After a week of extreme cold, grid failure, high winds and chaos, the situation is improving, and the sun is shining. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk believes that Starship 10 (SN10) is likely to launch “this week!”
Since the Starship SN8 rolled from the factory to the launch pad in October 2020, SpaceX has completed the third full-size, full-height Starship. The Starship SN10 is the second-to-last of four similar prototype series. Its sole purpose is to prove unprecedented Performance. Landing method. When it debuted on December 8, the Starship SN8 was the first prototype with a nose, flaps, three Raptor engines, and high-altitude apogee targets, making it more successful than everyone expected.
After more than six minutes of perfect flight, it broke the various records of the starship Raptor engine and achieved multiple “firsts”
The starship SN9 was already installed on the second launcher when it lifted off, so the task of SN10 was to avoid the pressurization of the doomed SN8 “tank” and the failure of the doomed SN9 Raptor to reignite. If SpaceX has solved these two or three key issues in the next few weeks, then SN10 can be said to be the best chance for a successful landing.
If SN10 can’t insist on landing, SpaceX will have another “starship” (SN11), which is more or less completed and ready to roll to the launch pad to retrieve it wherever its predecessor left. As Starship SN8 exceeded expectations by a completely unexpected degree, SpaceX seems to have abandoned plans to build Starships SN12, 13 and 14-in fact in the case of SN12.
Instead, SpaceX has accelerated the implementation of “major [Starship] Upgrade from SN15”. In the entire SpaceX South Texas Rocket Factory, you can see the various parts of the interstellar spacecraft SN15, SN16, SN17, SN18 and SN19, while continuing to prototype the first two super heavy boosters Work simultaneously on BN1 and BN2.
Before launch, Starship SN10 still needs to complete a healthy three-engine static fire test, which has been postponed from last week to no later than Monday, February 22. The backup window is available on Tuesday and Wednesday. If Starship SN10 can start the Raptor engine at some point in three days, it is very likely that SpaceX will be able to make at least one or two launch attempts before the weekend.