SpaceX is gearing up to launch its fourth Starship prototype, following a successful Raptor static fire test that send a burst of flames from the base of Serial Number 11 (SN11), signaling it is ready to soar. The pre-check test ensures that the massive rocket's three engines are'healthy' for the voyage after one did not meet the required specifications for launch during a previous test this week – the failed engine was swapped for a new unit Wednesday. The county judge of Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX's testing facility is located, approved road closures around the beach and Highway 4 for March 26 from 8:30 ET until 8:30pm ET for the potential first high-altitude flight of SN11. 'If members of the public would like to view the flight, please so at a safe distance and away from Boca China Beach,' County Judge Eddie Treviño wrote in a road closure release. SpaceX's agenda is to send SN11 six miles into the air, hover over the earth and then turn on its side for the infamous'belly flop' before re-orientating for landing.
SpaceX is set to launched its Starship Serial Number 10 (SN10) for its first high-altitude test, marking the third prototype to take the journey. The Elon Musk-owned company confirmed the'hop' on its website saying the event could kick off'as early as Wednesday, March 3,' but official road closure documents show from 9am to 6pm CST. SN10 will follow the same path as its predecessors – launching from SpaceX's testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas testing facility and aiming for a six-mile mark. Once it reaches this goal, the Starship will perform the iconic sideways, 'belly flop' maneuver as it heads back to the launch pad before re-orientating itself to land vertically. However, SpaceX has yet to stick the landing with its Starship rockets - Serial Number 8 (SN8) and Serial Number 9 (SN9) both exploded when attempting to land.
SpaceX Starship rocket exploded the moment it hit the ground following its first high-altitude flight - leaving nothing behind but debris and cloud of smoke. CEO Elon Musk had said it was unlikely that Starship serial number 8 (SN8) would land safely - and the billionaire was right. The massive rocket took off from the firm's Boca Chica testing facility at 5:45pm, igniting its powerful Raptor engines and soaring into the sky. The flight lasted for around six minutes before the engines shutdown and SN8 began its journey back to the launch pad. The world sat on the edge of their seats as the rocket neared the ground wondering Musk's prediction was correct.
SpaceX launched its Starship Serial Number 11 (SN11) March 30 for a high altitude test that ended with the rocket exploding and debris raining from the sky – and Elon Musk has officially revealed what happened. The billionaire shared details on Twitter saying'a (relatively) small' methane leak led to its demise, which was what caused SN10 to explode weeks earlier. Musk tweeted a CH4 leak caused one of the three Raptor engines to catch fire, which'fried' part of the avionics system.' However, the ascent phase, transition to horizontal and control during free fall all went according to plan, he shared in the tweet. Along an update about SN11, news also surfaced that SpaceX received approval for a road closure Monday that is set to see SN15 roll out to the launch pad.
Spacex's latest Starship prototype, Serial Number 9 (SN9), ignited its massive Raptor engines for the first time, signaling the massive rocket is gearing up for its first high-altitude test flight. The static fire test, which occurred Wednesday evening, allows operators to fire up the engines while the Starship remains attached to the ground. SN9 can be seen sitting on the launch pad of SpaceX's Boca Chica testing facility and then raging fire and smoke come bellowing out from its base. Airspace restrictions for the area suggest the first major'hop' could take place as early as Friday – with back-up slots set for Saturday and Sunday. SN9 will take the same journey as its predecessor Serial Number 8 (SN8), which launched 7.8 miles into the air before igniting into a ball of flames the second it touch the ground.