SpaceX believes this is the most optimal way to land the rocket on worlds like Mars, where airstrips and landing pads are a non-existent commodity.
As Starship falls towards the ground, it will be guided by four fins mounted on its side – much like skydivers use their arms to guide their descent.
Then, just before Starship hits the ground, the rocket will flip upright again and fire its engines for a controlled landing.
So far, SpaceX has failed to ace this final step but judging by the success of the Falcon 9 – the world’s first reusable rocket – the company will eventually get there.
SpaceX said: “These test flights are all about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.”