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What is SpaceX’s SN5 Starship prototype?

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is SpaceX’s SN5 Starship prototype?

It is a prototype of SpaceX’s uncrewed “Mars ship”. It is a stainless steel test.

  • It is a part of the Starship spacecraft.

 Why in News?

The prototype recently completed its first test flight. It successfully flew to an altitude of over 500 feet for a little less than 60 seconds.

What is Starship?

Designed by SpaceX, Starship is a spacecraft and super-heavy booster rocket meant to act as a reusable transportation system for crew and cargo to the Earth’s orbit, Moon and Mars.

SpaceX has described Starship as “the world’s most powerful launch vehicle” with an ability to carry over 100 metric tonnes to the Earth’s orbit.


  • Once functional, the Starship spacecraft will enter Mars’ atmosphere at a speed of 7.5 km per second and will be designed to withstand multiple entries.
  • Starship can deliver satellites further and at lower marginal costs than SpaceX’s Falcon vehicles and it can ferry both cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Once developed, Starship is also expected to help carry large amounts of cargo to the Moon, for human spaceflight development and research.
  • Beyond the Moon, the spacecraft is being designed for carrying crew and cargo for interplanetary missions as well.


Prelims Link:

  1. NASA’s Commercial crew program- participants.
  2. Space shuttle program.
  3. Space stations so far.
  4. About Starship project.
  5. About SN5 Starship prototype.

Sources: Indian Express.