SpaceX's Starship stacked on super heavy booster. Tallest rocket ever built

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Starship at SpaceX's South Texas facility (Image: Twitter/Erdayastronaut)
Starship at SpaceX's South Texas facility (Image: Twitter/Erdayastronaut)

Texas : SpaceX’s South Texas launch facility is now gearing up with something interesting; the aerospace community has been abuzz about the rollout and Static Fire test of the Super Heavy Booster 3 (B3) prototype.

The booster was recently tested and will be responsible for taking off the Starship to space in the near future.

A series of announcements recently have added exhilaration. First, there was the announcement on Aug. 2nd that the fourth Super Heavy prototype (the BN4) received a full complement of 29 Raptor engines and grid fins. This was followed on Aug. 3rd with news that BN4 was being moved to the launch pad and that the SN20 Starship prototype received a full six Raptor engines. On Aug. 6th, the denouement came with the stacking of both prototypes together, which resulted in the tallest rocket in the history of spaceflight!

The total height of the rocket with Starship stands at 120 meters (390 feet), and 145 m (475 feet) with the addition of the orbital launch stand – which is taller than the Pyramid of Giza (138.5 m; 454 ft).

This was the first time when the booster and starship were integrated, making it a milestone achievement for the company, taking it one step closer to the orbital launch.

While no date has been set for this crucial milestone yet (though it is still expected before the end of the year) Musk indicated via Twitter that he and his company had four major objectives scheduled for the next two weeks.

Based on the flight plan SpaceX filed with the FCC back in May, the mission will see the booster element separate from the Starship approximately 170 seconds into flight. The Booster will then perform a partial return and make a soft splashdown roughly 32 km (20 miles) offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The Starship will then achieve orbit before performing a targeted soft splashdown about 100 km (62 mi) off the coast of the Hawaiin island of Kauai.