Darrell Etherington/TechCrunch

Elon Musk announced that SpaceX will launch a Starship prototype to an altitude of 18 km

After two test “jumps” of prototypes of the Starship spacecraft to a height of 150 m, the American aerospace SpaceX is preparing for a more serious test – a flight of 60 thousand feet (about 18.3 km).

Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch

Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch

About it reported on Twitter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As in previous tests, the tests will take place at the company’s cosmodrome near Boca Chica, Texas. This time the company will be testing a new prototype Starship SN8, the construction of which will be completed “a week later“. Unlike earlier SN5 and SN6 prototypes, Musk said it will be fitted with the flaps and nose cone needed for high altitude test launches.

This version of the full-size prototype, like its predecessors, will also go through all stages of testing, including static burn tests and other ground checks. Further static firing tests of the engine will take place before an attempt is ultimately made to launch the prototype to an altitude of more than 18 km and make its controlled landing.

It is possible that the first attempt to launch a prototype at a high altitude will be unsuccessful. But SpaceX’s strategy is to learn from failures and move forward, testing prototype after prototype, to reach the end result – a reusable Starship spacecraft for flights to the moon, Mars and other planets.

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