May 16, 2021

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX SCRUBS Starship SN15 test flight


SpaceX’s latest prototype Starship missile was standing tall on the launch pad as it prepared for its first high-altitude flight test on Friday, but Mother Nature has different plans.

Elon Musk’s company closed roads from 9 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET in anticipation of testing, but at around 2 p.m. ET it was shown as “canceled.”

The 16-story serial number 15 (SN15) would be the fifth to fire, but depending on the outcome, SN15 could have been the only one to survive the flight.

The SN8 to SN11 spacecraft all blew up after their first flights, leading to a number of investigations by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Thursday that it has permitted the next three launches of the SpaceX Starship prototype after the Mask-owned company made “some changes to the launch vehicle.”

The only thing threatening the launch today is bad weather looming over the SpaceX test facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Poor visibility is no game-changer, as the SN11 blasted through dense cover of fog, but lightning, high winds and rain drove it peeling.

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SpaceX’s latest prototype Starship missile was standing tall on the launch pad as it prepared for its first high-altitude flight test on Friday, but Mother Nature has different plans.

When the SN15 is fired, it will ignite the three powerful Raptor engines at its base and drive above the test facility.

After the missile has reached the six-mile mark, the missile will hover in place for a few seconds with just one missile, then perform the infamous side-flip, which Musk has called the “belly-flipping” maneuver.

This mimics the technique the Starship would use when returning through Earth’s atmosphere from space – introducing a “belly” as it enters the atmosphere reduces its landing velocity as it approaches Earth.

As SN15 approaches the launch pad, it must reorient itself and hopefully perform a safe and smooth landing.

The Elon Musk-owned company had halted routes from 9 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET in anticipation of testing, but at around 2 p.m. ET it was shown as canceled

The Elon Musk-owned company had halted routes from 9 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET in anticipation of testing, but at around 2 p.m. ET it was shown as canceled

The most recent test flight, on March 31, ended with cutting SN 11 on the launch pad.  The fog covered the huge rocket that prevented the world from seeing it take off and the massive explosion upon its return

The most recent test flight, on March 31, ended with cutting SN 11 on the launch pad. The fog covered the huge rocket that prevented the world from seeing it take off and the massive explosion upon its return

Musk aims to use the Starship test to finalize the final rockets to take humans to Mars, but his company has seen no one survive the first test flight on Earth.

The most recent test flight, on March 31, ended with cutting SN 11 on the launch pad.

The massive rocket was covered in fog as it stood tall on the launch pad, only revealing itself when it ignited the three Raptor engines that fired streams of fire gushing from the base.

SN11 took off, flying over the test facility as it attempted to hit a target six miles in the sky.

However, after 2.5 minutes of its flight, SpaceX’s live broadcast froze – leaving the ground team and the world in the dark.

Moments later, a loud boom was heard, the sky around the launch pad lit up and debris fell from the sky.

A passerby found a piece of the charred missile five miles outside.

“Vehicle 11 won’t come back, don’t wait to land,” SpaceX engineer John Innsbrucker, who hosted the live broadcast, said.

“It looks like we’ve lost all the data from the car.”

Musk later revealed on Twitter that a (relatively) small leak of methane led to its demise, which caused the SN10 explosion weeks earlier.

Moments later, a loud boom was heard, the sky around the launch pad lit up and debris fell from the sky.  A passerby found a piece of the charred missile five miles outside

Moments later, a loud boom was heard, the sky around the launch pad lit up and debris fell from the sky. A passerby found a piece of the charred missile five miles outside

When the SN15 is fired (pictured), it will ignite the three powerful Raptor engines at its base and fire over the test facility.  After the missile has reached the six-mile mark, the missile will hover in place for a few seconds with just one missile, then perform the infamous side-flip flops.

When the SN15 is fired (pictured), it will ignite the three powerful Raptor engines at its base and fire over the test facility. After the missile reaches the six-mile mark, the missile will hover in place for a few seconds with just one missile, then perform the infamous side-flip.

Musk announced on Twitter a few hours after the SN11 explosion that ‘SN15 turns into a launch pad in a few days. It has hundreds of design improvements across structures, avionics / software, and engines. Hopefully, one of these improvements will cover that issue. If not, the retrofit will add a few more days.

The reason the prototype jumped from 11 to 15 was due to SpaceX’s rapid progress in design upgrades – the SN12 was scrapped to SN14 due to it being outdated.

The SN10 was the first of four previous ships that survived the landing, but the massive missile detonated about 10 minutes later due to a methane gas leak.

SN8 and SN9 each exploded in a ball of flame the moment they landed.

The Starship is constructed from stainless steel, standing 160 feet high, and equipped with cone nose and side panels.

Each missile launched was tasked with collecting data throughout the flight to better optimize the next missile.

WHAT IS THE ELON MUSK’S BFR?

BFR (Big F *** ing Rocket), now known as the Starship, will complete all missions and are smaller than those announced by Musk in 2016.

The SpaceX CEO said the missile will make its first flight to the Red Planet in 2022, carrying only a cargo, followed by a manned mission in 2024, and claimed that other SpaceX products will be “scrapped” to pay for them.

The rocket will be partially reusable and capable of flying directly from Earth to Mars.

Musk believes that once the missile is built it can be used to travel on the ground – saying that passengers will be able to get anywhere in less than an hour.