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Musk's SpaceX publishes a fiery video of Starship rocket booster splashdown

Anna BoklajukNews
Fiery video of the Starship rocket booster splashdown. Source: space.com

Elon Musk's SpaceX company has released a new spectacular video of the return of the Starship rocket launched on June 6 to Earth. The video, which combines footage from a boat or drone with that captured by the Super Heavy's onboard cameras, shows the roar of the launch vehicle's Raptor engines as they fire up for a landing directly above the waves.

Starship has completed its fourth test flight, with both stages returning to Earth smoothly as planned. Watching Starship return to Earth last week was perhaps even more exciting than watching it lift off from the pad, Space writes.

On June 6, SpaceX launched its Starship megastar for the fourth time, sending the giant craft into space from its Starbase in South Texas. The flight plan called for both Starship stages - the first stage booster Super Heavy and the 50-meter-high upper stage Ship - to return to Earth to land in the ocean. The Super Heavy was supposed to land in the Gulf of Mexico, while the Ship was aimed at the Indian Ocean. Both stages managed to land.

Super Heavy looked more or less intact, which is not the case with Ship. The upper level raised much higher, faster and further than Super Heavy, so its return was more fiery and dramatic. It lost a lot of heat shielding tiles, and one of its flaps nearly burned through from frictional heat. All in all, Ship managed to hold on until it hit the water.

SpaceX is preparing for the fifth launch of Starship, the largest and most powerful rocket ever built. But this may have been the last super-heavy landing of the boosters in the ocean: shortly after the launch on June 6, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk suggested that the company might try to catch the reentry rocket with the "sticks" of the giant launch tower at Starbase.

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