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Starship prototype being prepped for first hop

Capitalism in space: SpaceX engineers, having successfully completed its tank pressure tests of its fifth Starship prototype, are now preparing the ship for its first static fire engine test, to be followed very quickly thereafter by its first hop to 150 meters.

SN5 [the fifth prototype] is being prepped for a flight test right out of the gate. SpaceX does not plan to perform an extended ground test campaign with SN5 after beginning Raptor engine testing.

It is understood that one good static fire test could be enough to clear the way for a 150-meter hop test. Furthermore, only a few days may be required to prepare SN5 for the flight test following a successful static fire test. If a static fire occurs this weekend, this will put the earliest possible hop date in the first half of next week.

As always, this schedule could change during testing.

The article also describes the status of both the sixth prototype, as well as the eighth being assembled now, noting that “if the 150-meter flight of Starship SN5 is successful, SpaceX is expected to quickly move on to Starship SN8 for an upcoming higher altitude flight test – potentially skipping a flight test with the SN6 prototype.”

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • LocalFluff

    That is not a ship! That is a can on a pad.
    This is a ship! Look how this agile little thing beautifully cuts the water so that not even Neptune notices it:

  • LocalFluff

    And THIS is a ship! Like an iron on Neptune’s shirt. If you don’t wanna go to bed with this darling, then only a pair of 15 inch guns can put you to sleep:

  • commodude

    LocalFluff, why’d you have to include the warrior hotel picture?

  • LocalFluff

    @commodude, Drachinifel is great, but he is a Britt. He doesn’t understand French design. And calling it a warrior hotel is, well, you had to share bunks with bunker basement Biden’s old pal Corn Pop in there, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a honeymoon.

    Ships’ development 100+ years ago reminds of today’s space race. Most ships were antiquated as soon as they were launched. Now SpaceX does that to ladies like Ariane 6, Vulcan, Angara. And their stainless steel Dreadnought Starship will put everyone behind forever.

  • commodude

    Different strategic needs, no one had figured out fire direction well yet, however, they did have some…unconventional designs, even for predreadnoughts, which were a dog’s breakfast as far as design anyway.

  • LocalFluff

    Well, the brute Britts had their Queen Anne’s mansion of steel on their pre-dreadnoughts. The brave captains however refused to get into and hide in that ugly conning tower, but rather led from the deck. (Not that there were any wars for them at the time). So they soon skipped that overload.

    They don’t make men in Europe as they did just a couple of generations ago. (Perhaps because the gene pool got cleaned from them during the great wars…)

  • commodude

    The French predreadnoughts ARE a good comparison for starship, as it was the same concept, build, test, and move on, all of them were working prototypes.

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