SpaceX Prepares for Starship SN-9 High-Altitude Flight Test

Daniel Fowler
January 31, 2021

"Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars", he tweeted. Just like its predecessor Starship serial number 8 (SN8), SN9 will be powered Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence before the vehicle reaching apogee - approximately 10 km in altitude.

A formal investigation by FAA was opened, focusing on the explosive landing and license violation by the Space Exploration Technologies Corp, reported The Verge.

With SpaceX now targeting Monday, Feb. 1, for its next launch opportunity for SN9 test article, the Boca Chica workforce wasted no time in preparing the site for the test which will follow SN9.

SpaceX has been discussing the SN9 launch since the beginning of January, but it seems the mission is on hold until the firm and FAA can come to an agreement - and Musk's tweet may not have helped the cause.

"While we recognize the importance of moving quickly to foster growth and innovation in commercial space, the FAA will not compromise its responsibility to protect public safety", Kulm explained. "We will approve the modification only after we are satisfied that SpaceX has taken the necessary steps to comply with regulatory requirements".

Citing sources, the media house claimed that during SpaceX's first high-altitude test flight of its Starship rocket, the space company violated the terms of the launch license.

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Brackett added that firefighters and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the cause of the leak. Workers who had fled the plant were gathered outside when firefighters responded to the leak Thursday morning, Bracket said.

The rocket company had been touting the launch of the SN-9. Musk, frustrated with the process, took to Twitter.

Two individuals familiar with the incident have revealed that the December launch of the Starship prototype was in violation of FAA rules.

"Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure". This capability will enable a fully reusable transportation system created to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond. In response, the US Department of Transportation - which delegates its launch oversight duties to the FAA - unveiled new streamlined launch licensing regulations past year.

After the delay was confirmed, Musk let rip on Twitter.

The SpaceX Boca Chica family on full display, including Starship SN10 (left) and SN9 (far right), Friday Jan. 29, 2021.

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