SpaceX has been busy at its facility on the Gulf of Mexico beach in Boca Chica, Texas. The big project underway at the facility right now is the construction and testing of Starship prototypes. Yesterday, SpaceX conducted a second successful test flight with a new Starship prototype called SN6.
Previously, the company had sent an earlier Starship prototype called SN5 on an identical 150m hop. Just like last time, SN6 ignited a single rocket engine and slowly lifted off the ground. It’s still strange to see what essentially looks like a silo lift slowly into the air. Neither of the Starship prototypes has been a complete rocket. Both have lacked the nosecone that will go on the completed rocket along with its stabilizing fins.
There are multiple videos of SN6 conducting its successful test flight with SpaceX tweeting an official video of the rocket test. The latest video gives us a better look at all aspects of the flight as there’s not quite so much dust and smoke billowing around the spacecraft.
In the video of SN5, there was so much smoke and dust flying that the rocket essentially emerged from a billowing cloud already in the air. With SN6’s flight test, we can see all aspects of the flight from its initial lift-off to its first move towards the coast as it takes to the air.
We also get a glimpse of the rocket engine operating from inside the hollow body in the official video. Another video taken from a distance shows an alternative view of the rocket test but isn’t of the same quality. We still get to see the rocket lift-off, and some of the video shows a thermal camera. It’s interesting to see just how hot that dust is as the spacecraft takes off and lands.