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After second hop, SpaceX preps for next phase of Starship testing

9 Sep 2020, 21:13 UTC
After second hop, SpaceX preps for next phase of Starship testing
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SpaceX plans to ramp up production of more Starship test vehicles in South Texas after completing a second low-altitude hop test of a Starship prototype last week, including a reusable rocket with fins and three Raptor engines for experimental flights to higher altitudes.
The aerospace company also plans to advance production of the first prototype for the Starship’s mammoth first stage booster. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, said Aug. 31 the first test vehicle for the Starship’s “Super Heavy” booster could begin production as soon as last week, but there’s been no confirmation that a Super Heavy prototype is being assembled yet.
The most recent Starship test last week involved a flight of a prototype vehicle, designated SN6, to an altitude of about 500 feet, or 150 meters, over SpaceX’s facility at Boca Chica in South Texas. The stainless steel cylinder performed the test flight Sept. 3, following a similar 500-foot hop by SpaceX’s SN5 prototype Aug. 4.

Second 150m flight test of Starship pic.twitter.com/ROa0kQZXLI
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 4, 2020

Next up is a ground test of a test tank named SN7.1, which could occur as soon as Thursday. SpaceX engineers will take the tank to burst pressure ...

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