SpaceX may try to land the first Starship prototype to complete a soft landing for the second time
Wednesday’s successful launch and landing included a rise to approximately 30,000 feet There, the 150-foot-tall spacecraft descended back to Earth after completing the flipping action, and when it returned to the vertical direction, it ignited its engine to slow down its descent speed and completed a soft landing and stood upright. This atmospheric test is a key step designed to help prove technologies and systems that will later help the interstellar spacecraft return to Earth after orbiting launch. The entire Starship launch system is intended to be fully reusable, including the aircraft (upper level) and the super heavy booster being developed by the company.
The second test flight of the SN15 is an interesting possibility among the prototype options. Obviously, SpaceX will conduct some other inspections and collect as much data as possible from the aircraft, except for any data collected from on-board sensors, but the subsequent testing process on the aircraft is basically equivalent to stress testing it until it fails. Then disassemble it and study the fragments. The second flight attempt is an interesting additional option that can provide SpaceX with a wealth of valuable data about its plans to re-use the production version of the interstellar spacecraft.
Whether SpaceX will really be able to fly SN15 again is still up in the air, but if it is finally technically feasible, this seems to be a great learning opportunity for SpaceX to help fast track the entire development project.