Based on the latest announcements to come out of SpaceX, it appears that this round of recent successes has led to Musk and his company. Earlier, Musk indicated that he was planning to do several more short hop tests and that the SN8 would attempt a 20 km (12 mi) flight next year. However, some recent indications suggest that Musk intends to conduct this high-altitude test before the end of October.
The first indication came in the form of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week (Wednesday, September 9). The reason for this notice was, according to the FAA, to “provide a safe environment for space operations” that would apply to the 03:45 am UTC (11:45 am EDT; 08:45 am PDT) sept. 9th, 11:59 pm UTC (07:59 pm EDT; 04:59 PMT) on 31 October.
A notice advising pilots and aircraft to avoid the area above Boca Chica for about two months would directly indicate that SpaceX plans to conduct some rigorous flight tests. At the very least, this would be seen as an indication that Musk SN5 and SN6 (as he stated earlier) as well as a second cryo-pressure pressure test – this time using SN7 more small. Was hoping to conduct hops. 1 tank.
However, the next clue came two days earlier (Saturday, September 12) via Twitter by Musk himself, where he stated that “SN8 Starship with Flaps and Knowscan should be done in about a week.” Then fly to static fire, checkout, static fire, 60,000 feet and back. The SN8 will also be equipped with three Raptor engines, although it is not yet clear whether they will be SN27s or newer SN29s.
The most challenging aspect of this test would be the landing portion, with the vehicle turning off its engines and “belly-flopping” toward the ground. The aim would be to see if the maneuver would allow fins and aerodynamic surfaces Starship To return to your landing site. Ground crews will then attempt to restart the engine during the final few seconds and swing backwards for a soft landing.
To be clear, 60,000 ft (18,288 m) may simply be a rough number and may not represent a decrease in target height. Either way, it is clear that the company is focusing on preparing the SN8 so that they can perform the highest hop test ever. The SN8’s torso was recently assembled inside Mid Bay in Boca Cheeka and the Eiffit’s wings are currently being fitted. Meanwhile, the nose cone is inside the windbreak facility awaiting final assembly.
In the meantime, it is unclear what SpaceX plans to do with SN5 and SN6, whether they will be separated, used to perform additional hop tests, or for some other purpose. However, both prototypes served their purpose, allowing SpaceX to test various iterations Starship Designing and Acquiring Cryogenic Load Tests, Static Fire Tests and Hope Tests.
Another important milestone that is happening soon is the pressure test of the SN7.1 tank. Like this predecessor, this tank will be pressurized with cryogenic liquid nitrogen until it experiences a crack. Once again, it aims to test the effectiveness of steel alloys (340L) and the manufacturing technology is used to make all the latest starships Variants.
The event is expected to take place later this week and will be the final hurdle before the SN8 is rolled out and run through the final preparations before expecting its high-altitude. These will include two static fire tests and a complete system of its three Raptor engines and structural checks in between. Since this will be the first static fire three raptor engine simultaneously, these tests will also prove to be a milestone.
“One way or another, enthusiasm is guaranteed!” Oysters The couple. “More Boca, Padre’s support, the Brownsville community is greatly appreciated.”
Top Image Credit: @ErcXspace
Further reading: NASA SpaceFlight, FAA