turning into a fireball.
SN11 appeared to be something of a regression for the program as the rocket failed to even reach the landing pad, but with SN15, they finally got it all right.