Elon Musk’s SpaceX hit another milestone Thursday by completing a nearly 500-foot ‘hop’ of a second Starship prototype.
Dubbed SN6, the massive rocket took to the skies above the firm’s testing facility in Boca Chia, Texas at 1:48pm ET following a successful liftoff of its predecessor SN5 earlier this month.
SN6 was shaking on the launch pad leading up to the hop, while thousands from around the world watched the nine-story metallic cylinder ignite its massive Raptor engine and rise slowly into the air – disappearing in a cloud of smoke.
This is the second attempt of the hop for the rocket, which was initially scheduled for Sunday and was aborted due to poor weather hitting Texas.
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX hit another milestone Thursday by completing a nearly 500-foot ‘hop’ of a second Starship prototype
Unlike its predecessor, which struggled to get airborne, SN6 took off faster this time around.
CEO Elon Musk shared a tweet following the event: 'Turns out you can make anything fly haha.'
The rocket made a safe landing after the hop, but came down on angle and was leaning on the launch pad.
Flames were also seen flowing from its base, but the ground crew acted quickly and flushed out the fire.
The roar of Starship taking off was heard miles away from the launch pad, with one spectator saying, ‘it sounded like a roll of thunder in the distance.'
SN6 was shaking on the launch pad leading up to the hop, with many viewers wondering if the craft would rake flight
Dubbed SN6, the massive rocket took to the skies above the firm’s testing facility in Boca Chia, Texas at 1:48pm ET following a successful liftoff of its predecessor SN5 earlier this month
The successful hop follows SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch that took 60 new satellites into orbit at 8:46am Thursday morning.
Although it did not soar as high as the SN5, SN6 brings Musk one-step closer to his dream of sending humans to Mars.
The current prototype, resembling a giant metal thermos, does not have all the features of a traditional rocket as it has no nose cone, flaps or other structural features designed to guide it through the upper atmosphere.
Recent images of the Boca Chica site shows the team is constructing the nose cones and base of the rocket.
The team is gearing up to add the nose to the rocket, which will being the rocket to around 164 feet tall, and is set to begin construction of the first Super Heavy booster prototype 'this week.'
The Super Heavy is the large bottom half