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The next high-flying SpaceX Starship test could explode as soon as Sunday



starshipmuskdec2020

This is just the nose Starship SN8.

Elon Musk

Just in time to distract from ongoing chaos in Washington, DC, SpaceX is working towards another high-altitude test flight of the next-generation spacecraft system.

The latest prototype of Elon Musk’s starship, identified by serial number SN9, underwent a brief test firing of its Raptor engines at the company’s development facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on Wednesday. The test is part of a series of checks, which may include another static fire, leading to a launch that may come as soon as Sunday.

Airspace restrictions are in place around Boca Chica also Monday and Tuesday. The restriction is in place for Friday 8. January has since been canceled.

SpaceX has been testing and iterating its Starship design for the past two years, starting with a series hops at low altitude. “The first successful flight with significant altitude came last month when the SN8 reached about the same altitude where commercial jets do much of the cruise.

The milestone was then followed by a fall back to earth and a new landing maneuver that seemed to succeed in orienting the rocket, but alas SN8 came in too fast and met a spectacular and explosive ending.

SpaceX SN8 flew high and landed hard.

SpaceX / CNET video recording of Jackson Ryan

We could be lucky and see the sequel to the ordeal of SN8 on Sunday, but scrubbing and delays have been part of the routine in Starship’s development process, so it seems just as likely that we may have to wait until later in the week or even later in the month.

When SN9 flies, we will be sure to carry the video here. Pay attention.




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