SpaceX Is Set To Test Fly Its Starship Prototype Next Week

Elon Musk plans to send humans to Mars aboard SpaceX’s Starship rocket and that dream may soon come true.

SpaceX Is Set To Test Fly Its Starship Prototype Next Week

A road closure filing around the firm’s Texas facility reveals that the Starship prototype SN5 will fly nearly 500 feet into the air sometime between July 13 and 15.

However, the first flight of the SN5 depends on testing of the Raptor engine, which is scheduled for Monday.

The news follows a number of failed Starship tests, as Musk has watched four of the Mars-bound rockets burst into flames at the launch site.

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According to Teslarati, the Raptor engine is set to go through testing on July 13 and if everything looks good, it will be strapped to the Starship for a 492-foot flight three days later.

SN5 left the rocket factory in June for the testing site in Boca Chia, Texas – less than a month after the fourth prototype exploded.

And many people have mixed emotions about the Starship flight.

Users on Twitter have shared they believe it is too soon, as predecessors of the SN5 have been destroyed in ground tests.

While others cannot wait to see the SpaceX craft take flight.

The massive rocket is SpaceX’s planned next-generation fully reusable launch vehicle, the center Musk’s ambitions to make human space travel affordable.

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Musk envisions the Starship will operate much like a commercial airliner by transporting paying customers to the surface of the Moon and Mars.

Musk previously said the lifetime of each Starship will be around 20 to 30 years, ‘like an aircraft’.

Around three Starship flights will launch from Earth per day, or around 1,000 flights a year, and each will have a capacity of more than 90,000 pounds.

By continuously ferrying people the 180 million miles to Mars, Musk is predicting 1,000 human inhabitants by 2030 and ‘maybe around’ one million by 2050.

However, if SpaceX’s track record continues down the same path, the billionaire may never get the change to colonize Mars.

In May, the prototype Serial Number 4 vanished into a fireball at SpaceX’s site in Texas shortly the engine was ignited for a pressurized test. 

The SN4 had passed several important milestones during development, including a pressurization test that had foiled previous models.

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The first rocket was tested in 2019, Mk1 prototype, but was engulfed in flames during a cryogenic pressure test.

The second rocket, dubbed Serial Number 1 (SN1), fell victim to another pressure test when it failed to contain its liquid nitrogen.

However, this time the stainless steel cylinder flew off the stand and came down crashing .

And the third time SpaceX saw its third catastrophic failure was in April – again the Starship prototype imploded during the cryogenic pressure test.

The rocket launch has now been rescheduled for 3:22pm Saturday, but bad weather is still on the minds of the team, as there is currently a 50 percent probability Falcon 9 will head to space.

If successful this would be the first time American astronauts have been launched from US soil in nine years.

This news was originally published at dailymail.co.uk

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