SpaceX Readies 12-Mile High Hop Flight For Starship SN8 Mars Rocket Prototype
Back in August, we reported on SpaceX doing 150-meter hops with the SN5 Starship. More recently, the SN6 did a 150-meter hop test as well. These tests were powered by the SpaceX Raptor engine, which should also be used in the upcoming SN8 test. However, both previous prototypes looked more like shiny Pringles cans with a rocket motor than a proper rocket ship.
With the previous tests, SpaceX’s goal was to see if the Starship's stainless-steel shell would survive launch and landing. This is most likely why they used an unadorned tube with a rocket attached. Now that it has proven that the steel can survive, Elon Musk has tweeted about the SN8 Starship test coming up:
SN8 Starship with flaps & nosecone should be done in about a week. Then static fire, checkouts, static fire, fly to 60,000 ft & back.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2020