SpaceX Starship development

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Mars Colonial Transporter)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Prototypes of Starship at SpaceX Starbase

In 2005, the American aerospace company SpaceX first publicly announced a rocket concept with the capabilities of Starship. After major changes to the rocket design, on 25 July 2019, Starhopper performed the first successful flight by any Starship prototype at SpaceX Starbase near Boca Chica, Texas. The first full-scale Starship prototype to fly was SN8, which crashed upon landing in December 2020. After two more crashes, in May 2021, SN15 became the first test article to land successfully. The stacked Ship 20 and Booster 4 are expected to perform the first orbital test flight of the whole Starship launch system in early 2022.[1]


In November 2005, SpaceX first referenced a launch vehicle concept with Starship's capabilities. Musk briefly mentioned a theoretical heavy‑lift launch vehicle code-named BFR, powered by a larger version of the Merlin engine called Merlin 2.[2]

As early as 2007, Musk had stated a personal goal of eventually enabling human exploration and settlement of Mars.[3][4] Bits of additional information about the mission architecture were released in 2011–2015, including a 2014 statement that initial colonists would arrive at Mars no earlier than the middle of the 2020s,[5] and SpaceX began development of the large Raptor rocket engine for the MCT before 2014. Musk stated in a 2011 interview that he hoped to send humans to Mars' surface within 10–20 years,[4] and in late 2012 that he envisioned the first colonists arriving no earlier than the middle of the 2020s.[5][6][7]

Design evolution[edit]

Mars Colonial Transporter[edit]

In October 2012, Musk first publicly articulated a high-level plan to build a second reusable rocket system with capabilities substantially beyond that of the SpaceX Falcon 9 fleet, on which the company had by then spent several billion US dollars.[8] The launch vehicle was mentioned as part of a description of the company's overall Mars system architecture, then known as Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT).[5] It was proposed as a privately funded development project to design and build a spaceflight system[9] of reusable rocket engines, launch vehicles and space capsules to eventually transport humans to Mars and return them to Earth. Gwynne Shotwell mentioned that the payload capacity would be possibly 150–200 tons low Earth orbit.[8] The MCT vehicle was to be "an evolution of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster ... much bigger [than Falcon 9]." But Musk indicated that SpaceX would not be speaking publicly about it until 2013.[5][10]

In June 2013, Musk stated that he intended to hold off any potential IPO of SpaceX shares on the stock market until after the "Mars Colonial Transporter is flying regularly."[11][12]

In February 2014, the principal payload for the MCT was announced to be a large interplanetary spacecraft, capable of carrying up to 100 tonnes (220,000 lb) of passengers and cargo.[13] Musk stated that MCT will be "100 times the size of an SUV".[14] According to SpaceX engine development head Tom Mueller, concept designs at the time indicated SpaceX could use nine Raptor engines on a single rocket, similar to the use of nine Merlin engines on each Falcon 9 booster core, in order "to put over 100 tons of cargo on Mars."[14] At that time, it appeared that the large rocket core that would be used for the booster stage to be used with MCT would be at least 10 meters (33 ft) in diameter — nearly three times the diameter and over seven times the cross-sectional area of the Falcon 9 booster cores—and was expected to have up to three rocket cores with a total of at least 27 engines.[9]

By August 2014, media sources speculated that the initial flight test of the Raptor-driven super-heavy launch vehicle could occur as early as 2020, in order to fully test the engines under orbital spaceflight conditions; however, any colonization effort was then reported to continue to be "deep into the future".[15][16]

Musk stated in June 2016 that the first uncrewed MCT Mars flight could happen as early as 2022, to be followed by the first crewed MCT Mars flight departing as early as 2024.[17][18] By mid-2016, the company continued to call for the arrival of the first humans on Mars no earlier than 2025.[17]

Interplanetary Transport System[edit]

Interplanetary Transport System
Interplanetary Transport System (29937258496).jpg
Artist's conception of the ITS at liftoff
Has use
Country of originUnited States
Cost per launchUS$430 million (expendable)
Height122 m (400 ft)
Diameter12 m (39 ft)
Mass10,500 t (23,100,000 lb)
Payload to LEO
Mass300 t (660,000 lb) (reusable)
550 t (1,210,000 lb) (expendable)
Payload to Mars
Mass450 t (990,000 lb) (with refueling)
Associated rockets
Based onMars Colonial Transporter
Derivative workBig Falcon Rocket
Launch history
StatusDeveloped into the BFR
Launch sitesKSC LC-39A
First stage – ITS Booster
Height77.5 m (254 ft)
Diameter12 m (39 ft)
Empty mass275 t (606,000 lb)
Gross mass6,975 t (15,377,000 lb)
Propellant mass6,700 t (14,800,000 lb)
Powered by42 Raptor
Maximum thrust128 MN (29,000,000 lbf)
Specific impulse334 s (3.28 km/s)
PropellantSubcooled LCH4 / LOX
Second stage – ITS Tanker
Height49.5 m (162 ft)
Diameter12 m (39 ft)
17 m (56 ft) (incl. legs)
Empty mass90 t (200,000 lb)
Gross mass2,590 t (5,710,000 lb)
Propellant mass2,500 t (5,500,000 lb)
Powered by3 Raptor
6 Raptor Vacuum
Maximum thrust31 MN (7,000,000 lbf)
PropellantSubcooled LCH4 / LOX
Second stage – Interplanetary Spaceship
Height49.5 m (162 ft)
Diameter12 m (39 ft)
17 m (56 ft) (incl. legs)
Empty mass150 t (330,000 lb)
Gross mass2,100 t (4,600,000 lb)
Propellant mass1,950 t (4,300,000 lb)
Powered by3 Raptor
6 Raptor Vacuum
Maximum thrust31 MN (7,000,000 lbf)
PropellantSubcooled LCH4 / LOX

In January 2015, Musk said that he hoped to release details of a "completely new architecture" for the Mars transport system in late 2015, but this was later delayed to 2016.[13][19] By 2016, the rocket had not yet been given a formal name by SpaceX, although Musk commented on a proposal on Twitter to name it "Millennium".[20]

In mid-September 2016, Musk noted that the Mars Colonial Transporter name would not continue, as the system would be able to "go well beyond Mars", and that a new name would be needed. The name selected was Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), although in an AMA on Reddit on 23 October 2016, Musk stated, "I think we need a new name. ITS just isn't working. I'm using BFR and BFS for the rocket and spaceship, which is fine internally, but...", without stating what the new name might be.[21]

Musk unveiled details of the space mission architecture, launch vehicle, spacecraft, and Raptor engines that power the vehicles at the 67th International Astronautical Congress on 27 September 2016. The first firing of a Raptor engine occurred on a test stand in September 2016 as well.[22][23]

In 2016, the first test launch of ITS second stage was not expected until 2020 or later, and the first flight of the ITS booster was expected to follow a year or more later.[24] Early Mars flights—in the mid-2020s or later—were expected to carry mostly equipment and few people.[5]

In October 2016, Musk indicated that the initial prepreg carbon-fiber tank test article, built with no sealing liner, had performed well in initial cryogenic fluid testing, and that a pressure test of the tank at approximately 2/3 of the design burst pressure was slated for later in 2016, with the very large tank placed on an ocean barge for the test.[25] This test was completed in November 2016.[26]

In July 2017, Musk indicated that the architecture had "evolved quite a bit" since the 2016 articulation of the Mars architecture. A key driver of the updated architecture was to be making the system useful for substantial Earth-orbit and cislunar launches so that the system might pay for itself, in part, through economic spaceflight activities in the near-Earth space zone.[27]


The ITS stack was composed of two stages. The first stage would be the "ITS booster", while the second stage would have been either an "Interplanetary Spaceship" for crewed transport or an "ITS tanker" for on-orbit refueling.

Both stages of the ITS were to be powered by Raptor bipropellant liquid rocket engines in a full flow staged combustion cycle, with liquid methane fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer.[28] Both propellants would be fully in the gas phase before entering the Raptor combustion chamber.[9] Both stages were intended to utilize a bleed-off of the high-pressure gas for autogenous pressurization of the propellant tanks, eliminating the problematic high-pressure helium pressurization system used in the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.[29][30][22]

The overall launch vehicle height, first stage and the integrated second-stage/spacecraft, was 122 m (400 ft).[31] Both stages of the ITS were to have been constructed of lightweight carbon fiber, even the deep-cryogenic propellant tanks, a major change from the aluminum-lithium alloy tank and structure material used in SpaceX Falcon 9 family of launch vehicles. Both stages are fully reusable and will land vertically, technology initially developed on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle first stages in 2012–2016.[29][30] Gross liftoff mass is 10,500 tonnes (23,100,000 lb) at a lift-off thrust of 128 meganewtons (29,000,000 lbf). ITS would be able to carry a payload to low-Earth orbit of 550 tonnes (1,210,000 lb) in expendable-mode and 300 tonnes (660,000 lb) in reusable mode.[32]

ITS booster[edit]

The ITS booster was a 12 m-diameter (39 ft), 77.5 m-high (254 ft), reusable first stage, to be powered by 42 sea-level rated Raptor engines producing some 3,024 kilonewtons (680,000 lbf) of thrust in each engine. Total booster thrust would have been approximately 128 MN (29,000,000 lbf) at liftoff, several times the 36 MN (8,000,000 lbf) thrust of the Saturn V.[29]

The design engine configuration included 21 engines in an outer ring and 14 in an inner ring, with these 35 engines fixed in place. The center cluster of seven engines was to be gimbaled for directional control, although some directional control to the rocket was to be performed by utilizing differential thrust on the fixed engines. Design thrust on each engine was aimed to be variable between 20 and 100 percent of rated thrust.[30]

The methane and oxygen propellants would also be used to power the reaction control thrusters, although the propellant would be in the gas phase rather than the cryogenic liquid that fed the main engines. These thrusters would control booster orientation in space, as well as provide additional accuracy during landing.[30]

The design was intended to achieve a separation velocity of approximately 8,650 km/h (5,370 mph) while retaining about 7% of the total initial propellant load to bring the booster back to the launch pad for a vertical landing, to be followed by inspection and relaunch.[30][33]

The design called for grid fins to be used to guide the booster during atmospheric reentry.[30] The booster return flights were expected to encounter loads lower than those experienced on the Falcon 9 reentries, principally because the ITS would have both a lower mass ratio and a lower density than Falcon 9.[25] The booster was to be designed for 20 g nominal loads, and possibly as high as 30–40 g without breaking up.[25]

In contrast to the landing approach used on SpaceX's mid-2010s reusable rocket first stages—either a large, flat concrete pad or downrange floating landing platform used with Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy—the ITS booster was to be designed to land on the launch mount itself, where it may then be refueled with propellant and relaunched.[30]

ITS second stage[edit]

The ITS did not have a dedicated and single-function second stage in the way most launch vehicles have had. Instead, the upper stage function of gaining sufficient velocity to place a payload into Earth orbit is provided as a relatively short-term role by a spacecraft that has all the requisite systems for long-duration spaceflight.

The Interplanetary Spaceship was a large passenger-carrying spacecraft design proposed by SpaceX as part of their ITS launch vehicle in September 2016. The ship would operate as a second-stage of the orbital launch vehicle, and would also be the interplanetary transport vehicle for both cargo and passengers. The Interplanetary Spaceship would be capable of transporting up to 450 tonnes (990,000 lb) of cargo per trip to Mars following refueling in Earth orbit.[29] The three sea-level Raptor engines would be used for maneuvering, descent, and landing, as well as an initial ascent from the surface of Mars.[29]

The ITS tanker was a propellant tanker variant of the ITS second stage. This spacecraft design was to be used exclusively for transporting up to 380 tonnes (840,000 lb) of propellants to low Earth orbit to refuel Interplanetary Spaceships. To fully fuel an Interplanetary Spaceship for a long-duration interplanetary flight, it was expected that up to five tankers would be required to launch from Earth, transferring a total of nearly 1,900 tonnes (4,200,000 lb) of propellant to fully load the spaceship for the journey.[32][30] After refueling operations, the reusable tanker was to reenter the Earth's atmosphere, land, and be prepared for another tanker flight.[32]


2016 artist's concept of ITS booster returning to the launch pad

Both stages were to be designed by SpaceX to be fully reusable and were to land vertically, using a set of technologies previously developed by SpaceX and tested in 2013–2016 on a variety of Falcon 9 test vehicles as well as actual Falcon 9 launch vehicles.[29]

Importantly, the "fully and rapidly reusable" aspect of the ITS design was the largest factor in the SpaceX analysis for bringing down the currently huge cost of transporting mass to space, in general, and to interplanetary destinations, in particular. While the transport system under development in 2016-2017 relied on a combination of several elements to make long-duration beyond Earth orbit (BEO) spaceflights possible by reducing the cost per ton delivered to Mars, the reusability aspect of the launch and spacecraft vehicles alone was expected by SpaceX to reduce that cost by approximately 2 1/2 orders of magnitude over what NASA had previously achieved on similar missions. Musk stated that this is over half of the total 4 1/2 orders of magnitude reduction that he believes is needed to enable a sustainable settlement off Earth to emerge.[34][32]

Big Falcon Rocket[edit]

Big Falcon Rocket
BFR in orbit, 2017.PNG
2017 artist's conception of the Big Falcon Ship (BFS) with payload bay door open
Has use
Country of originUnited States
Height106 m (348 ft)
Diameter9 m (30 ft)
Payload to LEO
Mass150 t (330,000 lb) (reusable)
Associated rockets
Based onInterplanetary Transport System
Derivative workSpaceX Starship system
Launch history
StatusDeveloped into the Starship system
Launch sitesKSC LC-39A
First stage – Big Falcon Booster
Diameter9 m (30 ft)
Powered by31 Raptor
Maximum thrust62 MN (14,000,000 lbf)
PropellantSubcooled LCH4 / LOX
Second stage – Big Falcon Ship
Diameter9 m (30 ft)
Powered by2 (later 3) sea-level Raptor
4 vacuum Raptor
PropellantSubcooled LCH4 / LOX

In September 2017, at the 68th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, Musk announced a new launch vehicle called the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). He said, "we are searching for the right name, but the code name, at least, is BFR."[35] Its aspirational goal was to send the first two cargo missions to Mars in 2022,[36] with the goal to "confirm water resources and identify hazards" while deploying "power, mining, and life support infrastructure" in place for future flights. This would be followed by four ships in 2024, two crewed BFR spaceships plus two cargo-only ships bringing additional equipment and supplies with the goal of setting up the propellant production plant.[35]

The engine layout, reentry aerodynamic surface designs, and even the basic material of construction have each changed markedly since the initial public unveiling of the BFR in 2017, in order to balance objectives such as payload mass, landing capabilities, and reliability. The initial design at the unveiling showed the ship with six Raptor engines (two sea-level, four vacuum) instead of nine engines used in the previous ITS design.[35]

By September 2017, Raptor engines had been tested for a combined total of 1,200 seconds of test firing time over 42 main engine tests. The longest test was 100 seconds, which was limited by the size of the propellant tanks at the SpaceX ground test facility. The test engine operates at 20 MPa (200 bar; 2,900 psi) pressure. The flight engine is aimed for 25 MPa (250 bar; 3,600 psi), and SpaceX expects to achieve 30 MPa (300 bar; 4,400 psi) in later iterations.[35] In November 2017, SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell indicated that approximately half of all development work on BFR was then focused on the Raptor engine.[37]

Back in 2015, SpaceX had been scouting for manufacturing facility locations to build the large rocket, with locations being investigated in California, Texas, Louisiana,[38] and Florida.[39] By September 2017, SpaceX had already started building launch vehicle components: "The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built, we will start construction of the first ship [in the second quarter of 2018.]"[35] By early 2018, the first ship using carbon composite structure was under construction, and SpaceX had begun building a new permanent production facility to build the 9-meter vehicles at the Port of Los Angeles. Manufacture of the first ship was underway by March 2018 in a temporary facility at the port,[40] with first suborbital test flights planned for no earlier than 2019.[40][41]

In March 2018, SpaceX announced that it would manufacture its next-generation, 9-meter-diameter (30 ft) launch vehicle and spaceship at a new facility the company is constructing in 2018–2019 on Seaside Drive at the Port of Los Angeles. The company had leased an 18-acre (7.3 ha) site for 10 years, with multiple renewals possible, and would use the site for manufacturing, recovery from shipborne landings, and refurbishment of both the booster and the spaceship.[42][43][44] Final regulatory approval of the new manufacturing facility came from the Board of Harbor Commissioners in April 2018,[38] and the Los Angeles City Council in May.[45] By that time, approximately 40 SpaceX employees were working on the design and construction of the BFR.[38] Over time, the project was expected to have 700 technical jobs.[39] The permanent Port of Los Angeles facility was projected to be a 203,500-square-foot (18,910 m2) building that would be 105 feet (32 m) tall.[46] The fully assembled launch vehicle was expected at that time to be transported by barge, through the Panama Canal, to Cape Canaveral in Florida for launch.[38]

In August 2018, for the first time, the US military publicly discussed interest in using the BFR. The head of USAF Air Mobility Command was specifically interested in the ability of the BFR to move up to 150 t (330,000 lb) of cargo to anywhere in the world using the projected Earth-to-Earth capability in under 30 minutes, for "less than the cost of a C-5". They projected the large transport capability "could happen within the next five to 10 years."[47][48]


The BFR was a 106-meter (348 ft) tall, 9-meter (30 ft) diameter carbon-fiber launch vehicle. The vehicle would initially be used for Earth orbit and cislunar operations, and later for flights to Mars.[36][49]

The BFR upper stage, also known as Big Falcon Ship (BFS), was cylindrical and included a small delta wing at the rear end with split flaps for pitch and roll control. The delta wing and split flaps were said to be needed to expand the flight envelope to allow the ship to land in a variety of atmospheric densities (vacuum, thin, or heavy atmosphere) with a wide range of payloads in the nose of the ship.[36][35]: 18:05–19:25  The BFS originally had six Raptor engines, with four vacuum and two sea-level. By late 2017, SpaceX added a third sea-level engine to the conceptual design to increase engine-out capability and allow landings with greater payload mass, bringing the total number of engines to seven.[50]

Three versions of the BFS were described: BFS cargo, BFS tanker, and BFS crew. The cargo version would be used to launch satellites to Earth orbit, delivering "significantly more satellites at a time than anything that has been done before"[36] as well as cargo to the Moon or Mars. After retanking in an elliptical Earth orbit, the BFS could land on the Moon and return to Earth without further refueling.[36][35]: 31:50 

Additionally, the BFR was shown to theoretically have the capability to carry passengers and/or cargo in rapid Earth-to-Earth transport, delivering its payload anywhere on Earth within 90 minutes.[36]

Starship and Super Heavy[edit]

2018 artist's conception of the redesigned BFS/Starship at stage separation.

In a September 2018 announcement of a planned 2023 lunar circumnavigation mission, a private flight called #dearMoon project,[51] Musk showed a redesigned concept for the BFS with three rear fins and two front canard fins added for atmospheric entry, replacing the previous delta wing and split flaps shown a year earlier. The revised BFR design was to use seven identically sized Raptor engines in the second stage; the same engine model as would be used in the first stage. The second stage design had two small actuating canard fins near the nose of the ship, and three large fins at the base, two of which would actuate, with all three serving as landing legs.[52]

The two major parts of the redesigned BFR were subsequently renamed to "Starship" for the upper stage and "Super Heavy" for the booster stage, which Musk pointed out was "needed to escape Earth's deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)."[53] In 2019, SpaceX began to refer to the entire stack of Starship and Super Heavy as the "SpaceX Starship system",[54][55] although they also continue to use "Starship" to refer to only the spacecraft.[56][57]

In January 2019, Musk announced that Starship and Super Heavy would be made from stainless steel instead of carbon fiber.[58] He stated the reason for using this material is that "it's [stainless steel] obviously cheap, it's obviously fast—but it's not obviously the lightest. But it is actually the lightest. If you look at the properties of a high-quality stainless steel, the thing that isn't obvious is that at cryogenic temperatures, the strength is boosted by 50 percent."[59] The high melting point of 300-series still would mean the leeward side of Starship would need no insulation during reentry, while the much hotter windward side would be cooled by allowing fuel or water to bleed through micropores in a double-wall stainless steel skin, removing heat by evaporation.

In May 2019, the final design for Sarship was changed back to six Raptor engines, with three optimized for sea-level and three optimized for vacuum.[60] Also clarified was that the initial prototype Super Heavy will be full size,[61] but was subsequently clarified that it would make initial test flights with less than the full complement of engines, perhaps approximately 20.[62]

In September 2019, Musk provided updated specifications for Starship: when optimized, Starship was expected to have empty mass of 120,000 kg (260,000 lb) and be able to initially transport a payload of 100,000 kg (220,000 lb) with an objective of growing that to 150,000 kg (330,000 lb) over time. Musk also hinted at an expendable variant capable of placing 250,000 kg into Low-Earth Orbit.[63][failed verification] He also suggested that an orbital flight might be achieved by the fourth or fifth test prototype in 2020, using a Super Heavy booster in a two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle configuration,[64][65] and emphasis was placed on possible future lunar missions.[66]

As the Raptor engine design was iterated, and higher thrust versions tested well on the test stand, the number of engines in the Super Heavy booster stage changed. Super Heavy was initially announced to have as many as 37 Raptor engines on the first stage, and a design with 31 engines was the public plan as late as May 2020.[67] However, in August 2020, Musk stated that the design had changed: "It might be 28 engines," as a result of engine design changes including increased chamber pressure and a higher thrust-to-weight ratio. In August 2020, Elon Musk expected a Super Heavy prototype for September or October.[68] Musk clarified that SpaceX intends to fly hundreds of cargo flights with Starship before carrying human passengers.[69]

In February 2021 SpaceX completed raising an additional US$3.5 billion in equity financing over the previous six months,[70][71] to support the capital-intensive phase of Starship launch system development and the operational fielding of the Starlink satellite constellation.[70] In April, SpaceX clarified that they continue to expect the "point-to-point transportation between two locations on Earth" use case to be operational and flying "large numbers of people" within five years.[70]

The early atmospheric descent tests in 2020 through May 2021 provided SpaceX sufficient test data on the aerodynamics that by July 2021, Starship second stage body flaps were redesigned to be both narrower and lighter.[72]

Starship prototypes[edit]

Videos of Starship flight tests
From and SpaceX
video icon Starhopper 150m hop
video icon Starship SN5 150m hop
video icon Starship SN8 failed 12.5km test flight
video icon Starship SN9 failed 10km test flight
video icon Starship SN10 failed 10km test flight
video icon Starship SN11 failed 10km test flight
video icon Starship SN15 10km test flight

SpaceX's development approach is iterative and incremental,[73][74] by building and launching many prototypes to collect data and refine its design, similar to Falcon 9 development.[75] These prototypes are subjected to several tests before launch. The first of which are proof pressure tests, which is filling the vehicle tanks with a liquid or gas to test their strength and factor of safety. SpaceX may choose to test some of the tanks to the limit, deliberately bursting them due to the immense pressure of liquids inside. After rehearsals are completed, finally, prototypes static fire by firing their engines for a short amount of time. Vehicles after passing these tests are going to either fly within the atmosphere, or launching to orbit. Flight of the vehicle involves flying to a certain height, descent and landing. Orbital launch test would occur similarly to a Starship launch when operational, involving launch, Super Heavy's separation and landing, and Starship spacecraft's landing.[76]: 15–19 

Name First spotted[a] First static fire Maiden flight Decommissioned Construction site Status Flights
Starhopper December 2018[77] 3 April 2019[78] 25 July 2019[79] August 2019[80] Boca Chica, Texas Repurposed[81][82] 2
Mk1 December 2018[83] N/A N/A 20 November 2019[84] Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed 0
Mk2 May 2019[85] N/A N/A November 2019[86][87] Cocoa, Florida Scrapped 0
Mk3/SN1 c. October 2019[88] N/A N/A 28 February 2020[89] Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed 0
Mk4 c. September 2019[88] N/A N/A November 2019[86][90] Cocoa, Florida Scrapped 0
SN3 March 2020[91] N/A N/A 3 April 2020[92] Boca Chica, Texas Partly reused 0
SN4 April 2020[93][94] 5 May 2020[95] N/A 29 May 2020[96] Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed 0
SN5 April 2020[94] 27 July 2020[97] 4 August 2020[98] February 2021[99] Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped 1
SN6 May 2020[100][101] 23 August 2020[102] 3 September 2020[103] January 2021[104][99] Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped 1
SN8 July 2020[105] 20 October 2020 9 December 2020[106] 9 December 2020[106] Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed 1
SN9 August 2020[107] 6 January 2021[108] 2 February 2021[108] 2 February 2021[108] Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed 1
SN10 September 2020[109] 23 February 2021[110] 3 March 2021[111] 3 March 2021[111] Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed[b] 1
SN11 September 2020[112] 22 March 2021[113] 30 March 2021[114] 30 March 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Destroyed 1
SN12 September 2020[115] N/A N/A February 2021[116] Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[c][116] 0
SN13 October 2020[119] N/A N/A February 2021[116] Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[116] 0
SN14 October 2020[120] N/A N/A February 2021[116] Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[116] 0
SN15 November 2020[121] 26 April 2021[122][123] 5 May 2021[124] 31 May 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Retired[125] 1
SN16 December 2020[126] Not yet Not yet Un­known[127] Boca Chica, Texas Possibly retired[128] 0
SN17 December 2020[129] N/A N/A May 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[130] 0
SN18 January 2021[131] N/A N/A June 2021 Boca Chica, Texas N/A 0
SN19 February 2021[132] N/A N/A June 2021 Boca Chica, Texas N/A 0
SN20/Ship 20 March 2021[133] 21 October 2021 Not yet Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Testing[134] 0
Ship 21 3 July 2021[135] Not yet Not yet December 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[136] 0
Ship 22 September 2021 Not yet Not yet Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Stacking 0
Ship 23 October 2021 Not yet Not yet Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Under Construction 0
Ship 24 November 2021 Not yet Not yet Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Under Construction 0
  1. ^ May just be a part rather than complete vehicle.
  2. ^ Landed successfully after 10 km test flight, but exploded during vehicle safing procedures on landing pad
  3. ^ Never completed as flight vehicle. Repurposed as a structural testing unit in March 2021[117][118]


Starhopper in March 2019
Starhopper configuration as flown in August 2019

On 23 December 2018, it was revealed that the initial test article—the Starship Hopper,[137] Hopper, or Starhopper[138][139]—had been under construction at Boca Chica for several weeks, out in the open on SpaceX property. The Starhopper was being built from a 300-series stainless steel. The Starhopper had a single engine and was used for a test flight to develop the landing and low-altitude/low-velocity control algorithms.

From mid-January to early-March 2019, a major focus of the manufacture of the test article was to complete the pressure vessel construction for the liquid methane and liquid oxygen tanks, including plumbing up the system, and moving the lower tank section of the vehicle 3.2 km (2.0 mi) to the launch pad on 8 March 2019.[140] Integrated system testing of the Starhopper—with the newly built ground support equipment (GSE) at the SpaceX South Texas facilities—began in March 2019. "These tests involved fueling Starhopper with LOX and liquid methane and testing the pressurization systems, observed via icing of propellant lines leading to the vehicle and the venting of cryogenic boil off at the launch/test site. During a period of over a week, Starhopper underwent almost daily tanking tests, wet dress rehearsals, and a few pre-burner tests."[141] In early 2019, a storm impacted the Texas site, blowing over the top nose cone of Starhopper and damaging it. It was thought that a rebuild of the nose cone was required; however, in the end SpaceX decided to forgo the use of a nose cone altogether and use the Starhopper vehicle without a nose cone.[141]

Flight tests[edit]

On 3 April 2019, SpaceX conducted a static fire test in Texas of its Starhopper vehicle, which ignited the engine while the vehicle remained tethered to the ground.[142] The firing was a few seconds in duration, and was classed as successful by SpaceX. The vehicle might have lifted off the ground, but this would have only been to the height of few inches, and it was not possible to see the lift off in public video recordings of the test.[141] A second tethered test followed just two days later, on 5 April 2019. This time the vehicle rose off the ground to hit tether limit of about 1 metre altitude.[143][144][141]

By May 2019, SpaceX was planning to conduct flight tests both in South Texas and on the Florida space coast.[145][146][147] The FAA issued a one-year experimental permit in June 2019 to fly Starhopper at Boca Chica, including pre-flight and post-flight ground operations.[148] By late May 2019, while the Starhopper was preparing for untethered flight tests in South Texas, they were building two high-altitude prototypes simultaneously, Mk1 in Texas and Mk2 in Florida. The two ships were constructed by competing teams—that were required to share progress, insights, and build techniques with the other team, but neither team is required to use the other team's techniques.[145][146][143] The larger Mk1 and Mk2 test vehicles featured three Raptor methalox engines meant to reach an altitude of no more than 5 km (3.1 mi), and the initial flight was expected no earlier than the first half of 2019.[149][150] Construction of a Mk3 prototype began in late-2019. A first orbital flight was not expected until Mk4 or Mk5 in mid 2020.[151] The build of the first Super Heavy booster stage was projected to be able to start by September.[146] At the time, neither of the two orbital prototypes yet had aerodynamic control surfaces nor landing legs added to the under construction tank structures, and Musk indicated that the design for both would be changing once again.[152] On 21 September 2019, the externally-visible "moving fins"[153] began to be added to the Mk1 prototype, giving a view into the promised mid-2019 redesign of the aerodynamic control surfaces for the test vehicles.[154][155]

On 25 July 2019, the Starhopper made its initial flight test, a "hop" of approximately 20 m (66 ft) altitude,[156] and a second and final "hop" on 27 August, reaching an altitude of approximately 150 m (490 ft)[157] and landing approximately 100 m (110 yd) from the launchpad, demonstrating the first use of the Raptor engine in real flight. Starhopper remains situated next to launch area.

Mark series (Mk1 - Mk4)[edit]

Starship Mk1 in September 2019

At the September 2019 presentation, Elon Musk unveiled Starship Mk1.[158][159] The Mk1 prototype was 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and approximately 50 m (160 ft) tall,[151] with an empty mass of 200 t (440,000 lb). It was intended to be used for testing the flight and reentry profiles, with the end goal of a suborbital flight. It was briefly equipped with three sea-level Raptor engines, two fins each at the front and back, and a nose cone containing cold-gas reaction control thrusters for attitude control. All of these were removed after the presentation.[160]

Construction began on the Starship Mk4 in Florida by mid-October 2019.[161] A few weeks later, the work on the vehicles in Florida paused, with Mk4 being scrapped. Some assemblies that had been built in Florida were transported to the Texas assembly location in Boca Chica; there was reportedly an 80% reduction in the workforce at the Florida assembly location as SpaceX paused activities there.[86]

On 20 November 2019, the Starship Mk1 came apart during a pressure test.[162][163] Mk2 was never completed. The same day, SpaceX stated they would stop developing Mk1 and Mk2 and move on to work on the Mk3 and Mk4 articles.[86][87][164]

In December 2019, Musk announced that the Starship Mk3 would be redesignated "Starship SN1" and there would be at least minor design improvements at least through Starship SN20.[165] In January 2020, SpaceX performed pressurization tests on two test article tanks in Boca Chica.[166] One such test took place on 10 January 2020, when a test tank was intentionally destroyed by over-pressurizing it; the tank achieved pressure of 7.1 bar (710 kPa).[167] Later, another test tank underwent at least two pressurization tests; in the first experiment, on Monday 27 January 2020, the test tank withstood a pressure of 7.5 bar (750 kPa)[168] before springing a leak. The leak was welded and the tank subjected to cryogenic pressure test on 28 January 2020, when the tank was intentionally pressurized until it ruptured and was destroyed at the pressure of 8.5 bar (850 kPa)[169] The test was however considered a success despite the destruction of the tank, as the pressure reached 8.5 bar (850 kPa), the pressure the tank needed to hold to be considered safe for human spaceflight; that is, the tank demonstrated a safety factor of 1.4 (1.4 times the operational pressure).[170][171]

SpaceX began construction of internal components for the SN1 vehicle in December 2019. The company began stacking SN1 in February 2020 after a series of pressurization tests on propellant tank prototypes. The weld quality of the rings had been improved,[172] but SN1 was destroyed during a cryogenic pressurization test on 28 February 2020 due to a design failure in the lower tank thrust structure.[173] The structure ruptured from the bottom up, with most of the top part sent flying in the air and crashing into the ground. The loss of SN1 was similar to the loss of Starship Mk1 in November 2019, leaving little of the vehicle intact.[174]

Hops (SN3 - SN6)[edit]

Static fire of SN4.

In March 2020, Musk discussed SpaceX's future plans for Starship prototype tests. SN3 was planned to be used for static fire tests and short hops, while SN4 would be used for longer flights.[173]

Starship SN3 was destroyed during testing on 3 April 2020.[175][92] The cause of the failure was a testing configuration error.[76] The liquid oxygen tanks housed in the lower part of the prototype were pressurised with nitrogen in order to keep them structurally capable of withstanding the weight of the full methane tanks undergoing testing. A valve was inadvertently commanded to open resulting in pressure loss in a section. The section suffered a structural failure as it crumpled under the weight of the heavy methane and caused the top section to fall off.[76] SN4 was built reusing parts of SN3 not damaged during the mishap.[176]

Starship SN4 passed cryogenic pressure testing on 26 April 2020, making it the first prototype since the smaller SN2 test tank to do so.[177] On 5 and 7 May 2020, SN4 passed two static fires: One using the main tanks, while the other used the fuel header tank.[178] Three nights later after uninstalling the engine, a new cryogenic pressure test was conducted. On 19 May 2020 during the third test firing of the engine, vibrations shook loose the methane fuel piping in the engine causing a leak which ignited and spread to flammable insulation, the fire caused significant damage to the base of the rocket and destroyed the control wiring leaving SpaceX unable to command the depressurization of the fuel tanks for two days.[179] SN4 was destroyed on 29 May 2020 after a static fire test of its single Raptor engine, due to a failure with the Ground Support Equipment's quick-disconnect function.[180]

In March 2020, Musk had set "an aspirational goal" of using SN5 or SN6 to conduct an orbital flight of Starship before the end of 2020.[181] After a static fire test on 30 July 2020,[182] SN5 completed a 150-meter flight on 4 August 2020 with a single Raptor engine, SN27.[98][183] After the success of SN5, SN6 completed a static fire on 24 August 2020. On 3 September, Starship SN6 was tested in a 150-meter hop test flight with a single Raptor engine, SN29.

In March 2021, SN5 was moved to the scrapyard.[184] Meanwhile, SN6 was scrapped in January 2021.[185]

Flights (SN8 - SN19)[edit]

SN8 shortly after taking off during its test flight
Photograph of Elon Musk alongside the remains of Starship
Starship SN8 remains after it crashed to the ground
SN9 on Suborbital Pad B, with the production facility in the background.

In July 2020, Starship SN8 was planned to be built out of 304L stainless steel,[186] although it is believed there were still some parts made of 301 steel.[187] In late October and November, SpaceX conducted four static fires with the vehicle. During the third one, on 12 November 2020, debris from the pad caused the vehicle to lose pneumatics.[188] On 3 December 2020, SpaceX had lowered the altitude of a planned 15 km (9.3 mi) flight to 12.5 km (7.8 mi).[189] The launch took place on 9 December 2020 at 22:45 UTC. Launch, ascent, reorientation, and controlled descent were successful, but due to low pressure in the methane header tank,[190] the engines failed to produce enough thrust for a successful landing burn, resulting in SN8 being destroyed by impact forces.[191]

On 11 December 2020, the stand beneath the fully-built SN9 deformed causing the vehicle to tip and contact the walls inside the High Bay.[192] SN9 was subsequently secured vertical again on 14 December 2020, revealing damage to one of its canard fins. On 20 December 2020, a new forward flap replaced the damaged flap on SN9.[193] SN9 conducted 6 static fires in total, all in the month of January.[108] On 13 January 2021, SN9 underwent three separate static fires, just hours apart.[194] After some issues detected, it was decided to swap out two of its Raptor engines, engines 44 and 46.[195] After struggling to gain permission from the FAA to launch,[196] SN9 conducted a 10 km (6.2 mi) flight test on 2 February 2021. Similar to SN8, the ascent, engine cutoffs, reorientation and controlled descent were all stable, but one of the engines had an issue with the oxygen pre-burner and failed, causing the vehicle to lose control and crash into the landing pad.[197] After this, the landing pad was reinforced with an additional layer of concrete.[198]

After the failure of SN9 due to a Raptor engine ignition issue, Musk stated that future missions would light all three Raptors to perform the belly flop landing sequence, instead of only two. This acts as a failsafe in the case that one engine fails to ignite.[199][116] SN10's first cryogenic proof test occurred on 8 February, with a static fire following on 23 February.[110] After an engine was swapped out, another static fire occurred on 25 February.[200] On 13 February, Musk gave the probability of a successful landing as being about 60%.[201]

Two launch attempts were conducted on 3 March. The first launch attempt at 20:14 UTC was automatically aborted after a single Raptor engine produced too much thrust while throttling up. The expected launch was delayed by 3 hours after increasing the tolerance.[202] The day's second attempt resulted in a launch with ascent, engine cutoffs, flip maneuver, descent, flap control, and landing burn. After following the same flight profile as SN8 and SN9, SN10 became the first Starship prototype to land intact after a high-altitude test. However, the vehicle had a hard landing as it impacted the landing pad at 10 m/s, most likely due to partial helium ingestion from the fuel header tank. Three of the landing legs were not locked in place, causing a slight lean after landing. Although the vehicle remained intact upon landing, the impact crushed the legs and part of the leg skirt. The prototype suffered an explosion 8 minutes later, which sent the prototype flying in the air before crashing into the ground (similar to SN1). A methane leak may have been the cause of the explosion.[203][204]

On March 12, 2021, SN11 underwent a cryogenic proof test also including testing of the RCS (Reaction Control System).[205][206] On March 15, 2021, SN11 attempted a static fire test. However, immediately after ignition of the Raptor engines, the test was aborted.[207] On 22 March 2021, a second first static fire attempt was at 8:56 am CDT.[208] On 25 March 2021, it was reported by Michael Baylor on Twitter that one of the three Raptor Engines on SN11 had been removed for repairs.[209] Later on in the morning, a replacement Raptor engine arrived to the launch site and was installed on SN11 on 6:06am CDT time.[210] On March 26, 2021, a third static fire was attempted at 8:09 am CDT, seeming to last a normal duration.[211] A 10 km (32,800 ft) high altitude flight test was conducted in heavy fog on 30 March 2021. The flight saw engine cutoffs, flip maneuver, flap control and descent, however, a visible fire on engine 2[212] during the early ascent. Just after the defective engine was re-ignited for the landing burn, SN11 lost telemetry at T+ 5:49 and sounds similar to disintegration were heard. SN11 was then seen visually impacting the ground in multiple pieces shortly after the failure.[213] Elon Musk tweeted that a (relatively) small methane leak led to fire on engine 2 & fried part of avionics, causing hard start attempting landing burn in CH4 turbopump.[214]

Many of the components of SN12 were assembled and partially stacked. During January and February 2021, parts of SN12 were scrapped.[215] In March 2021, the nose cone and other components of SN12 were repurposed for a structural testing unit.

Elon Musk referenced major upgrades to the design for SN15 and later prototypes.[216] These include an improved avionics software suite, an updated aft skirt propellant architecture, and a new Raptor engine design and configuration.[217] A Starlink antenna on the side of the vehicle has been identified as a new feature.[218]

On 9 April 2021, SN15 underwent an ambient temperature pressure test.[219] A cryogenic proof test of SN15 was conducted on 12 April 2021, and a header tank cryogenic proof test was conducted on 13 April 2021.[220][221] The tests could have possibly made use of the thrust simulator installed on Suborbital Pad A.[222] On 14 April 2021, the thrust simulator attached to SN15 and Suborbital Pad A was removed.[223] A static fire was conducted on 26 April 2021,[122][123] and a header tank static fire was conducted on 27 April 2021.[224] A 10 km (33,000 ft) high-altitude flight test was conducted in heavy cloud on 5 May 2021. The launch saw ascent, engine cutoffs, flip maneuver, flap control and soft touchdown. A small fire near the base occurred shortly after landing, but was later extinguished.[225] SN15 was placed onto Suborbital Pad B on 14 May 2021.[226] After its Raptor engines were removed, it was rolled back to production site on 26 May 2021. On May 31, 2021, SN15 was moved and placed onto a display stand, and officially retiring and holding the honour of first Starship prototype to fly, land and be recovered [227]

As of August 2021, SN16 was fully stacked inside the Highbay for several weeks before it was rolled to out of the high bay and placed next to SN15 on June 17, 2021.[128] SN17 scrapping began around 6 June 2021.[130] Since March 2021, there has been speculation, but no known confirmation or denial, that SN18 and SN19 have been suspended.[228][229]

Orbital launches (SN20 - present)[edit]

SN20 getting its heat shield inspected
Static fire test of SN20 on 21 November 2021

SN20, also known as Ship 20, is planned to be launched atop the Super Heavy booster. SN20 has the thermal protection system covering much of the vehicle. If the whole Starship system is successful in leaving the vicinity of the launch mount, SpaceX is hopeful that the tests will continue on ascent through the upper atmosphere, the ship accelerate to orbital velocity, and then execute a test of the body flaps, vehicle attitude control and the heat shield at hypersonic speeds as the ship reenters the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean to a splashdown north of Hawaii.[230]

SN20 was rolled out to the launch mount on 5 August 2021 and placed on Booster 4 for a fit test.[133][231][232] NASASpaceflight announced via Twitter on 15 March 2021, that the prototype may fly atop of the Booster 3 as part of the first orbital flight test,[233] but this was changed to Ship 20 flying atop BN4.[234] FCC filings in May 2021 by SpaceX stated that the orbital flight will launch from Boca Chica. After separation, Starship will enter orbit and around 90 minutes later attempt a soft ocean landing around 100 km off the coast of Kauai.[235]

SN21 is currently under construction, with the thrust dome being spotted in July 2021.[135] On August 20, SN21's aft dome was spotted being sleeved.[236] SN21 has now been stacked into its primary components and is likely now awaiting the test campaign of Ship 20 to conclude before final stacking. Components for SN22, SN23, and SN24 have also all been spotted. SN22 is currently also in the process of being stacked alongside SN21,[237] while SN23 pieces have been seen as well.[238] Further, SN24's common dome has also been spotted, confirming that at least four future SN prototypes are currently under construction.[239]

Super Heavy prototypes[edit]

Booster 4 in the High Bay
Name First spotted[a] First static fire Maiden flight Decommissioned Construction site Status Flights
BN1[240] September 2020[241] N/A[242] N/A[242] 30 March 2021[242] Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[243][244] 0
BN3 March 2021[245][246] 19 July 2021[247] N/A 14 August 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Scrapped[248] 0
BN4 3 July 2021[249] Not yet Not yet Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Testing 0
BN5 19 July 2021[250] Not yet Not yet December 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Retired[251] 0
BN7 29 September 2021 Not yet Not yet Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Under Construction 0
  1. ^ The date of the first part for the booster being spotted

BN1 was the first Super-Heavy Booster prototype, designed to be a pathfinder and not intended to be flight-tested.[252] Sections of the ~70 m (230 ft) tall test article were manufactured throughout the fall, and stacking of the first prototype began in December 2020, inside the incomplete high bay building.[253] BN1 was fully stacked inside the high bay on 18 March 2021.[254] On 30 March 2021, Elon Musk stated that BN1 would be scrapped in favour of BN2 and will not roll out to the launch site and perform testing.[242] On 13 April 2021, the scrapping of BN1 commenced.[243]

BN3, or Booster 3,[255] had once been suggested it could be the first to make an orbital flight,[256][257] but it will actually only be used for ground tests. (Cryo test conducted on 13 July 2021)[258][234] Booster 3 completed stacking in the High Bay on 29 June 2021,[259] and moved to the test pad location on 1 July 2021.[260] Boosters do not have an engine skirt so when rolled out to the launch site without engines, boosters are about 3 meters shorter than a full size Super Heavy.[261] Three engines were subsequently added to BN3, making the vehicle a full-length booster.[262]

A static fire test of the booster was conducted 19 July 2021 with those three engines.[247] CEO Musk stated that a further static fire with 9 Raptor engines installed could happen depending on progress with Booster 4.[263] However, BN3/Booster 3 was scrapped on 15 August 2021.[248]

A section of BN4 was spotted in the High Bay on 3 July 2021. By 21 July it had been stacked to twelve rings tall, with the Methane Transfer Tube (aka Downcomer pipe) being installed in the early hours of 27 July. The launch appeared to take on new urgency with Elon Musk ordering several hundred of SpaceX's employees at Hawthorne to relocate to Boca Chica to speed up the development of SN20 and BN4, along with the Orbital Launch Platform[262] with a goal to have the Starship system on the pad by 5 August.[264] However, due to high winds, stacking of SN20 on top of BN4 was delayed until early morning August 6.[265] BN4 was fully stacked on 1 August, with it full complement of 29 engines—four less than the 33 planned in the operational design[266]—installed by 2 August. Grid fins have been added to support atmospheric reentry testing, but notably, the grid fins on the Booster 4 test article will not fold down for launch, as they do on the Falcon 9. Moreover, Musk indicated in late July that future optimizations in the iterative design process could result in further changes, perhaps even removal, to the grid fins from the Super Heavy design.[262]

BN4 may fly with Ship 20 as part of the first Starship Orbital Flight Test.[234] The booster is planned to perform a soft water landing in the Gulf of Mexico after the orbital launch.[235] It was moved to the launch complex on 3 August 2021. On 4 August 2021, Booster 4 was moved from the stand to the Orbital Launch Table and was mounted in place. Booster 4 has 29 Raptor engines installed.[267] Starship SN20 was stacked on top of Booster 4 on 6 August 2021 for a fitting test, making it the largest rocket ever stacked in the history of mankind.[268] Booster 4 was then brought back to the high bay for secondary wiring. On 9 September 2021, Booster 4 was brought back to the launch site and was put on top of the newly modified Orbital Launch mount.[269]

On 17 December 2021, BN4 completed its first cryogenic proof test,[270] and did a pneumatic proof test on 19 December. Two days later, it underwent another cryogenic proof test, which appeared to cycle. Another day later, it underwent a full-load cryogenic proof test.

Parts for BN5 have been observed at least as early as 19 July 2021.[250] On 11 September BN5's Common Dome Section has been spotted in the highbay, later on Booster 5's Forward Dome was seen being placed on the sleeving stand.[250] Stacking for BN5 completed in November 2021 and on December 8, 2021, BN5 was taken out of the High Bay and placed on a display stand alongside SN15 and SN16 waiting to be taken to the launch site after using BN4.

Test tanks[edit]

Name First spotted Decommissioned Construction site Cur. location Status Tests
TT1 January 2020[271] 10 January 2020[272] Boca Chica, Texas N/A Intentionally destroyed[272] 1
LOX HT January 2020[273] 25 January 2020[274] Boca Chica, Texas N/A Intentionally destroyed[274] 2
TT2 January 2020[275] 28 January 2020[276] Boca Chica, Texas N/A Intentionally destroyed[276] 2
SN2 February 2020[277] March 2020[278] Boca Chica, Texas Production site Retired[278] 1
SN7 May 2020[279] 23 June 2020[280] Boca Chica, Texas N/A Intentionally destroyed[280] 2
SN7.1 July 2020[186] 22 September 2020[281] Boca Chica, Texas N/A Intentionally destroyed[281] 2
SN7.2 December 2020[282] 22 May 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Production site Retired 2
BN2.1[283] 3 June 2021[284] 25 June 2021 Boca Chica, Texas Production site Retired 2
GSE 4.1 August 2021 Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Launch site Potential testing 1
B2.1 October 2021 Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Production site Idle 3
B6 October 2021 Not yet Boca Chica, Texas Production site Idle 0

TT1, LOX HTT, and TT2[edit]

The Test Tank 1 (TT1) was a subscale test tank consisting of two forward bulkheads connected by a small barrel section. TT1 was used to test new materials and construction methods. On 10 January 2020, TT1 was tested to failure as part of an ambient temperature test reaching a pressure of 7.1 bar (710 kPa) before rupturing.[272]

The Liquid Oxygen Header Test Tank (LOX HTT) was similar to TT1, but this time based on the LOX Header tank inside a nosecone section. On 24 January 2020, the tank underwent a pressurization test which lasted several hours.[285] The following day it was tested to destruction.[274]

The Test Tank 2 (TT2) was another subscale test tank similar to TT1. It consisted of two forward bulkheads connected by a small barrel section just like TT1. On 27 January 2020, TT2 underwent an ambient temperature pressure test where it reached a pressure of 7.5 bar (750 kPa) before a leak occurred.[168] Two days later, it underwent a cryogenic proof test to destruction, and burst at 8.5 bar.[286][276]

Starship test tanks[edit]

SN2 was a half-size test tank used to test welding quality and thrust puck design. The thrust puck is found on the bottom of the vehicle where in later Starship tests up to three sea-level Raptor engines would be mounted. SN2 passed the pressure test on 8 March 2020.[174][287]

SN7 was a pathfinder test article for the SpaceX manufacturing process to switch to type 304L stainless steel from the type 301 stainless steel used for the earlier prototypes.[186] A cryogenic proof test was performed in June 2020, where it achieved pressure of 7.6 bar (760 kPa) before a leak occurred, which was repaired. During a pressurize to failure test on 23 June 2020, the tank burst at an unknown pressure and briefly lifted itself off the ground.[288][280]

SN7.1 was the second 304L test tank, with the goal of reaching a higher failure pressure than they achieved with SN7.[186] The tank was tested several times in September, and tested to destruction on 23 September 2020.[289] The tank burst at a pressure of 8 bar (800 kPa) near the top of the tank where the tank metal separated.[290][281]

SN7.2 was another test tank, this time with the intention of testing a design with thinner walls. It is believed to be constructed from 3 mm steel sheets rather than the 4 mm thickness of its predecessors.[291] On 26 January 2021, SN7.2 passed a cryogenic proof test. On 4 February 2021, during a pressurize to failure test, the tank developed a leak, which was repaired by workers throughout the days.[292][116] On 15 March 2021, SN7.2 was rolled back to the production site and retired.[293][294]

Super Heavy test tanks[edit]

BN2.1 was rolled out on 3 June 2021[284] and cryogenic tests were carried out on 8 June 2021[295] and 17 June 2021.[296]

B2.1 (not to be confused with BN2.1) is another booster test tank. On 12 November 2021, it was rolled out to the launch pad. On 1 December 2021, along with an aborted static fire of Ship 20, it made its first cryogenic test.[297] On 2 December 2021, it made a second cryogenic proof test, followed by a third one during the morning of 3 December 2021.[298]

Parts for Booster 6 have been observed at least as early as 22 August 2021 Booster 6's Common dome has been spotted on September 13, 2021.[299][300] On 8 December 2021, a decision was made to convert Booster 6 into a test tank.


SpaceX Starship development history#B6SpaceX Starship development history#B2.1SpaceX Starship development history#Future prototypesSpaceX Starship development history#Booster 5SpaceX Starship development history#Future prototypesSpaceX Starship development history#Booster 4SpaceX Starship development history#BN2.1SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN20/Ship 20SpaceX Starship development history#BN3/Booster 3SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN16/Ship 16SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN16/Ship 16SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN15SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN12, SN13, SN14SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN11SpaceX Starship development history#Booster BN1SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN10SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN9SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN8SpaceX Starship development history#SN7, SN7.1, and SN7.2SpaceX Starship development history#SN7, SN7.1, and SN7.2SpaceX Starship development history#SN7, SN7.1, and SN7.2SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN5, SN6SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN5, SN6SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN3, SN4SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN3, SN4SpaceX Starship development history#SN2SpaceX Starship development history#Starship SN1 (Mk3)SpaceX Starship development history#Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4SpaceX Starship development history#Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4SpaceX Starship development history#Starhopper

  Simplified prototypes •   Starship spacecraft •   Super Heavy booster •   Test tanks •

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SpaceX could launch 1st Starship to orbit in January, Elon Musk says". 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ Foust, Jeff (14 November 2005). "Big plans for SpaceX". The Space Review. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  3. ^ Hoffman, Carl (22 May 2007). "Elon Musk Is Betting His Fortune on a Mission Beyond Earth's Orbit". Wired Magazine. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Elon Musk: I'll Put a Man on Mars in 10 Years". Market Watch. New York: The Wall Street Journal. 22 April 2011. Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Huge Mars Colony Eyed by SpaceX Founder". Discovery News. 13 December 2012. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  6. ^ Carroll, Rory (17 July 2013). "Elon Musk's mission to Mars". TheGuardian. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  7. ^ Messier, Doug (5 February 2014). "Elon Musk Talks ISS Flights, Vladimir Putin and Mars". Parabolic Arc. Archived from the original on 16 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b Rosenberg, Zach (15 October 2012). "SpaceX aims big with massive new rocket". Flight Global. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Belluscio, Alejandro G. (7 March 2014). "SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power". Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  10. ^ Coppinger, Rod (23 November 2012). "Huge Mars Colony Eyed by SpaceX Founder Elon Musk". Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2016. an evolution of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster ... much bigger [than Falcon 9], but I don’t think we’re quite ready to state the payload. We’ll speak about that next year. ... Vertical landing is an extremely important breakthrough — extreme, rapid reusability.
  11. ^ Schaefer, Steve (6 June 2013). "SpaceX IPO Cleared For Launch? Elon Musk Says Hold Your Horses". Forbes. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  12. ^ Ciaccia, Chris (6 June 2013). "SpaceX IPO: 'Possible in the Very Long Term'". The Street. Archived from the original on 10 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  13. ^ a b Heath, Chris (12 December 2015). "How Elon Musk Plans on Reinventing the World (and Mars)". GQ. Archived from the original on 12 December 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  14. ^ a b Nellis, Stephen (19 February 2014). "SpaceX's propulsion chief elevates crowd in Santa Barbara". Pacific Coast Business Times. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  15. ^ Bergin, Chris (29 August 2014). "Battle of the Heavyweight Rockets -- SLS could face Exploration Class rival". Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  16. ^ Boyle, Alan (5 January 2015). "Coming Soon From SpaceX's Elon Musk: How to Move to Mars". NBC News. Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2016. The Mars transport system will be a completely new architecture. Am hoping to present that towards the end of this year. Good thing we didn't do it sooner, as we have learned a huge amount from Falcon and Dragon.
  17. ^ a b Davenport, Christian (13 June 2016). "Elon Musk provides new details on his 'mind blowing' mission to Mars". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  18. ^ Boyle, Alan (10 June 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk teases 'dangerous' plan to colonize Mars starting in 2024". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  19. ^ Boyle, Alan (27 January 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk wants to go into space by 2021 and start Mars missions by 2025". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 30 January 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  20. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (16 September 2016). "@andyzalk sounds like the right name for the rocket booster" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Berger, Eric (18 September 2016). "Elon Musk scales up his ambitions, considering going "well beyond" Mars". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  22. ^ a b Belluscio, Alejandro G. (3 October 2016). "ITS Propulsion – The evolution of the SpaceX Raptor engine". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  23. ^ 2016 StartmeupHK Venture Forum - Elon Musk on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. StartmeupHK Venture Forum--2016. via InvestHK YouTube channel: Invest Hong Kong. 26 January 2016. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016. (SpaceX discussion at 30:15-31:40) We'll have the next generation rocket and spacecraft, beyond the Falcon and Dragon series ... I'm hoping to describe that architecture later this year at the International Astronautical Congress. which is the big international space event every year. ... first flights to Mars? we're hoping to do that in around 2025 ... nine years from now or thereabouts.
  24. ^ Foust, Jeff (27 September 2016). "SpaceX's Mars plans call for massive 42-engine reusable rocket". SpaceNews. Retrieved 14 October 2016. Musk stated it’s possible that the first spaceship would be ready for tests in four years, with the booster ready a few years after that, but he shied away from exact schedules in his presentation. 'We’re kind of being intentionally fuzzy about the timeline,' he said. 'We’re going to try and make as much progress as we can with a very constrained budget.'
  25. ^ a b c Boyle, Alan (23 October 2016). "SpaceX's Elon Musk geeks out over Mars interplanetary transport plan on Reddit". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  26. ^ Mosher, Dave (17 November 2016). "The 'trickiest' part of Elon Musk's Mars spaceship -- a giant black orb -- just passed a critical test". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 17 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  27. ^ Elon Musk (19 July 2017). Elon Musk, ISS R&D Conference (video). ISS R&D Conference, Washington DC, USA. Event occurs at 49:48–51:35. Retrieved 13 September 2017 – via YouTube. the updated version of the Mars architecture: Because it has evolved quite a bit since that last talk. ... The key thing that I figured out is how do you pay for it? If we downsize the Mars vehicle, make it capable of doing Earth-orbit activity as well as Mars activity, maybe we can pay for it by using it for Earth-orbit activity. That is one of the key elements in the new architecture. It is similar to what was shown at IAC, but a little bit smaller. Still big, but this one has a shot at being real on the economic front.
  28. ^ Bergin, Chris (11 May 2015). "Falcon Heavy enabler for Dragon solar system explorer". Archived from the original on 13 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  29. ^ a b c d e f Bergin, Chris (27 September 2016). "SpaceX reveals ITS Mars game changer via colonization plan". Archived from the original on 28 September 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h Richardson, Derek (27 September 2016). "Elon Musk Shows Off Interplanetary Transport System". Spaceflight Insider. Archived from the original on 1 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  31. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (27 September 2016). "12m rocket booster diameter, 17m spaceship diameter, 122 m stack height" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ a b c d "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species" (PDF). SpaceX. 27 September 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  33. ^ Berger, Eric (28 September 2016). "Musk's Mars moment: Audacity, madness, brilliance—or maybe all three". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  34. ^ Elon Musk (27 September 2016). Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species (video). IAC67, Guadalajara, Mexico: SpaceX. Event occurs at 9:20–10:10. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016. So it is a bit tricky. Because we have to figure out how to improve the cost of the trips to Mars by five million percent ... translates to an improvement of approximately 4 1/2 orders of magnitude. These are the key elements that are needed in order to achieve a 4 1/2 order of magnitude improvement. Most of the improvement would come from full reusability—somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2 orders of magnitude—and then the other 2 orders of magnitude would come from refilling in orbit, propellant production on Mars, and choosing the right propellant.CS1 maint: location (link)
  35. ^ a b c d e f g Making Life Multiplanetary. SpaceX. 29 September 2017. Archived from the original on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  36. ^ a b c d e f Musk, Elon (1 March 2018). "Making Life Multi-Planetary". New Space. 6 (1): 2–11. Bibcode:2018NewSp...6....2M. doi:10.1089/space.2018.29013.emu.
  37. ^ Henry, Caleb (21 November 2017). "SpaceX aims to follow a banner year with an even faster 2018 launch cadence". SpaceNews. Retrieved 15 January 2018. Shotwell estimated that around 50 percent of the work on BFR is focused on the Raptor engines.
  38. ^ a b c d Masunaga, Samantha (19 April 2018). "SpaceX gets approval to develop its BFR rocket and spaceship at Port of Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 21 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  39. ^ a b Michael DiBernardo (19 April 2018). Port Authority of Los Angeles, Regular Board Meeting (video). LA: The Port of Los Angeles. Event occurs at 35:36. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  40. ^ a b Foust, Jeff (12 March 2018). "Musk reiterates plans for testing BFR". SpaceNews. Retrieved 15 March 2018. Construction of the first prototype spaceship is in progress. 'We're actually building that ship right now,' he said. 'I think we'll probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year.'
  41. ^ Elon Musk (6 February 2018). 'Crazy things can come true': Elon Musk discusses Falcon Heavy launch: Full presser. Event occurs at 17:00. Archived from the original on 19 February 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019 – via YouTube. If we get lucky, we'll be able to do short hopper flights with the spaceship part of BFR maybe next year.
  42. ^ Berger, Eric (19 March 2018). "SpaceX indicates it will manufacture the BFR rocket in Los Angeles". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  43. ^ "Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell". 11 October 2017. Archived from the original on 5 April 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  44. ^ Seemangal, Robin (1 February 2018). "SpaceX Gears Up to Finally, Actually Launch the Falcon Heavy". Wired. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018. SpaceX is actively considering expanding its San Pedro, California facility to begin manufacturing its interplanetary spacecraft. This would allow SpaceX to easily shift personnel from headquarters in Hawthorne.
  45. ^ Masunaga, Samantha (8 May 2018). "All systems are go for SpaceX's BFR rocket facility at Port of Los Angeles after City Council OKs plan". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 24 May 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  46. ^ "Regular Meeting, Planning & Strategy, Resolution" (PDF). Port of Los Angeles. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  47. ^ Insinnia, Valerie (2 August 2018). "One possible job for SpaceX's BFR rocket? Taking the Air Force's cargo in and out of space". DefenseNews. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  48. ^ Air Mobility Command Chief Looks Toward Supplying Forces From Space Archived 9 June 2019 at the Wayback Machine, US Department of Defense, 2 August 2018.
  49. ^ Foust, Jeff (29 September 2017). "Musk unveils revised version of giant interplanetary launch system". SpaceNews. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  50. ^ Foust, Jeff (15 October 2017). "Musk offers more technical details on BFR system". SpaceNews. Retrieved 27 May 2019. [Musk] added that, since the presentation last month, SpaceX has revised the design of the BFR spaceship to add a "medium area ratio" Raptor engine to its original complement of two engines with sea-level nozzles and four with vacuum nozzles. That additional engine helps enable that engine-out capability ... and will "allow landings with higher payload mass for the Earth to Earth transport function."
  51. ^ "Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Send Yusaku Maezawa (and Artists!) to the Moon". Wired. 18 September 2018. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  52. ^ Ralph, Eric (14 September 2018). "SpaceX has signed a private passenger for the first BFR launch around the Moon". Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  53. ^ Boyle, Alan (19 November 2018). "Goodbye, BFR … hello, Starship: Elon Musk gives a classic name to his Mars spaceship". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018. Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth's deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
  54. ^ "Starship". SpaceX. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  55. ^ "Starship Users Guide, Revision 1.0, March 2020" (PDF). SpaceX. March 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020. SpaceX's Starship system represents a fully reusable transportation system designed to service Earth orbit needs as well as missions to the Moon and Mars. This two-stage vehicle – composed of the Super Heavy rocket (booster) and Starship (spacecraft)
  56. ^ berger, Eric (5 March 2020). "Inside Elon Musk's plan to build one Starship a week and settle Mars". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020. Musk tackles the hardest engineering problems first. For Mars, there will be so many logistical things to make it all work, from power on the surface to scratching out a living to adapting to its extreme climate. But Musk believes that the initial, hardest step is building a reusable, orbital Starship to get people and tons of stuff to Mars. So he is focused on that.
  57. ^ Berger, Eric (29 September 2019). "Elon Musk, Man of Steel, reveals his stainless Starship". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 28 December 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  58. ^ D'Agostino, Ryan (22 January 2019). "Elon Musk: Why I'm Building the Starship out of Stainless Steel". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  59. ^ D'Agostino, Ryan (22 January 2019). "Elon Musk: Why I'm Building the Starship out of Stainless Steel". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  60. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (23 May 2019). "3 sea level optimized Raptors, 3 vacuum optimized Raptors (big nozzle)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  61. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (17 March 2019). "Full size" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  62. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (23 May 2019). "First flights would have fewer, so as to risk less loss of hardware. Probably around 20" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  63. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (6 August 2021). "@NASASpaceflight @BBCAmos Over time, we might get orbital payload up to ~150 tons with full reusabity. If Starship then launched as an expendable, payload would be ~250 tons. What isn't obvious from this chart is that Starship/Super Heavy is much denser than Saturn V." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 14 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  64. ^ Malik, Tariq (28 September 2019). "Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX's New Starship Plans for Private Trips to the Moon, Mars and Beyond". Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  65. ^ Zafar, Ramish (28 September 2019). "SpaceX's Starship Mk1 Expected To Be Ready For 20km Test In 2 Months". Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  66. ^ Matsunaga, Samantha (28 September 2019). "Five things we learned from Elon Musk's rollout of the SpaceX Starship prototype". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  67. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (3 May 2020). "@Kristennetten A little. Will have 31 engines, not 37, no big fins and legs similar to ship. That thrust dome is the super hard part. Raptor SL thrust starts at 200 ton, but upgrades in the works for 250 ton" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 3 July 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  68. ^ @elonmusk (27 August 2020). "Neuralink this month & Tesla next month, SpaceX probably October. We will have made a lot of progress by then. Might have a prototype booster hop done by then" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via Twitter.
  69. ^ Sheetz, Michael (1 September 2020). "Elon Musk says SpaceX's Starship rocket will launch "hundreds of missions" before flying people". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  70. ^ a b c Foust, Jeff (15 April 2021). "SpaceX adds to latest funding round". SpaceNews. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  71. ^ "Elon Musk's SpaceX raises $1.9 billion in funding". Reuters. Archived from the original on 20 August 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  72. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (22 July 2021). "@AlexSvanArt @Neopork85 Flight tests showed that we could make body flaps narrower & lighter" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 20 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  73. ^ Berger, Eric (24 August 2021). "First images of Blue Origin's "Project Jarvis" test tank". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  74. ^ Chang, Kenneth (28 September 2019). "Elon Musk Sets Out SpaceX Starship's Ambitious Launch Timeline". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  75. ^ Sesnic, Trevor (11 August 2021). "Starbase Tour and Interview with Elon Musk". The Everyday Astronaut (Interview). Archived from the original on 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  76. ^ a b c "Starship SN3 failure due to bad commanding. SN4 already under construction". 5 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  77. ^ "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk teases new Starship photos and "heavy metal" BFR". 9 December 2018.
  78. ^ Berger, Eric (5 April 2019). "SpaceX's Starhopper vehicle test-fires its engine for the first time". arstechnica.
  79. ^ Wall, Mike (27 August 2019). "SpaceX Starhopper Rocket Prototype Aces Highest (and Final) Test Flight".
  80. ^ @elonmusk (20 August 2019). "Will be converted to Raptor vertical test stand" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  81. ^ "SpaceX may 'cannibalize' its first Mars rocket-ship prototype in Elon Musk's race to launch Starship". Business Insider. 7 August 2019.
  82. ^ "Application for new or modified radio station under FCC rules". 4 June 2020.
  83. ^ @elonmusk (22 December 2018). "We're building subsections of the Starship Mk I orbital design there" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  84. ^ Berger, Eric (21 November 2019). "SpaceX has lost its first Starship prototype—is this a big deal?". arstechnica.
  85. ^ @elonmusk (15 May 2019). "SpaceX is doing simultaneous competing builds of Starship in Boca Chica Texas & Cape Canaveral Florida" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  86. ^ a b c d "SpaceX Starship hardware mystery solved amid reports of Florida factory upheaval". 2 December 2019.
  87. ^ a b Ralph, Eric (17 July 2020). "SpaceX scraps Florida Starship Mk2 prototype". TESLARATI. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  88. ^ a b Ralph, Eric (18 October 2019). "SpaceX's fourth Starship prototype has begun to take shape in Florida". Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  89. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN1 cryo proof test failure - Feb 28, 2020. NASASpaceflight. 29 February 2020. Archived from the original on 9 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  90. ^ "SpaceX expediting Mk3 construction in Texas, pausing Florida-based Starship builds". 3 December 2019.
  91. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN3 exits high-bay ahead of roll to the pad. NASASpaceflight. 29 March 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  92. ^ a b Berger, Eric (3 April 2020). "SpaceX loses its third Starship prototype during a cryogenic test". arstechnica.
  93. ^ "Starship SN3 failure due to bad commanding. SN4 already under construction". 5 April 2020.
  94. ^ a b "SpaceX Starship factory speeding towards Elon Musk's production goals". 2 April 2020.
  95. ^ Wall, Mike (6 May 2020). "SpaceX's Starship SN4 prototype fires rocket engine for 1st time".
  96. ^ Thompson, Amy. "SpaceX Starship SN4 prototype explodes in dramatic fireball".
  97. ^ Bergin, Chris (27 July 2020). "Starship SN5 completes successful Static Fire test".
  98. ^ a b Baylor, Michael (3 August 2020). "Starship SN5 conducts successful 150-meter flight test". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  99. ^ a b Bergin, Chris (7 February 2021). "Starship SN10's Raptors installed as testing begins". NasaSpaceFlight. RIP SN5 workers began cutting into the SN5 sections
  100. ^ @fael097 (11 May 2020). "SN6's fwd dome sleeved Awesome pictures by Mary aka @BocaChicaGal" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  101. ^ "SpaceX set for a swift return to testing following Starship SN4 anomaly". 5 June 2020.
  102. ^ Bergin, Chris (17 August 2020). "Starship SN6 fires up Raptor SN29".
  103. ^ Malik, Tariq (3 September 2020). "SpaceX launches Starship SN6 prototype test flight on heels of Starlink mission".
  104. ^ "Up close and personal with SN6 as it gets dismantled". 7 January 2021.
  105. ^ "Starship SN5 completes successful Static Fire test". 27 July 2020.
  106. ^ a b Ralph, Eric. "SpaceX Starship nails 'flip' maneuver in explosive landing video".
  107. ^ "Starship SN6 fires up Raptor SN29". 23 August 2020.
  108. ^ a b c d Baylor, Michael. "Starship SN9 History". Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  109. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN10 parts arriving as SN6 looks forward to hop (YouTube). 3 September 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  110. ^ a b Ralph, Eric. "SpaceX Starship static fire bodes well for a launch later this week".
  111. ^ a b Mike, Wall (3 March 2021). "SpaceX's SN10 Starship prototype lands after epic test launch — but then explodes".
  112. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - SN11 Parts Spotted (YouTube). 9 September 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  113. ^ Bergin, Chris (3 July 2021). "Booster 3 opens Super Heavy test campaign as orbital vehicles prepare to stack". Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  114. ^ "SpaceX launches Starship SN11 rocket prototype, but misses landing". 31 March 2021.
  115. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - SN5 and SN6 Moved Outside - SN12 Leg Skirt (30 September) (YouTube). 1 October 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  116. ^ a b c d e f g h Bergin, Chris (7 February 2021). "Starship SN10's Raptors installed ahead of testing and refined landing attempt". Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  117. ^ @RGVarialphotos (11 April 2021). "New addition to nose cone structure, hexagram will be placed on top" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  118. ^ @BocaChicaGal (13 April 2021). "Another section has been attached to the top of the nosecone testing rig" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  119. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN13 exists as SN8 readies for the big day. NASASpaceFlight (YouTube). 20 October 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  120. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN14 parts arrive. NASASpaceFlight (YouTube). 10 October 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  121. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN15 appears amid SN11 Stacking and Lunar Mock Up outfitting. NASASpaceFlight (YouTube). 18 November 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  122. ^ a b @NASASpaceflight (26 April 2021). "STATIC FIRE!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  123. ^ a b @elonmusk (27 April 2021). "Starship SN15 static fire completed, preparing for flight later this week" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  124. ^ "SpaceX Starship prototype makes clean landing". BBC. 6 May 2021.
  125. ^ "SpaceX's first flight-proven Starship rolled back to factory for likely retirement". 27 May 2021.
  126. ^ Starship SN16 Fully Stacked | SpaceX Boca Chica. NASASpaceFlight (YouTube). 4 December 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  127. ^ @elonmusk (17 June 2021). "We might use SN16 on a hypersonic flight test" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  128. ^ a b Starship SN16 Fully Stacked | SpaceX Boca Chica. NASASpaceflight. 1 May 2021. Archived from the original on 4 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  129. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica: From Super Heavy to Starship SN17 - new vehicles point to exciting future. NASASpaceFlight (YouTube). 17 December 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  130. ^ a b Bergin, Chris (6 June 2021). "OLS grows ahead of Super Heavy debut – Raptor test capacity increases". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  131. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica: Super Heavy BN2 Forward Dome Spotted - Damaged Raptor Loaded onto Raptor Van. NASASpaceflight. 19 January 2021. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  132. ^ "Starship SN10 Static Fires twice – Super Heavy waiting in the wings". 25 February 2021.
  133. ^ a b SpaceX Boca Chica - SN20 Leg Skirt Spotted - BN1 Booster Double Section Lifted Onto New Stand. NASASpaceflight. 8 March 2021. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  134. ^ Starship 20 Lifted on to Pad B for Proof Testing (YouTube). 18 August 2021.
  135. ^ a b "Booster 3 opens Super Heavy test campaign as orbital vehicles prepare to stack". 3 July 2021. Even a Thrust Dome for Ship 21 was seen this weekend
  136. ^ MASSIVE SpaceX ramp-up at KSC & Larger Starships confirmed!. Whataboutit. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 10 January 2022 – via YouTube.
  137. ^ Commercial Space Transportation Experimental Permit -- Experimental Permit Number: EP19-012, FAA, 21 June 2019, accessed 29 June 2019.
  138. ^ Ralph, Eric (12 March 2019). "SpaceX begins static Starhopper tests as Raptor engine arrives on schedule". Teslarati. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  139. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (18 March 2019). "Starhopper first flight as early as this week; Starship/Superheavy updates". Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  140. ^ Ralph, Eric (9 March 2019). "SpaceX's Starship prototype moved to launch pad on new rocket transporter". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  141. ^ a b c d Gebhardt, Chris (3 April 2019). "Starhopper conducts Raptor Static Fire test". Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  142. ^ Grush, Loren (3 April 2019). "SpaceX just fired up the engine on its test Starship vehicle for the first time". The Verge. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  143. ^ a b Baylor, Michael (17 May 2019). "SpaceX considering SSTO Starship launches from Pad 39A". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  144. ^ Bergin, Chris [@NASASpaceflight] (5 April 2019). "StarHopper enjoys second Raptor Static Fire!" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 May 2019 – via Twitter.
  145. ^ a b Berger, Eric (15 May 2019). "SpaceX plans to A/B test its Starship rocketship builds". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 19 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  146. ^ a b c Gray, Tyler (28 May 2019). "SpaceX ramps up operations in South Texas as Hopper tests loom". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  147. ^ Baylor, Michael (2 June 2019). "SpaceX readying Starhopper for hops in Texas as Pad 39A plans materialize in Florida". Archived from the original on 29 September 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  148. ^ "Commercial Space Transportation Experimental Permit, No. EP19-012" (PDF). Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  149. ^ Ralph, Eric (24 December 2018). "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk: Starship prototype to have 3 Raptors and "mirror finish"". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  150. ^ Foust, Jeff (24 December 2018). "Musk teases new details about redesigned next-generation launch system". SpaceNews. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  151. ^ a b 'Totally Nuts'? Elon Musk Aims to Put a Starship in Orbit in 6 Months. Here's SpaceX's Plan. Mike Wall, 30 September 2019.
  152. ^ @elonmusk (30 May 2019). "Wings/flaps & leg design changing again (sigh). Doesn't affect schedule much though" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  153. ^ @elonmusk (22 September 2019). "Adding the rear moving fins to Starship Mk1 in Boca Chica, Texas" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  154. ^ SpaceX installs two Starship wings ahead of Elon Musk's Saturday update. Eric Ralph, TeslaRati. 22 September 2019.
  155. ^ Elon Musk tweets a sneak peek at his vision for SpaceX's Starship mega-rocket. Alan Boyle,GeekWire. 22 September 2019.
  156. ^ Berger, Eric (26 July 2019). "SpaceX's Starship prototype has taken flight for the first time". Ars Technica. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  157. ^ Foust, Jeff (27 August 2019). "SpaceX's Starhopper completes test flight". SpaceNews. Retrieved 28 August 2019.[permanent dead link]
  158. ^ "SpaceX's Starship is a new kind of rocket, in every sense". The Economist. 5 October 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  159. ^ Wall, Mike (30 September 2019). "'Totally Nuts'? Elon Musk Aims to Put a Starship in Orbit in 6 Months. Here's SpaceX's Plan". Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  160. ^ Bergin, Chris (30 October 2019). "Starship Mk1 arrives at launch site ahead of flight test". Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  161. ^ Sheetz, Michael (17 October 2019). "Aerial video shows SpaceX beginning construction of another Starship rocket in Florida". CNBC. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  162. ^ Grush, Loren (20 November 2019). "SpaceX's prototype Starship rocket partially bursts during testing in Texas". The Verge. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  163. ^ Wall, Mike (20 November 2019). "SpaceX's 1st Full-Size Starship Prototype Suffers Anomaly in Pressure Test". Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  164. ^ Marley, Ronnie (20 November 2019). "SpaceX moving to MK3 vehicle following incident at Boca Chica Facility". CBS News. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  165. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (28 December 2019). "We're now building flight design of Starship SN1, but each SN will have at least minor improvements, at least through SN20 or so of Starship V1.0" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  166. ^ Ralph, Eric (28 January 2020). "SpaceX is ready to build the first Starship destined for space after latest tests".
  167. ^ Ralph, Eric (12 January 2020). "SpaceX just blew up a Starship tank on purpose and Elon Musk says the results are in".
  168. ^ a b Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (27 January 2020). "Starship 9m test tank made 7.5 bar at room temp! Small leak at a weld doubler. Will be repaired & retested at cryo." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  169. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (29 January 2020). "8.5 bar" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  170. ^ January 2020, Hanneke Weitering 30 (30 January 2020). "SpaceX just destroyed a huge tank for its Starship on purpose. Here's the video!".
  171. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (10 January 2020). "@Erdayastronaut @BocaChicaGal @NASASpaceflight Dome to barrel weld made it to 7.1 bar, which is pretty good as ~6 bar is needed for orbital flight. With more precise parts & better welding conditions, we should reach ~8.5 bar, which is the 1.4 factor of safety needed for crewed flight" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  172. ^ Baylor, Michael (19 February 2020). "SpaceX beginning final assembly of Starship SN1 ahead of roll to the pad". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  173. ^ a b Wall, Mike (10 March 2020). "SpaceX's latest Starship prototype passes big tank pressure test". Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  174. ^ a b Foust, Jeff (1 March 2020). "Second Starship prototype damaged in pressurization test". SpaceNews. Retrieved 10 March 2020.[permanent dead link]
  175. ^ "Starship SN3 failure due to bad commanding. SN4 already under construction". 5 April 2020.
  176. ^ Ralph, Eric (17 April 2020). "SpaceX is about to reuse (part of) a Starship rocket". TESLARATI. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  177. ^ Baylor, Michael (26 April 2020). "SN4 becomes first full-scale Starship prototype to pass cryogenic proof test". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  178. ^ Arevalo, Evelyn (9 May 2020). "SpaceX completes another round of Starship tests at Boca Chica". Tesmanian. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  179. ^ Ralph, Eric (22 May 2020). "SpaceX Starship prototype charred but intact after catching fire [photos]".
  180. ^ Foust, Jeff (29 May 2020). "SpaceX Starship prototype destroyed after static-fire test". SpaceNews. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  181. ^ Berger, Eric (5 March 2020). "Inside Elon Musk's plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  182. ^ Bergin, Chris (27 July 2020). "Starship SN5 completes successful Static Fire test". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  183. ^ Etherington, Darrell (5 August 2020). "SpaceX Successfully Flies its Starship Prototype to a Height of Around 500 Feet". techcrunch.
  184. ^ @bocachicagal (4 February 2021). "The crew are currently cutting around the upper portion of Starship SN5" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 February 2021 – via Twitter.
  185. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica: New 3mm Thick Test Tank Stacked - Starship SN6 Scrapped (YouTube). 12 January 2021.
  186. ^ a b c d Baylor, Michael (15 July 2020). "Starship SN5 set for a static fire followed shortly by a 150-meter hop attempt". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 17 July 2020. The most recent test tank, designated SN7, achieved a record pressure before it failed. SN7 was the pathfinder vehicle for the switch to 304L stainless steel. The next test tank – designated SN7.1 – will feature further build-quality improvements, as it attempts to break the record set by SN7.
  187. ^ "As Starships line up, Musk calibrates expectations for SN8 test". 1 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  188. ^ Baylor, Michael. "Starship SN8 History". Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  189. ^ "Starship SN8 | 12.5-kilometer hop". Everyday Astronaut. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  190. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (9 December 2020). "Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 28 June 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  191. ^ Wall, Mike (10 December 2020). "SpaceX's Starship SN8 Prototype Soars on Epic Test Launch, with Explosive Landing". Scientific American. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  192. ^ Ralph, Eric (14 December 2020). "SpaceX almost drops finished Starship prototype - but it might be salvageable". TESLARATI. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  193. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN9 Gets a New Forward Flap - Tankzilla Prepared for move (YouTube). NASASpaceflight. 20 December 2020.
  194. ^ Wall 13, Mike (January 2021). "SpaceX's Starship SN9 prototype fires up rocket engines three times in one day". Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  195. ^ January 2021, Mike Wall 15 (15 January 2021). "SpaceX swapping out two engines on Starship SN9 prototype ahead of test flight". Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  196. ^ Foust, Jeff (29 January 2021). "FAA reviews delay SpaceX Starship test". SpaceNews. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  197. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (2 February 2021). "Nice try, SN9! But didn't hit SN10 or the Tank Farm. You're next, SN10! ➡️" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  198. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship Landing Pad Work ahead of SN10 Launch - SN11/SN16 Prepare. NASASpaceflight. 11 February 2021. Archived from the original on 20 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  199. ^ @elonmusk (4 February 2021). "It was foolish of us not to start 3 engines & immediately shut down 1, as 2 are needed to land. Will these changes be able to be implemented into the SN10 test flight? Yes" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  200. ^ Wall, Mike (25 February 2021). "SpaceX fires up SN10 Starship prototype for 2nd time".
  201. ^ @elonmusk (13 February 2021). "Success on landing probability is ~60% this time" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  202. ^ @elonmusk (3 March 2021). "Launch abort on slightly conservative high thrust limit. Increasing thrust limit & recycling propellant for another flight attempt today" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  203. ^ "SpaceX's Starship rocket lands but then explodes". BBC News. 4 March 2021.
  204. ^ "Elon Musk reveals why the SN10 Starship exploded". Engadget.
  205. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (11 March 2021). "Road open and workers heading back to the pad, led by the SpaceX Security Tesla with its disco lights flashing. That concludes Cryo proof testing for Starship SN11. ➡️" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 12 March 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  206. ^ @NASASpaceflight (12 March 2021). "Starship SN11 RCS (Reaction Control System) testing.➡️" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  207. ^ @NASASpaceflight (15 March 2021). "Starship SN11. Aborted Static Fire. ➡️" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  208. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (22 March 2021). "STATIC FIRE! Starship SN11 has fired up her three engines ahead of a test flight (as early as Tuesday), pending good test data (looked/sounded good!) Status: Live:" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 10 April 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  209. ^ Baylor, Michael [@nextspaceflight] (24 March 2021). "SpaceX will conduct a second static fire test after one of three Raptor engines on Starship SN11 had to be removed for repairs. The static fire could occur as soon as Friday, pending Raptor readiness and road closures." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 31 March 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  210. ^ Mahlmann, Trevor [@TrevorMahlmann] (25 March 2021). "It's up and it's good! 😆 SpaceX Raptor 46 has risen up into the engine bay to be installed 🚀 ⚙️/⬇️/🖼:" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 31 March 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  211. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (26 March 2021). "STATIC FIRE! Starship SN11 fires up (at least) Raptor SN46. Providing the data review is good, a launch will be attempted later today." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  212. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (30 March 2021). "@SpaceX Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn't reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn't needed. Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  213. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (30 March 2021). "Ended in a RUD. Remember, it's a test program and they've gained a lot of wins from the four flights. Stable controlled descent is one, but long-duration Raptor performance deserves a shoutout. This was the last view from SpaceX and sign off from John Insprucker:" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 24 April 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  214. ^ @elonmusk (5 April 2021). "Ascent phase, transition to horizontal & control during free fall were good. A (relatively) small CH4 leak led to fire on engine 2 & fried part of avionics, causing hard start attempting landing burn in CH4 turbopump. This is getting fixed 6 ways to Sunday" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  215. ^ @bocachicagal (23 January 2021). "Meanwhile, at SpaceX Boca Chica Starship SN10 took a peek out of the high bay as Starship SN12's aft section was being scrapped" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  216. ^ @elonmusk (25 November 2020). "Major upgrades are slated for SN15" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  217. ^ "Starship SN15 Flight Test". SpaceX. 5 May 2021. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  218. ^ "SpaceX installs Starlink dish on upgraded Starship prototype". 14 April 2021.
  219. ^ @op_boca (9 April 2021). "Today, SpaceX teams conducted an ambient pressure test of Starship SN15" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  220. ^ "SpaceX's upgraded Starship gets frosty during cryogenic proof test". 12 April 2021.
  221. ^ "When will SN15 launch? Live Updates". 8 April 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  222. ^ @thejackbeyer (9 April 2021). "Starship SN15 rolled out to the launch site and was mounted on Suborbital Pad A ahead of cryo-proof testing with the thrust simulation rams" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  223. ^ @spacex360 (14 April 2021). "The thrust simulator has been removed from SN15" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  224. ^ @TheFavoritist (28 April 2021). "Starship SN15 static fires its Raptors again, though this time we believe only a single was engine fired" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  225. ^ Timmer, John (5 May 2021). "SpaceX successfully lands a Starship test flight".
  226. ^ D’Alessandro, Nicholas (17 May 2021). "STARSHIP SN15 ON PAD B FOR POSSIBLE ENCORE FLIGHT".
  227. ^ "SN15". The Starship Campaign. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  228. ^ "Starship SN11 prepares to fly as SpaceX pushes for Orbital flight this summer". 15 March 2021.
  229. ^ "SpaceX Starship Prototype Soars 6 Miles Up, Then Lands Upright". 5 May 2021.
  230. ^ Starbase Tour with Elon Musk [PART 2]. Everyday Astronaut. 7 August 2021. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  231. ^ @NASASpaceflight (7 April 2021). "As Starship SN15 prepares to roll to the launch site, the Forward Dome of SN20 has been spotted, with this vehicle set to be an Orbital Class Starship" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  232. ^ @_brendan_lewis (9 April 2021). "The current status of SpaceX's Starship & Superheavy prototypes" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  233. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (15 March 2021). "Starship SN11 prepares for Static Fire/Flight. Super Heavy BN1 Ground Testing. BN3 and SN20 targetting orbital flight - (subject to change, especially the schedule!). Photos/vids: Mary (@BocaChicaGal) and Jack (@thejackbeyer). Words by me:" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 6 April 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  234. ^ a b c @elonmusk (25 June 2021). "We're almost done with first prototype booster. This will go to test stand A. Next one will fly to orbit. Team has been crushing it many days & nights in a row!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  235. ^ a b Clark, Stephen. "SpaceX outlines plans for Starship orbital test flight – Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  236. ^ "Ship 21's Aft Dome Sleeved | SpaceX Boca Chica". YouTube. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  237. ^ Ansuini, Nick. "Booster Common Dome Section Flipped | SpaceX Boca Chica". Youtube. NASASpaceflight. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  238. ^ "SpaceX Boca Chica - Production Updates - MASTER Thread (5)". NASASpaceflight Forums. BocaChicaGal. Retrieved 3 December 2021. |first1= missing |last1= (help)
  239. ^ Ansuini, Nick. Twitter. @NickAnsuini Retrieved 3 December 2021. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  240. ^ Ralph, Eric (9 November 2020). "SpaceX begins assembling first Starship Super Heavy booster in South Texas". Teslarati. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  241. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - First Super Heavy Booster Parts - SN8 Flaps Installed (YouTube). NASASpaceFlight. 23 September 2020.
  242. ^ a b c d Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (30 March 2021). "BN1 is a manufacturing pathfinder, so will be scrapped. We learned a lot, but have already changed design to BN2. Goal is to get BN2 with engines on orbital pad before end of April. It might even be orbit-capable if we are lucky" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  243. ^ a b @BocaChicaGal (13 April 2021). "The dismantling of BN1 has begun" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  244. ^ "Starship SN15 to undergo flight test Tuesday". 4 May 2021. BN1 has since been cut into sections and sent to the scrapyard
  245. ^ Bergin, Chris [@NASASpaceflight] (28 March 2021). "As Starship SN11 awaits launch, the Forward Dome Section for Super Heavy Prototype BN3 has been spotted at the Production Site" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  246. ^ Super Heavy BN3 section spotted | SpaceX Boca Chica. NASASpaceflight. 28 March 2021. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  247. ^ a b "SpaceX test fires massive Super Heavy booster for Starship for 1st time". 19 July 2021.
  248. ^ a b Booster 3 Scrapped (YouTube). 15 August 2021.
  249. ^ Super Heavy Booster 3 Prepared for Testing on Pad A | SpaceX Boca Chica. NASASpaceflight. 2 July 2021. Archived from the original on 11 July 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  250. ^ a b c "Super Heavy Booster 3 fires up for the first time". 19 July 2021. the impressive Thrust Puck for Booster 5 has already arrived at SpaceX Starbase
  251. ^ MASSIVE SpaceX ramp-up at KSC & Larger Starships confirmed!. Whataboutit. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 10 January 2022 – via YouTube.
  252. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (18 March 2021). "Yes, Booster 1 is a production pathfinder, figuring out how to build & transport 70 meter tall stage. Booster 2 will fly" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  253. ^ Bergin, Chris (28 December 2020). "Starship SN9's time to shine – test series targets a New Year's resolution". Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  254. ^ Mary [@BocaChicaGal] (18 March 2021). "Wow.....Booster BN1 is fully stacked in the high bay" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  255. ^ "Elon Musk says SpaceX's second Starship booster prototype is almost finished". Teslarati. 25 June 2021.
  256. ^ "Starship SN15 patiently awaits a decision – The Road to Orbit". 16 May 2021.
  257. ^ Bergin, Chris (30 May 2021). "Laying the groundwork for Super Heavy amid Raptor Ramp Up". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  258. ^ @elonmusk (30 June 2021). "First one to fly will [have grid fins], so Booster 4. Booster 3 will be used for ground tests. We're changing much of design from 3 to 4. Booster 3 was very hard to build. Expect especially rapid evolution in first ~10 boosters & first ~30 ships" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  259. ^ Super Heavy Booster 3 Stacked | SpaceX Boca Chica. NASASpaceflight. 29 June 2021. Archived from the original on 11 July 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  260. ^ "SpaceX Transports A Super Heavy Booster Prototype To The Launch Pad". Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  261. ^ @elonmusk (4 July 2021). "Booster engines are not shrouded by skirt extension, as with ship. Engines extend about 3m below booster" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  262. ^ a b c Bergin, Chris (2 August 2021). "Starbase Surge sees SpaceX speed ahead with Booster 4 and Ship 20". Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  263. ^ @elonmusk (19 July 2021). "Depending on progress with Booster 4, we might try a 9 engine firing on Booster 3" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  264. ^ "Starbase Surge sees SpaceX speed ahead with Booster 4 and Ship 20". 3 August 2021.
  265. ^ "SpaceX stacks Starship atop massive booster for 1st time to make the world's tallest rocket". 6 August 2021.
  266. ^ @elonmusk (11 July 2021). "Final decision made earlier this week on booster engine count. Will be 33 at ~230 (half million lbs) sea-level thrust" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  267. ^ 29 Raptor Engines Installed on Super Heavy Booster 4 Overnight | SpaceX Boca Chica. NASASpaceflight. 3 August 2021. Archived from the original on 8 August 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  268. ^ Cao, Sissi (6 August 2021). "Starship Completes Stacking Giant Starship Stages For Orbital Flight". Observer. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  269. ^ "Super Heavy Booster 4 Lifted to Orbital Launch Mount". YouTube. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  270. ^ @NASASpaceflight (17 December 2021). "And there's some impressive depress venting on Booster 4! A possible conclusion to a good cryogenic pressure test!…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  271. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship Test Tank mated - Jan 7, 2020 (YouTube). NASASpaceFlight. 7 January 2020.
  272. ^ a b c Aravelo, Evelyn (10 January 2020). "SpaceX conducted a pressure test on a Starship dome tank at Boca Chica today". Tesmaian. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  273. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship Nosecone Heads to Launch Site - Bulkhead Flip. NASASpaceflight. 23 January 2020. Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  274. ^ a b c SpaceX Boca Chica - Header Tank tested to failure. Test Tank preps for transport. NASASpaceflight. 26 January 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  275. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship Bulkhead/Dome Test Tank 2 Mated (YouTube). NASASpaceFlight. 25 January 2020.
  276. ^ a b c SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship Test Tank 2 Destructive Cryo Test. NASASpaceflight. 29 January 2020. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  277. ^ @elonmusk (9 February 2020). "First two domes in frame are for SN2, third is SN1 thrust dome" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  278. ^ a b SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN2 Test Tank transported from Launch Site. NASASpaceflight. 16 March 2020. Archived from the original on 8 December 2020. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  279. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - All of the Starships out in the ope (YouTube). NASASpaceFlight. 25 May 2020. SN7's first rings have been spotted
  280. ^ a b c Mali, Tariq (23 June 2020). "Boom! SpaceX pops huge Starship SN7 test tank on purpose in pressure test". Retrieved 30 January 2021. SpaceX pushed a massive tank for its latest Starship prototype beyond its limits Tuesday (June 23) in an intentionally explosive test in South Texas. The Starship SN7 prototype tank ruptured during a pressure test at SpaceX's Boca Chica proving grounds, the second in just over a week for the spacecraft component.
  281. ^ a b c Wall, Mike (24 September 2020). "SpaceX pops Starship tank on purpose in explosive pressure test". Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  282. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN11 ready to complete Stacking Operations (YouTube). NASASpaceFlight. 27 December 2020.
  283. ^ "Laying the groundwork for Super Heavy amid Raptor Ramp Up". 30 May 2021. BN2 and BN2.1 sections were classed as test sections and were never set to become more than test tanks
  284. ^ a b @BocaChicaGal (3 June 2021). "This afternoon the BN2.1 test tank is ready to roll to the pad at SpaceX Starbase" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  285. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship Header Tank Pressurization Test. NASASpaceflight. 25 January 2020. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  286. ^ Chris Bergin - NSF [@NASASpaceflight] (28 January 2020). "Farewell Test Tank 2, and we thank you." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  287. ^ March 2020, Mike Wall 10 (10 March 2020). "SpaceX's latest Starship prototype passes big tank pressure test". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  288. ^ Baylor, Michael. "Starship SN7 History". Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  289. ^ Starship's SN7.1 Pushed To Failure (Time Lapse). LabPadre. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 23 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  290. ^ @elonmusk (26 September 2020). "8 bar differential in ullage, 9 bar at base due to propellant head. It's enough. Improvements in work" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  291. ^ Ralph, Eric (27 January 2021). "SpaceX's thin-skinned Starship 'test tank' passes first trial". Teslarati. Retrieved 30 January 2021. Known as Starship SN7.2, SpaceX’s latest ‘test tank’ is the third to carry the SN7 moniker and appears to have been built primarily to test refinements to the rocket’s structural design...the tank’s most important task is determining if future Starships (and perhaps Super Heavy boosters) can be built out of thinner, lighter steel rings. Its domes appear to be identical to past ships but writing on the exterior of the tank strongly implied that its three rings were built out of 3mm steel rather than the 4mm sheets that have made up every Starship built in the last 12 months.
  292. ^ Baylor, Michael. "Starship SN7.2 History". Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  293. ^ Mary [@BocaChicaGal] (15 March 2021). "Starship SN7.2 is headed back to the production site at SpaceX Boca Chica. 🔥🚀🔥 @NASASpaceflight" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via Twitter.
  294. ^ SpaceX Boca Chica: Starship SN11 Abort Static Fire - SN7.2 Moved to the Production Site. NASASpaceflight. 15 March 2021. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  295. ^ Super Heavy Test Tank Cryogenic Proof Test. NASASpaceflight. 8 June 2021. Archived from the original on 28 June 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  296. ^ Super Heavy Test Tank Cryogenic Proof Test #2. NASASpaceflight. 17 June 2021. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021 – via YouTube.
  297. ^ @NASASpaceflight (1 December 2021). "Test Tank B2.1 has decided it's time to get frosty" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  298. ^ Bergin, Chris. "". Twitter. @NASASpaceflight. Retrieved 3 December 2021. External link in |title= (help)
  299. ^ "Ship 20 primed for pre-flight testing amid future refinements". 22 August 2021.
  300. ^ @NicAnsuini (12 September 2021). "Booster 6 Common Dome spotted! (Don't get too excited about the graphic. It's been woefully out of date for a long time. No fins/legs are expected for B6)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.