Stunning Photos Of Earth Captured From Space By Elon Musk’s Starship

Stunning Photos Of Earth Captured From Space By Elon Musk's Starship

New Delhi:

Elon Musk and SpaceX have shared stunning pictures of the Earth captured by Space X’s Starship as it completed its first successful flight through space on Thursday, in what was its third attempt. The Starship, which is the world’s most powerful rocket, reached its farthest and fastest flight during this test launch, although it was lost upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean, according to SpaceX.

High-definition footage from an onboard camera showed the Starship in space, showing the curve of the Earth in the background as it soared at speeds exceeding 26,000 km per hour.  

“Wild that this is a real picture,” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, sharing an image of the rocket in space. SpaceX also shared several images on their official X page, captioning them, “ship in space.”

Following the mission, NASA administrator Bill Nelson congratulated SpaceX on their “successful test flight”. “Congrats to @SpaceX on a successful test flight! Starship has soared into the heavens. Together, we are making great strides through Artemis to return humanity to the Moon—then look onward to Mars,” he wrote on X.

The take-off took place from SpaceX’s Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, at 8:25 am local time (6:55 pm IST), and was streamed live on X to millions of viewers. 

The Starship, standing at 397 feet tall (90 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty), is designed to be fully reusable, boasting a super heavy booster that produces remarkable thrust. During its third launch test, the Starship met several objectives, including testing its payload delivery capabilities and atmospheric re-entry. 

After the launch, the Starship zoomed through space at a speed of 26,000 km per hour, reaching an altitude of over 200 km above sea level. It made its journey halfway around the Earth before beginning its descent over the Indian Ocean. 

However, 49 minutes into the flight, ground control lost all signals of the spacecraft, leading to the declaration that the vessel was “lost,” likely destroyed before it could have a planned hard splashdown. The lower-stage booster also failed to achieve a successful water landing.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk remains optimistic about the Starship’s potential. “Starship will make life multiplanetary,” he wrote on X. 

SpaceX’s first integrated test ended abruptly in April 2023, when the Starship failed to separate its stages, resulting in the rocket being destroyed over the Gulf of Mexico. A second test in November of the same year showed slight improvement but ended in an explosion over the ocean. 

Each Starship costs SpaceX around $90 million to build. Despite setbacks, SpaceX’s testing approach in the real world has been successful in the past with Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsules. With NASA planning a Moon mission in 2026 and China aiming for 2030, SpaceX must demonstrate Starship’s capabilities, including safe flight and refuelling in orbit, to stay competitive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button