Just a few weeks after its predecessoron the Texas Gulf Coast, the SN10 could try to improve that performance, and that could happen as soon as Thursday.
The SN10 and SN9 are the latest versions of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Starship prototypes developed by the company in full view from its Boca Chicago, Texas plant. Musk promisedwill be capable of revolutionary point-to-point travel around the world, as well as to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Over the past few years, Starship prototypes have progressed from making short jumps at low altitudes to demonstration flights at high altitudes. The previous two serial numbers, SN8 and SN9, flew to heights comparable to where commercial aircraft cruise, but then entered an explosively difficult landing.
Musk warned in advance of the tests that he expects such “rapid unforeseen disassembly” events to be part of the development process.
After the flight and landing of the SN8 in December, the next flight of the SN9 suffered a series of delays during January. It was revealed that the SN8 was launched without all the necessary approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration, and a kind of staring competition developed when the FAA took the time to grant permission to launch the SN9.
In the end, the FAA was satisfied with the safety precautions for the test flight, and the SN9 finally flew on February 2. After a fiery return to Earth that afternoon, the FAA announced it would investigate an “accident” on landing.
On Friday, February 19, an FAA spokesman said via email that the agency had closed its investigation into the landing accident, “clearing the way for a SN10 test flight until the FAA approves the license update.”
“The SN9 vehicle failed within the limits of the FAA’s safety analysis. Its failed landing and explosion did not endanger the public or property. All the waste was within a certain area of danger. The FAA approved the final accident report, including probable causes and corrective actions.”
From Monday morning, It was reported by Christian Davenport of the Washington Post that the FAA launch license paved the way for SN10 to launch after a static test fire. Based on the latest temporary flight restrictions, we will see the launch of the SN10 on Thursday at the earliest, and the possibilities will be on Friday and Saturday as well.
Check here for news and live broadcasts when the SN10 is ready for flight.
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