Link here. Lots of stuff going on, with Starship prototypes 15 through 19 being assembled and waiting n the wings. Crews have also repaved and expanded the landing pad at Boca Chica, and begun assembling the first Super Heavy prototype.
The most significant tidbit to me was this:
One section inside a production tent appears to be undergoing preparations to cover the entire windward side in [thermal patches].
This unnamed section could indicate a vehicle that will be taken to an altitude that would test its heat shield under re-entry conditions. Current [thermal] patches are mostly being tested to see how they perform during the stresses of cryogenic propellant loading and launch and landing vibrations.
It is not known yet to which prototype this section belongs to, but that it is being prepared means that SpaceX is moving relentless towards that first orbital flight.
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.
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