Starship Takes a Giant Step
Most space buffs would consider today to be the day Alan Shepard became the first American to launch into space, and that is true, no doubt. However, we’re in the modern era where commercial spaceflights are dominating the space industry. And on this day, another milestone was achieved: SpaceX’s Starship SN15 stuck the landing after four failed attempts (well, the third try technically did land, but exploded several minutes afterward).
As stated in a previous blog, the Starship will be SpaceX’s next-generation spaceship that’ll have many functions. One of them that can be useful is to launch 240 Starlink internet satellites in one mission, four times more than the typical 60 count on a Falcon 9 flight. Speaking of which, if Starship had started operational flights a few years ago, it would’ve completed the entire Starlink satellite constellation in, like, seven launches as opposed to 28 Falcon 9 launches. By then, internet service would’ve been blooming better than ever before today. But I don’t blame SpaceX for taking their time to develop Starship for eventual orbital missions.
Anyway, during the whole test flight, I wasn’t fazed at all. I mean, back when SN8 happened, I was on the edge of my seat and my heart was pounding fast. Probably because I didn’t know how a Starship test flight would go down. I had no idea the landing burn flip would happen very quickly, or if the belly flop maneuver would slow Starship significantly. But over time, I got used to how the vehicle operates when it comes to landing on Earth. Nonetheless, I hope SN15 gets reused for a future test flight.
In conclusion, after SpaceX’s Starship SN15 made a flawless landing, the company has made another stride toward the future of spaceflight, possibly achieving NASA’s ultimate goals to go to the Moon, Mars, and beyond in record time. It’s very astounding to see a commercial space company lend a hand when I was always under the assumption that NASA would do all the legwork. But things did take a turn for the best in recent days, and I think it’s an awesome decision to go that route.