SpaceX's first high-altitude Starship test could happen Tuesday

Watch SpaceX send its Starship prototype 50,000 feet in the air later this week.

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Clouds reflect off the water as they pass over while SpaceX prepares their super heavy-lift Starship SN8 rocket for a test launch this week at the company's facilities in Boca Chita, Texas, U.S. December 1, 2020.
Clouds reflect off the water as they pass over while SpaceX prepares their super heavy-lift Starship SN8 rocket for a test launch this week at the company's facilities in Boca Chita, Texas, U.S. December 1, 2020.Gene Blevins / reuters

We’ve seen some small hops, but the SpaceX Starship is ready to make a much larger leap. The SN8 prototype is on the launch pad in Boca Chica, TX, and SpaceX has confirmed that its first high-altitude test flight could take place as soon as Tuesday, December 8th. As Elon Musk previously described, the test will see the Starship reach as high as 15 Km (about 50,000 feet).

A live stream for the event on YouTube is set to become available at 7 AM, however the actual timing of the test is “dynamic and likely to change.” In this suborbital test flight, SpaceX will test the aerodynamic capabilities of their vehicle, and attempt a “landing flip maneuver” that the company says would be the first for a craft of this size.

Things have taken a bit longer than Elon Musk previously suggested, as he said in September 2019 that he was hoping for crewed flights within a year, but they are making progress. Stay tuned tomorrow for more updates on timing.

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