SpaceX’s explosive test flight achieved key milestones. But there is still a long way to go

to get the Starship to orbit.

The test flight was designed to push the SN8 prototype of SpaceX’s Starship rocket to its limits, including flying to an altitude of roughly 41,000 feet and attempting an “aerodynamic descent” maneuver before landing. The flight successfully achieved both goals, marking a major milestone for SpaceX.

However, the flight was only meant to be a test, and there is still a long way to go before the Starship can reach orbit and beyond. The next step will be to test the SN9 vehicle with the same profile, followed by additional test flights of the SN10 vehicle. Following that, SpaceX will attempt to land the Starship with its Super Heavy booster attached.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that the overall goal is to achieve orbit within the next six months, and many more tests will have to be conducted first. This includes testing the viability of the ship’s engines and fuel and verifying the ship’s durability during re-entry through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Ultimately, the success of the test flight is an encouraging sign for SpaceX, but there is still a lot of work to be done before Starship can make it into orbit.