Today, SpaceX will launch Starship SN8 into high altitude. A live stream of the event will be at 7 a.m. EST.
Yesterday, Elon Musk showed a picture of Starship on its launch pad.
Out on the pad in South Texas pic.twitter.com/RcYOXXpTc2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2020
According to their website, SpaceX wants to test, “how the vehicle’s three Raptor engines perform to the overall aerodynamic entry capabilities of the vehicle (including its body flaps) to how the vehicle manages propellant transition. SN8 will also attempt to perform a landing flip maneuver, which would be a first for a vehicle of this size.”
The rocket is a fully reusable vehicle. It has a section on the inside that allows for cargo and passengers to travel outside of the earth’s orbit. The ship is 160 ft high, has a 30 ft diameter, and is capable of carrying 100+ tons.
If everything goes according to plan, SpaceX estimates that Starship will reach an altitude of 8 miles. Before, Starship has performed “hops” that were only a few feet. But, there is a possibility that Starship will not take off. In the webcast description, a SpaceX representative writes, “the schedule is dynamic and likely to change, as is the case with all development testing.” The representative also emphasizes that it is ok if not everything goes to plan. This test is to see what they can learn and improve for Starship development.