And Chris Bergin, the managing editor of NASASpaceflight, declared: “We just got a step closer to Mars!”
SpaceX’s 164ft-tall rocket launched from Boca Chica late on Wednesday night (UK time) up to an altitude of 32,000ft (10km).
Once the rocket cleared the dense blanket of clouds over South Texas, SN15 tipped over by 90-degrees, belly-side down.
SN15 then plunged to the ground, without any guidance from its three engines, and instead relied on the fins mounted on its side.
About five-and-a-half minutes into the flight, the rocket tipped upright again and with a roar of its Raptor engines, attempted a soft landing.