SpaceX Is Winning July
@SpaceX had a great day yesterday. They successfully landed another Falcon 9 rocket back to Earth, and had a successful test launch of its Starhopper prototype.
The CRS-18 (that’s the name of the mission) Falcon 9 landing was the latest success for these reusable rockets. Previous rockets used by NASA were one and done, and SpaceX has made great strides with their reusable models. This particular rocket has been used twice before.
Mission CRS-18 is carrying supplies, experiments and an automated docking ring to the International Space Station (ISS). The rocket launched, and eventually detached from the cargo capsule before landing back on Earth. Falcon 9 may not look big, but it is 230 feet tall.
A Small Step Towards a Long Journey
The Starhopper is a roughly 65ft vehicle being used to test their new Raptor engine. This engine will later be inside the forthcoming Starship reusable spacecraft, which CEO Elon Musk hopes will go to Mars. There are 2 Starcraft vehicles (Mark I and II) in development right now, in Texas and Florida.
Starhopper lifted about 70 feet off the ground, flew around on its own navigation, and then landed itself. It doesn’t sound like much, but you have to start somewhere, and this was a big success for the company.