• Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:42 am

SpaceX Mars-bound Starship test flight next week

  • Published at 12:09 am November 28th, 2020
SpaceX Mars-bound Starship
The test version of Starship Hopper, which awaits its first flight test in Texas in the coming weeks AFP

'Aiming for first 15km/50ft altitude flight next week'

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has said SpaceX will perform the first proper flight of Starship next week after a successful test firing of the Mars-bound spacecraft.

The billionaire entrepreneur has promised to live stream the launch “warts and all,” claiming there is only a one in three chance of Starship landing in one piece, the Independent reported.

"Aiming for first 15km/50ft altitude flight next week," Musk tweeted on Wednesday.

“Goals are to test 3 engine ascent, flaps, transition from main to header tanks and landing flip… Lot of things need to go right, so maybe ⅓ chance.”

It is the eighth Starship prototype, with previous versions successfully performing a short 150m lift off and landing.

At least seven more prototypes are planned before a fully-fledged flight for Starship, though no precise timetable for its development has been publicly revealed.

Musk confirmed that Starship prototype Serial Number 8, or SN8, successfully completed a test firing of its three engines ahead of the flight attempt. 

This next launch is aiming to reach about 50,000 feet altitude – well above the 500 foot flights of the prototype’s predecessors SN5 and SN6, which completed flight tests on August 5 and September 3, respectively.

The prototypes are built of stainless steel and represent the first versions of the rocket that Musk unveiled last year. 

The company is developing Starship with the goal of launching cargo and as many as a 100 people at a time on missions to the Moon and Mars.

Those later prototypes are already in progress at SpaceX’s growing facility in Texas. 

While SpaceX’s fleet of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets are partially reusable, Musk’s goal is to make Starship fully reusable — envisioning a rocket that is more akin to a commercial airplane, with short turnaround times between flights where the only major cost is fuel.

Musk said that SN9 and SN10 feature “many small improvements,” with “major upgrades” planned once SpaceX begins work on prototype SN15.

Earlier this year, Musk made Starship SpaceX’s number one priority after growing frustrated with the rate of progress.

The 49-year-old has frequently spoken of his ambition to travel to Mars in his lifetime, famously stating that he hoped to die on the planet, “just not on impact.”

Facebook 59
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail