Starship SN8 is to become the next prototype vehicle to undergo a test flight. CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk confirmed a readiness schedule for the vehicle that will fly with three Raptors, a nose cone, and aero surfaces.
The update is an advance on SpaceX’s previous test schedule that was set to conduct multiple hops with SN5 and SN6. Following two successful 150 meter hops, SN8 will be launched to 60,000 feet (18.2 KM) as early as October.
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Starship SN5 and SN6 were set to become a tag-team, flying 150-meter hops to refine the launch and landing techniques that SpaceX has pioneered with its Falcon 9 rocket.
However, with SN5’s hop proving to be a success, followed by a notable improvement with SN6’s leap to 150 meters a few weeks later, it’s likely SpaceX is now confident of advancing to the next milestone.
The fate of SN5 and SN6 is currently unknown. The two vehicles are located outside the Mid Bay, with SN5 having already undergone work in preparation for a second hop. However, most of this work was conducted ahead of SN6’s success.