The Elon musk’s Space X successfully launched and landed the SN15 starship with high altitude test flight by May 5th of 2021. SN 15 completed its 5th high altitude test flight in its series of starship prototypes in Texas starbase by 6.24 pm EST.
Precisely, SN refers to the serial number. The SN15 becomes the fifth in the series of starships completing high altitude flight tests.
Space X starship
First of all, the starship is a product of Space X developed by Elon Musk. Starship is the world’s most powerful satellite launch vehicle till date. This starship consists of a spacecraft and a super-heavy rocket. It is designed to carry both the crew members and the cargo which may be any satellite or any space utility. It is an awesome space vehicle. Starships can carry more than 100 metric tons to space.
Key terms regarding starship
Before studying the Journey of Starship SN15 let us know some key terms
Raptor engines or Space X raptor of SN15
This engine is exclusively developed by Space X. They are a part of the in-development starship reusable launch vehicle. They have double the lifting capacity of the currently used Falcon heavy launch vehicles
Propellant of SN15
It is a fuel used in aircraft and is ignited when comes in contact with air. It generates energy for the spacecraft to move forward after the takeoff till reaching the destination.
Flaps of SN15
Flaps are high lifting and balancing props that are fixed at the rear end of the wings of the starship. When the flaps are extended, they increase the chord and surface area of wings which then increases the lift and drag and reduces the stall speed. They highly contribute during landing and takeoff.
Journey of SN15 starship of Space X
The starship SN15 traveled 10 km into the sky and after 6 minutes from takeoff, it came back down to its destined concrete landing pad. Except for a little fire, there was a soft landing in the case of SN 15, which did not happen in its previous edition. Also, the fire was extinguished shortly.
What is High altitude flight test?
This means, to study the flight’s performance to understand the problems at ground level and develop the needful required to bring out the starship with better performance in next level
How the starship SN15 took off
The SN15 had three raptor engines. This helps the starship during take-off. In a particular order, all the three raptor engines shut down one by one until it reached the 10km distance mark. In due time SN15 also performed propellant transmission. The landing propellant tanks received the propellant before getting ready for the descent.
How was the descent of SN15
The descent was an aerodynamically controlled one. The raptor engines which were shut, reignited during the descent before the landing touch down happen to place the starship at the right position. There were four flaps on the starship. They can move independently. They increase the aero dynamicity of the starship and helps in a smooth landing
Updates that were done in SN15 starship
In addition, there were updations done in some parts of the spacecraft SN15 which were primitively present in the previous versions. They are Landing legs, Raptor engines, Wings part, features in the take-off, flying, and controlled landing phases, and the launching or landing pad
Finally, however, this is a huge step in mankind in the area of space exploration by engineering a most powerful starship in terms of capacity, efficiency, economy, safety, and durability. Hope this will help us to view a better world tomorrow.
Authored by Indhirani K
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