As Elon Musk's SpaceX ramps ups its ambitious Starship prototype program in a countdown to a planned uncrewed mission that will take the shiny spacecraft to an altitude of up to 12 miles, a crew of SpaceX acolytes have crafted a thrilling fan-film animation depicting what the space company’s rocket will eventually look like. And Elon Musk approves.
Back on Oct. 22, SpaceX engineers fitted Starship SN8's ("Serial No. 8") nose cone to the Super Heavy booster at the aerospace firm's test site near the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica in Texas. A few days earlier, SN8 ignited its three Raptor engines in a "static fire" test prior to a second firing ahead of an official liftoff in the near future.
A co-creation of twitter users @ErcXSpace and @smvllstvrs, the 2-minute animation presents the sleek Starship spacecraft blasting off with its mighty Super Heavy booster, releasing a swarm of Starlink satellites into orbit, then gracefully cruising back to the ground.
With the stacking process of the 165-foot-tall vehicle now complete, and hopes sky high for the next leap forward, SpaceX's Founder/CEO took time to acknowledge the impressive simulation video by commenting on it online, noting it's "Very close to actual expected flight!"
Starship's next-generation design is built to shuttle astronauts and cargo to the Moon and eventually Mars, carry satellites into Earth's orbit, and become an important workhorse servicing all of SpaceX's spaceflight requirements.
SpaceX is planning to launch its SN8 prototype soon, employing three of the six massive Raptor engines, and engaging in a “belly-flop” maneuver where the spacecraft will rely upon its underside to reduce its descent speed as it returns to Earth.