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SpaceX uses “hundreds of” upgrades to speed up the work of the new interstellar spacecraft



Beginning almost immediately after the airborne explosion of the spacecraft SN11 earlier this week, SpaceX accelerated work on the new spacecraft prototype, which has undergone “hundreds of improvements.”

In November 2020, Musk disclosed for the first time the implementation of “significant [Starship] The “upgrade” was first carried out on the SN15 prototype, but the first “interstellar spacecraft” and “cabin area” changes were never explained in detail. On March 30, 2021, the starship SN11 was foggy and had a bad fate. On the same day that the launch debuted, Musk confirmed that the SN1

5+ body upgrade would undergo “hundreds of design improvements.” [to] Structure, avionics, software and [Raptor engines]. “

At about the same time, after more than two months of almost no visible activity, the work of Starship SN15 quickly resumed, apparently in order to achieve Musk’s goal of “rolling the rocket to the launch pad within a few days.”

Probably due to the transfer from the mass production of the spacecraft to the construction of Boca Chica’s first orbital launch pad and the flight testing of prototypes from SN8 to SN11, the Starship SN15 has been in the stacking and assembly stage since the advent of the new aircraft. year. About a month ago, in early March, the rocket tank area had accumulated to its highest height, and progress has been slow in the following weeks-obviously not an urgent task.

The day after SN11 exploded, SpaceX stacked the last two Starship SN11 noses and added their pipes and avionics, more or less completed the upper third of the prototype. Two nose cones were installed a few days ago. On the same day on March 31, SpaceX rolled out the tank part of the starship SN15 (two-thirds of the bottom of the rocket) from the “Mid Bay” assembly building in Boca Chica, and installed the vehicle only after the flaps were installed. Move into “High Bay”.

The nose cone and ring of SN15 are waiting for final assembly on March 27th. (NASASpaceflight-Nomadd)
A few hours ago, the rear wing was quickly installed on the fuel tank of the SN15, and it was rolled to the elevated position on March 31 to prepare for the installation of the nose. (NASASpaceflight-Bocachicagal)

After completing these steps, the Starship SN15 should be only a few days away from the nose installation. At this time, SpaceX will be ready to install the rocket on the transport aircraft and roll it to the launch pad, which will take a few days. . It’s not unbelievable that this will happen as early as next week, and it may even leave enough time for one or two acceptance tests before the weekend.

SpaceX uses “hundreds of” upgrades to speed up the work of the new interstellar spacecraft