Elon Musk, SpaceX aim to launch SN15 Mars rocket prototype Tuesday

Elon Musk and SpaceX aim to launch an upgraded Starship prototype soon

The SN10 takes flight. The SN15 has many upgrades from its predecessors.


Tuesday is the latest target date for the launch of the latest starship.

After four successes SpaceX’s next generation rocket prototype test flights All ended in dramatic explosions during the landing phase, Elon’s Musk’s space company is overtaking the SN15, the new version of its interplanetary vehicle.

SpaceX has conducted high-altitude test flights of the prototype SN8 through SN11 and has long planned to integrate what Musk called a “major upgrade” to the SN15. Now the company is dropping the SN12, SN13 and SN14, which were never fully assembled, and were working towards a flight to the SN15.

Musk has said that the SN15 has made “hundreds of design improvements to structures, avionics / software and engines,” including, hopefully, an upgrade to cover some of the problems that have made SpaceX increasingly far from landing without undetermined instability Has stopped living.

SN15 has conducted some preliminary tests, and Musk initially tweeted It was intended to launch last month, but the target continued to slide. Last Thursday the FAA said it had approved launch licenses covering SN15, SN16 and SN17, but it currently appears that the airspace surrounding Boca, approaching the road and the beach, After that we have to wait till at least Tuesday to see it. Launch facility in Chica, Texas.

The SN15 can launch at any time (or none at all), as all necessary closures and permissions are approved. We generally do not make any sense unless it will explode less than an hour before it is set to be liftoff. (Still, false starts are common.)

So for now, cross your fingers that we see the SN15 fly (and land!). We will post a live feed of the launch here once it becomes available.

We will update this post at least daily as things change, and for more-incremental updates, stay tuned in My Twitter Feed @EricCMack.

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