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Mon, Feb 01, 2021

If The FAA And Elon Make Up, There Could Be A Starship Launch Monday

Public Spat with FAA Reportedly Scrubbed At Least Two Test Launch Attempts

The aviation and aerospace world, after witnessing some amazing flying during the ALMOST successful; test flight of SpaceX Starship SN8 is waiting with bated breath for SN9 to do its thing... IF the FAA will let it.

Sparring between SpaceX and the FAA has reportedly cancelled at least two launch attempts and Musk has been none too happy about it.

"Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure. Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars," intoned Musk.

Currently, SpaceX says that, "As early as Monday, February 1, the SpaceX team will attempt a high-altitude flight test of Starship serial number 9 (SN9) – the second high-altitude suborbital flight test of a Starship prototype from our site in Cameron County, Texas."

Cooler than that... there are currently TWO Starships erect and on the pad for eventual flight tests... and it's quite the sight. So... no matter what happens to SN9, SN10 is ready to go, right behind it.

Similar to the high-altitude flight test of Starship serial number 8 (SN8), SN9 will be powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee – approximately 10 km in altitude. SN9 will perform a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent.

The Starship prototype will descend under active aerodynamic control, accomplished by independent movement of two forward and two aft flaps on the vehicle. All four flaps are actuated by an onboard flight computer to control Starship’s attitude during flight and enable precise landing at the intended location. SN9’s Raptor engines will then reignite as the vehicle attempts a landing flip maneuver immediately before touching down on the landing pad adjacent to the launch mount.

A controlled aerodynamic descent with body flaps and vertical landing capability, combined with in-space refilling, are critical to landing Starship at destinations across the solar system where prepared surfaces or runways do not exist, and returning to Earth. This capability will enable a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.

SpaceX promises a live feed of the flight test available at www.spacex.com that will start a few minutes prior to liftoff. Please check @spacex and other social media outlets to keep up with the schedule.

FMI: www.spacex.com

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