SpaceX is aiming to launch its latest Starship rocket prototype as early as “next week,” CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday, in what would be the company’s most ambitious flight test of the rocket to date.
Musk confirmed that Starship prototype Serial Number 8, or SN8, successfully completed a test firing of its three engines ahead of the flight attempt. This next launch is aiming to reach about 50,000 feet altitude – well above the 500 foot flights of the prototype’s predecessors SN5 and SN6, which completed flight tests on Aug. 5 and Sept. 3, respectively.
The prototypes are built of stainless steel and represent the first versions of the rocket that Musk unveiled last year. The company is developing Starship with the goal of launching cargo and as many as a 100 people at a time on missions to the Moon and Mars