Home / Trends / Elon Musk says Starship’s SN8 prototype will have a nosecone and attempt a 60,000-foot return flight – TechCrunch

Elon Musk says Starship’s SN8 prototype will have a nosecone and attempt a 60,000-foot return flight – TechCrunch



Elon Musk has shared some details about future testing of Starship, the SpaceX Launch vehicle is currently being developed by the company at its Boca Chica, Texas facility. Recently, SpaceX completed brief test flights of 150 meters (nearly 500 feet) with two earlier Starship prototypes, the SN5 and SN6 – and SN8, which Musk currently claims will be built “in about a week”. Flaps & Nose Cones ”and is ultimately intended for a test start at a much greater height.

SpaceX’s prototypes has flown and landed in the last few weeks for his so-called “short-hop”

; tests. They were full size but with a simulated weight on top instead of the actual domed nose cone that will sit on the final production spaceship and protect any cargo on board. Often compared to grain silos, the SN5 and SN6 also lack the large control flaps on either side of the nose cone that help control flight. SN8 will have both, according to Musk.

This version of the prototype also undergoes the same early tests and its predecessors, including a static fire and other ground controls, followed by another static fire before ultimately attempting to fly to an altitude of 60,000 feet – and then returning to the ground under a controlled one Landing.

SpaceX is out of step with Starship’s development compared to Musk’s earliest, rosiest predictions – but the CEO is known for being overly optimistic about the timeframe, which he has repeatedly confined to himself.

Missile development is also notoriously difficult, so this first attempt at high altitude might as well go very badly. SpaceX, in particular, has a development program that focuses on fast iteration and learning from past mistakes, while also creating prototypes for simultaneous development that incorporate different lessons from different generations. And while it may not have resulted in Musk’s crazy schedules, it moves very quickly, especially now that the latest prototypes have weathered pressure tests and made it in the air.


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