SpaceX completes another successful short test flight of its Starship spacecraft prototype – TechCrunch

SpaceX has done it again – a second ‘hop’ flight in under a month for its Starship This was a 150 meter (just under 500 foot) test flight from its Boca Chica, Texas development site. The prototype used in this instance was SN6, a more recent model than the SN5 test article th…

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SpaceX is pursuing a rapid iteration development plan for Starship, creating multiple generations of prototype at once at its Boca Chica site, with the aim of testing and improving the design quickly, while also learning from failures.

These short hops help SpaceX gather data bout Raptor performance, as well as the performance of a full-sized prototype Starship (though without elements including the nosecone and eventual landing legs).

SpaceX accomplishing two of these flights with a controlled, upright landing in rapid succession is a very good sign for the spacecraft’s development program, since there have been a number of previous prototypes which never made it to this point.

All of this will inform later tests, including a much higher sub-orbital atmospheric flight intended to go around as high as commercial airplanes fly, and eventually, the first orbital Starship launch, which is currently likely to take place next year at the earliest.

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