The first launch of the Starship comes after decades of rocket launches. Here is the development of rocket design in the US since the 1960s.
The only launch vehicle to have taken people outside of low Earth orbit is the Saturn V. It was created by NASA as part of the Apollo mission to send people to the moon. It is a three-stage launch vehicle, and as it ascends, each stage is released one at a time. Each stage uses its own set of rocket engines to lift the spacecraft higher. In 1973, it was retired due to advancing technology.
The Space Shuttle was created to meet the demands of everyone, including NASA astronauts, commercial enterprises, and the US military, and to be the first reusable spacecraft. The vehicle completed 135 flights and was instrumental in the launching of both the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA was persuaded that the vehicle could not be flown safely after two fatal accidents—the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 and Columbia in 2003—and it made its final flight in 2011.
The first launch vehicle with a reusable rocket was the Falcon 9. The launcher may land on its own and then be used again after launching a spacecraft into orbit. It was the first significant vehicle produced by SpaceX and was created in collaboration with NASA to take the role of the Space Shuttle as the primary spacecraft operating in low Earth orbit. The Falcon 9 is now the most affordable and frequently used rocket, launching humans, satellites, and spacecraft for clients all over the world.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 is the basis for the Falcon Heavy. Three rocket boosters are included in the design, all of which can be brought back to Earth. Falcon Heavy is primarily utilized by the US government to launch heavy missions and has the second-highest lift capability of any current rocket.
Space Launch System
The Space Launch System (SLS), created by NASA to transport men back to the Moon, is capable of carrying the most payload and has the strongest liftoff thrust of any rocket currently in use. Its engines have been used on Space Shuttle missions in the past. The spaceship will be utilized to carry passengers for the first time in 2024 after successfully launching an unmanned Orion spacecraft around the Moon in 2022.
The Starship is the highest and most potent launch vehicle ever constructed, along with its Super Heavy booster. It is also the first rocket that is designed to be completely reusable. Elon Musk’s vision of an incredibly efficient spacecraft will be realized by the novel design, which includes stainless steel and most engines on a single launcher. Nevertheless, getting it into orbit will be extremely difficult because to its extreme complexity. As early as 2026, NASA intends to send astronauts to the Moon using Starship.