SpaceX has unveiled its next full-size Starship prototype on the launch pad, laying the groundwork for another riveted test flight.
The space company led by Elon Musk is rapidly developing its Mars-associated rocket, whose latest prototype is called the SN9. It has been less than two weeks since it launched its SN8 prototype at an altitude of approximately 40,000 feet.
Starship SN9 is lowered to the Pad B stand!
Amazing view along the way @BocaChicaGal!!
Watch live: https://t.co/YUklOzqAIJ pic.twitter.com/2eeYZKn5v1
– Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) December 22, 2020
The last test flight seemed to go pretty well for the most part – by the end, when it crashed to the ground in a spectacular fireball. But CEO Elon Musk took the blast in step, noting on Twitter that we “got all the necessary information!”
SpaceX has not yet confirmed when the SN9 will embark on its first voyage. Road closures suggest that there is little chance that such a test flight could occur before the end of the year, such as Teslarati reports.
NASASpacelight suggests that the SN9 may need to pass only one test, followed by a static test of three massive Raptor engine prototypes.
SN9 seemed to have collapsed a bit earlier this month inside its assembly building, visibly leaning. Fortunately, its aerodynamic covers seem to have taken the brunt of the crash and the structure appears to be in good condition.
READ MORE: SpaceX moves next spacecraft at high altitude to launch pad after repairing damage from crash [Teslarati]
More about Starship: The next prototype of the SpaceX spacecraft appears to have crashed