SpaceX looks prepared to continue to the following vital phase of its Starship spacecraft improvement program: A 15km (50,000 feet) test flight. This would far surpass the maximum stature that any earlier Starship prototype has accomplished up until now, since the current record-setting jump test maximized at around 500 feet. Elon Musk says that SpaceX will hope to make its first high-height attempt at some point one week from now.
This speculative date (these are consistently liable to change) follows an effective static test fire of the current SN8 generation prototype – basically terminating the test shuttle’s Raptor engines while it stays stationary on the pad. That is a pivotal advance that makes ready for any actual flight, since it demonstrates that the rocket can basically hold together and withstand the pressures of active engines before it leaves the ground.
SpaceX’s SN8 prototype is different from prior versions in various ways, most clearly in light of the fact that it has a real nosecone, alongside nose fins. The prototypes that did the short test hops, including SN6, had what’s known as a mass simulator up top, which weighs as much as a real Starship nose segment however looks totally different.
Musk added that the chances of a SN8 high-altitude flight going to plan aren’t incredible, assessing that there’s “maybe a 1/3 chance” given the number of things need to work accurately. He at that point noticed that that is the explanation SpaceX has SN9 and SN10 prepared to follow fast, which is a theme of Starship’s improvement program to date: building progressive generations of prototypes quickly in equal to test and repeat rapidly.
We’ll probably improve thought of when the launch will happen because of alerts filed with local regulators, so watch this space one week from now as we anticipate this significant jump forward in SpaceX’s Starship program.