Elon Musk, space company’s latest full-scale Starship concept, called SN8, will soon aim to ascend to 60,000 feet — about twice the height of a commercial airliner, according to SpaceX CEO. It will be a big move forward over the prototype’s last successful hop predecessors.
Musk made the claim in a Saturday tweet, adding that SN8’s “flaps & nosecone” could be “done in about a week.”
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
SpaceX has so far pulled off two good “hops” to 150 meters (about 500 feet), the first with its SN5 prototype on 4 August and the second with SN6 on 3 September. As recorded by NASASpaceflight, both SN5 and SN6 featured a single Raptor engine but SN8 would use three.
But if SN8 can complete a litany of tests, including several static fires and checkouts, Musk said.