Thursday, February 2

Astronaut detects the Starbase facility from space | Digital Trends Spanish


NASA/JAXA

An astronaut looking from the International Space Station (ISS) managed to detect SpaceX’s Starbase spaceflight facility in Boca Chica, Texas, about 250 miles below.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata photographed the view from the ISS as the orbital outpost passed over the Lone Star State earlier this week. Posting the image on Twitter, Wakata asked his followers if they could spot the SpaceX facility far below.

Unless you live locally, or have been following SpaceX’s work on the site very closely, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be able to spot Starbase. So let us help you…

SpaceX's Starbase facility as seen from the ISS.
NASA/JAXA

In the image above, the red circle shows the SpaceX Starbase Launch Control Center building, as well as the Starbase Tracking Station. It’s also the location of SpaceX’s so-called Rocket Garden, where it displays multiple Starship spacecraft, most of which have older designs that never launched.

The green circle shows the launch site for the upcoming maiden test of SpaceX’s next-generation rocket, the Super Heavy.

The Super Heavy will attempt to bring the Starship spacecraft into orbit in a short test flight, with NASA hoping to use both vehicles for future crewed missions to the Moon and even Mars.

SpaceX has yet to confirm a date for the first launch of the Super Heavy, though it is expected to take place in the coming months.

When it finally does get off the ground, its 17 million pounds of thrust will make it the most powerful rocket ever flown.

That’s far more than NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which generated a record 8.8 million pounds of thrust when it first lifted off in November at the start of the Artemis I lunar mission, and more than double that of the Saturn V rocket, which propelled astronauts to the moon for the Apollo missions five decades ago.

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