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Starship Reaches Orbit

SpaceX launched its third and most successful test flight of its Starship rocket system yesterday morning from its Boca Chica, Texas-based facility, reaching orbit for the first time. The uncrewed spacecraft broke up upon reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

More than 1.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the livestream as the 400-foot tall rocket—the largest and most powerful ever developed with hopes to take humans to the moon and beyond—took flight. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the rocket reached orbital velocity about 15 minutes after liftoff. The spacecraft then opened its payload door, demonstrating how future rockets could deploy Starlink satellites, and transferred liquid oxygen between tanks.

Company officials said yesterday's mission also provided insight into reentry of the vehicle at more than five times the speed of sound—a critical step as Starship is intended to ultimately be fully reusable. 

See photos here and watch the video of reentry here.  

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