SpaceX teams have begun stacking Starship SN1 in Boca Chica, Texas. The rocket is gearing up for its first flight, which will see the vehicle fly to around 20 kilometers in altitude and then propulsively land back at the launch facility.
(Lead Photo by Jack Beyer for NSF)
SN1 is SpaceX’s second Starship vehicle to be built in Boca Chica. The original Starship – named Mk1 – failed cryogenic pressurization testing. The failure prevented Mk1 from getting the chance to fire its three Raptor engines.
SN1 is currently intended to be SpaceX’s first Starship to perform a flight.
Unlike the Mk1 build, where SpaceX began stacking the vehicle from the beginning of production, teams are taking a more pragmatic approach with SN1.
Launch (kinda) Starship SN1 section has been lifted off its mount for mating.@SpacePadreIsle live:https://t.co/vmijqzHVGH pic.twitter.com/R27HfNaXqy
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) February 17, 2020
Instead, the vehicle is being assembled in smaller chunks which will then be welded together during final assembly.
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SpaceX recently stacked two of the chunks together to complete the majority of SN1’s tank section. Due to the sections being mostly completed before stacking, ...