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According to FAA regulatory documents, SpaceX has updated its development plan for Starship, including changes in its overall plans for its Boca Chica facility.
The document also lays out a three-phase test program, which it says “would last around 2 to 3 years”:
Phase 1: Tests of ground systems and fueling, a handful of rocket engine test-firings, and several “small hops” of a few centimeters off the ground. The document also includes graphic layouts, like the one above, showing the placement of water tanks, liquid methane and oxygen storage tanks (Starship’s fuels), and other launch pad infrastructure.
Phase 2: Several more “small hops” of Starship, though up to 492 feet (150 meters) in altitude, and later “medium hops” to about 1.9 miles (3 kilometers). Construction of a “Phase 2 Pad” for Starship, shown below, is also described.
Phase 3: A few “large hops” that take Starship up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth — the unofficial edge of space — with high-altitude “flips,” reentries, and landings.
The first phase is now complete, with the company shifting into Phase 2.
Boca Chica meanwhile is no longer being considered a spaceport facility. Instead, its focus will now be a development site for building Starship and Super Heavy.