As Starship is developing really fast, SpaceX is now working on building two orbital prototypes, while Starhopper prototype successfully tested Raptor engine.
Recently, Mars-focused site humanMars.net unveiled photos of sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings, found by Robert Zimmerman from BehindTheBlack.com. The small group of images is labeled as “Candidate Landing Site for SpaceX Starship”. Basically, this is most intriguing to discover that SpaceX is beginning to research a place where it can land Starship on Mars.
These SpaceX-related images were just launched in a recent August update, and the database is available for anyone.
“Under direction from JPL [NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory], the HiRISE team has been imaging candidate landing sites for SpaceX. This effort began in 2017, initially for the Red Dragon lander, and is continuing for their Starship vehicle,” HiRise principal investigator Alfred McEwen told CNET.
We are quite familiar with NASA being proactive and scoping out possible landing sites is just one example. The company starts tests way in advance before sending a lander to Mars.
However, reaching Mars will only happen in a few years, as NASA is focused on the moon right now. Even so, a workshop group in 2015 proposed 47 possible landing spots.
The company is mainly focused on the Arcadia region of Mars, according to the images, and SpaceX Starship would need a flat spot for landing, which the MRO images successfully identified.
“These sites are concentrated at low elevations in the northern middle latitudes, in places where there is evidence for shallow ground ice,” McEwen said.
Apparently, NASA’s taking solid and constant steps towards its Mars big goal, and the updates are promising.