Starship, the future space transportation system for SpaceX, is expected to accelerate this year. SpaceX plans to increase the number of show flights of SN prototypes, and fly the first prototype of the Super Heavy, the stage where StarShip launches. After a successful static test on Wednesday, the SN9 will be able to fly through Wednesday and repeat SN8’s best performance, but with the goal of fully landing!
A few weeks later Not only on landing, despite some problems SN9 is getting ready to fly. This is not more or less than the flight frequency of the SN8, but with the declared purpose of landing in one piece. After a successful static test on Wednesday, January 6th, SN9 will have a second on Monday, January 11th. If everything is planned, the prototype can fly within three days, depending on the conditions .
The causes of the SN8 crash are known (the Raptors engines did not get enough ust power after they were re-ignited) and changes were made to the SN9 to prevent this from happening again. Except for these updates, SN9 and SN8 are very similar. The most important upgrades and improvements were not planned before SN15.
Shoot the SN9 prototype Rapouter engines in a traditional static pre-flight test. © NASA SpaceFlight, YouTube
The first super heavy prototypes will fly this year
This year, the first prototype of the Super Heavy main stage is expected to fly. BN1 – Booster No. 1 – Currently existing : 30 in the current version (initially 31 Raptor engines were planned for Super Heavy and 7 Starships). This first prototype does not include 30 engines. It should be tested with only two engines.. When in service, this floor will be a record number
As a reminder, Refers to a transportation system consisting of two parts. The “starship” determines the spacecraft and the upper stage of the launcher, the main stage, i.e. The starship is required to launch, which is called “super heavy”.