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100% reusable rocket (that's right!), heaviest and tallest in history, is tested and once again billionaire Elon Musk's company comes out ahead of its competitors 

Written by Roberta Souza
Published 19/06/2024 às 11:26
SpaceX, rocket, Elon Musk
Photo: Canaltech reproduction

Elon Musk's SpaceX Starship rocket successfully lands for the first time, marking a monumental breakthrough in the space race

SpaceX, a company led by Elon Musk, has just made a significant leap in rocket technology with the successful landing of the Starship, without explosions, on the fourth attempt. This achievement puts the company ahead of its competitors, marking an important step towards the development of the first fully reusable rocket in history, according to the IGN Brasil website.

Elon MUsk's Starship Test Launch Achievements

Reliability of Raptor engines

The Raptor engine's combustion chamber reaches pressures higher than those of any other rocket engine, using metalox (methane and liquid oxygen) for clean combustion. Despite failures in previous launches, the recent attempt showed that the rocket's performance was not affected even with the failure of one of the Super Heavy stage's Raptor engines.

Starship structural integrity

Constructed of stainless steel, Starship has demonstrated robust structural integrity, even after crossing the atmosphere at more than 20 thousand km/h and losing parts of the heat shield. The rocket managed to start the engines and simulate a landing in the Indian Ocean.

Photo: SpaceX/Reproduction

Launch pad improvement

After the destruction of the platform on the first flight, SpaceX implemented a flame deflector with high-pressure water jets and new reinforcements on the ground. The improvements allowed Starship to be supplied with fuel and oxidizer in just 45 minutes.

Super Heavy landing capability

The Super Heavy propellant, 70 meters high, successfully restarted its engines and landed for the first time. The separation of the stages was ensured by the ejection of a hot separation ring, enabling a simulated landing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Enter orbit and return

Starship crossed the frontier of space on the second flight and reached orbit on the third. On the fourth flight, it returned from space without disintegrating, using additional rotation control thrusters and a heat shield made up of ceramic tiles.

SpaceX light years ahead of the competition

These advances put SpaceX light years ahead of competitors who still use disposable rockets. Companies like Blue Origin, with New Glenn, and some Chinese projects are working on reusable rockets, but none have reached the magnitude and ambition of Starship.

Starship, designed to be fully and quickly reusable, aspires to launch 100 tons into space and return for another flight the same day. The Super Heavy can potentially fly three times a day, while the Starship once a day.

Next steps for Elon Musk's SpaceX

To realize this revolutionary project, Elon Musk's SpaceX still needs to complete some crucial steps:

  • Capture the Super Heavy in real time via the “Mechazilla” launch tower.
  • Ensure the ship can re-enter the entire atmosphere.
  • Make the reuse of ships viable and efficient.

SpaceX continues to lead innovation in space exploration, transforming the future of space travel and leaving its competitors in the prehistory of launches.

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Roberta Souza

Petroleum Engineer, postgraduate in Commissioning of Industrial Units, specialist in Industrial Corrosion. Get in touch to suggest an agenda, advertise job vacancies or advertise on our portal. We do not receive resumes

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