With two successful 150-meter hops in the bag for SpaceX, Starship testing is preparing to enter the next phase. Starship SN6’s successful 150-meter hop followed just weeks after SN5’s achievement.
While SN5 is preparing to conduct another leap, Starship SN8 is closing in on its maiden flight, this time sporting three Raptor engines, a nosecone, and aero surfaces – likely to come after additional data is gathered via the upcoming SN7.1 Test Tank “Burst Test.”
The success of SN6’s test will have added additional confidence into numerous elements of the Starship prototype – ranging from structures to propulsion and controllability.
Chief Designer Elon Musk cited that repeating the tests will allow engineers to refine how they launch and land the vehicles, already observed via comparisons to Starhopper’s flight, SN5’s maiden launch, and then SN6.
Improvements to the processing flow surrounding the test are also improving, with SN6 conducting just a cryoproofing test and a Static Fire of Raptor SN29 before being cleared to proceed toward the hop.
While weather aborted the attempts during the opening launch window, SN6 leapt off the launch mount on Thursday without issue before a pinpoint landing on the adjacent pad.
Although SN6 was observed ...