SpaceX Starship SN15 landing
Image above from the SpaceX video of the flight

This amazing vehicle has taken another step forward; it now flies and has landed safely, still using the same manoeuvre to get from horizontal to vertical just before landing.

Here’s the video:

It will be interesting to see what they manage next. It’s going to be a while before they get this into orbit.

Flying the Ingenuity helicopter carried on the NASA Perseverence rover is quite a feat. It has to be done completely autonomously; Mars is currently over half an hour away for round trip radio signals, so remote control is not an option. There’s no GPS to help navigation either!

A pity they couldn’t have tracked it off to the right as well, but at least it came back!

Here’s the mission website:

This is amazing – they are getting so close to having this amazing vehicle working. Maybe SpaceX will be on the Moon before the planned NASA mission for 2024? OK, rapid unplanned disassembly at the end, but so nearly there. The manoeuvre from horizontal flight to vertical for landing is quite a shock!

Apollo spacecraft

Another excuse to display one of my old models. This is the command module and service module. docked to the lunar module, at the time the service module engine fired to put the spacecraft into lunar orbit.

Moon partial eclipse

I didn’t expect to see this as the forecast earlier in the day predicted cloud. However it cleared allowing me to take photos of the moon low in the southern sky.

Taken at about 2345BST. (1/1000s, f/5.6, 200mm focal length)