SpaceX is making ready to launch its newest Starship prototype on a high-altitude check flight, presumably as early as right this moment (March 3).
The Starship SN10 prototype may fly from SpaceX’s South Texas check facility close to Boca Chica Village in Cameron Country throughout a nine-hour window that opened at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT or 9 a.m. native time). Backup launch days can be found on Thursday and Friday, according to Cameron County officials.
If SpaceX makes an attempt a Starship SN10 launch right this moment, a webcast shall be obtainable a couple of minutes earlier than flight. You can watch that webcast on this web page or the Space.com homepage, in addition to directly from SpaceX here and on YouTube. SpaceX will announce the webcast via Twitter here.
SN10 is SpaceX’s third Starship prototype to fly and can intention for a most altitude of simply over 6 miles (10 kilometers). The check follows two earlier high-altitude flights of Starships SN8 and SN9 on Dec. 9 and Feb. 2, respectively. Both of the sooner check rockets carried out nicely till touchdown, when they crashed into their landing zones and exploded.
SpaceX is hoping for a distinct consequence with the Starship SN10 automobile.
“Similar to the high-altitude flight tests of Starship SN8 and SN9, SN10 will be powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee — approximately 10 km in altitude,” SpaceX wrote in flight description.
After reaching its goal altitude, SN10 is predicted to perform a “belly flop” maneuver in mid-air and glide right down to its touchdown web site to try one other wild flip for a vertical touchdown.
Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceX’s Mars-colonizing vehicles in images
“SN10’s Raptor engines will then reignite as the vehicle attempts a landing flip maneuver immediately before touching down on the landing pad adjacent to the launch mount,” SpaceX wrote within the flight description.
SpaceX is growing its a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) Starship automobile and an enormous booster, referred to as Super Heavy, as a totally reusable launch system for deep-space exploration. The automobile would be the firm’s go-to spaceship for journeys to Mars and elsewhere, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has mentioned.
Starship is certainly one of three designs picked by NASA as a contender to land astronauts on the moon as a part of the company’s Artemis program. SpaceX has additionally signed up its first Starship passenger — Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa — who has purchased a visit across the moon for himself and eight different folks.
On Tuesday, Maezawa launched a call for entries for folks hoping for an opportunity to affix him on the Starship flight. His mission, referred to as dearMoon, is at the moment focused to launch in 2023. You can learn to enter for an opportunity to win a seat on the dearMoon mission on its website here.
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] or observe him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.