After four successfulit all ended in dramatic explosions during the landing phase, Elon’s Musk space company jumps to SN15, a new version of its interplanetary car.
SpaceX conducted high-altitude test flights of SN8 to SN11 prototypes and has long planned to integrate what Musk called “major improvements” into the SN15. The company now skips SN12, SN13 and SN14, which were never fully assembled, and is working on a flight of SN15.
Musk said the SN15 “has hundreds of improvements in design, avionics / software and engine design,” including hopefully upgrades to cover some of the issues that have prevented SpaceX from hitting the landing so far without a quick unplanned disassembly.
The SN15 has gone through some initial tests and Musk initially tweeted that the goal was to be released last month, but that goal continues to slide. Last Thursday, the FAA said it had approved a launch license covering SN15, SN16 and SN17, but now it looks like we’ll have to wait at least Tuesday to see it fly, according to the current closed airspace, roads and beaches around Boca Chica. , Texas, launch facility.
The SN15 can start at any time (or not at all) within the approved windows, once all the necessary closures and permissions are in place. We usually have no firm sense of when it will explode until less than an hour before takeoff has to take place. (Even then, false starts are common.)
So for now, keep your fingers crossed that we’ll see the SN15 fly (and land!). We will post a live show for the launch right here once it’s available.
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