Elon Musk says the starship SN8 prototype will feature a noscan and attempt a 60,000-foot return flight


Elon Musk has shared some details about future testing of the starship, with the SpaceX launch vehicle currently being developed by the company at its Boca Chica, Texas facility. More recently, SpaceX has completed 150 meters (just under 500 feet) of test flights of two older STARS prototypes, SN5 and SN6 – and SN8, which is currently “according to Musk” a week. Is ready for construction “in about a week”. Flap and Nosecon “and ultimately intended for very high altitude test launches.

In the last few weeks, SpaceX has flown in and landed its so-called ‘short-hop’ tests, but with a simulated weight applied topically in place of the actual domed nose, which will go upstream to the final production starship and Protecting any cargo on board. SN5 and SN6, which are often compared to grain silos, also lack large control flaps on either side of the noscan that will help control its flight. According to Musk the SN8 will have both.

This version of the prototype will also undergo the same preliminary testing and its precursors, including a static fire and other ground checkouts, followed by an attempt to fly to an altitude of 60,000 feet before another static fire occurs – and then back to the ground. Will return to A controlled landing.

SpaceX is off the pace when it comes to starship growth relative to Musk’s earliest, busiest projections – but CEOs are known for overly optimistic projections when it comes to timeframes, something he has repeatedly said Confronts himself.

The development of rockets is also extremely difficult, so this first attempt at high flying can easily go completely wrong. SpaceX specifically has a development program that focuses on rapid iteration, and learn from earlier mistakes while simultaneously building a development prototype incorporating different lessons from different generations. And while it may not have produced Musk’s crazy deadline, it is moving very quickly, especially now that the most recent prototypes have survived pressure testing and made it up in the air.

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