Starship SN9 could launch this Friday

Starship SN9 could launch this Friday

While the test flight of the Starship SN8 is still fresh in our memories, its successor SN9 is also preparing to take off. The highly anticipated high-altitude test is likely to take place this Friday as well.

Such as Announced Elon Musk a few days ago, SpaceX plans to expand its starship development plan – its future Planetary ship – By 2021 this year, by relying on two launch sites of its facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The next flight may also happen very quickly.

The SN9 prototype, which was transferred from its hangar to the launch pad on December 24, underwent its first two tests a few days ago – filling the tanks with gaseous nitrogen (ambient test) and then refueling. Intense cold liquid nitrogen (cryo test).

These tests, which spanned two days, proved that the SN9 could be successfully pressurized, thus advancing towards the popular “static shot” before the actual launch. He underwent successful surgery on Wednesday (video at the end of the article). For this experiment, Starship was fueled by liquid methane (CH4) and liquid oxygen (LOX). Question: When will the next one start?

The Starship SN9 prototype is waiting at its launch pad in Boca Chica (Texas). Credit: cnunezimages

Friday Saturday Sunday?

No official date has been announced by SpaceX. However, clues can be gleaned from notifications about local road closures or other announcements about wind and sea restrictions.

In this particular case, we are aware that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued interim flight control (DFR) advice from Friday to Sunday. At this time, SpaceX will have the opportunity to test on its prototype aircraft.

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Again, as the spacecraft returns to Earth at an angle of approximately 70-80 degrees, it can clean up its speed and then rely on reaction control impulses. Return to the upright position to prepare for landing.

That being said, it is also possible that the release window will not be used by the company for x or y reason and will want to wait until the next opening.

Meanwhile, the next prototype – the SN10 – is almost ready to succeed, with future prototypes already at the assembly stage. More than ever before, SpaceX has the opportunity to multiply its tests before launching its first sorbitol test at an altitude of 200 km next year.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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