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SpaceX’s fourth Starship test is the first one to reach splashdown

A screenshot taken during Starship’s fourth flight test
The Starship successfully splashed down in the Indian Ocean after launching from Texas on Thursday. | Image: SpaceX / The Verge

The fourth Starship Super Heavy flight test has ended with a splashdown in the Indian Ocean. The vehicle launched from its pad in Texas at 8:50AM ET, before successfully performing a hot-stage separation from its booster rocket. The Super Heavy booster then performed a landing burn as planned before it came down in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Starship vehicle continued along its planned flight path before reentry. Live camera views showed a damaged flap burning and starting to come apart. However, the vehicle stayed in one piece long enough for the engines to relight and perform a “soft landing.” In a tweet, Elon Musk said, “Despite loss of many tiles and a damaged flap, Starship made it all the way to a soft landing in the ocean!”

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