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Starship Development Goes Ludicrous


Although Starship SN4 suffered a dramatic explosion during testing a week ago, SpaceX does not have any intentions of slowing Starship development with SN5 and SN6 in its final stages of development and parts of SN7 have also been spotted at the SpaceX Boca Chica facility.

It’s incredible how much the Boca Chica facility has grown in just a little over two years. The immense development can be confirmed with the sight of cleaner and more precise welds of Starship’s hull, and more advanced nosecones with integrated reaction control thrusters to help orientate Starship during flight.

On June 6, the SpaceX CEO revealed that the Boca Chica facility would be expanding with a new “giant high bay” standing at 81 meters tall for stacking and development of the Starship booster, Super Heavy. During a flyover of the Boca Chica facility by Labpadre, a large rectangle was spotted that is perhaps the foundation of the Super Heavy high bay. The foundation can be seen in the image below.

Spacex Giant High BayCredit: Labpadre (Youtube)

In 2017, at the International Astronautical Conference, Elon Musk revealed detailed plans of the Starship rocket (formally known as BFR) and SpaceX’s plans of colonizing Mars; including a very ambitious goal of sending two uncrewed cargo Starships to the surface of Mars in 2022 and two crewed Starships and two cargo Starships to the surface of Mars in 2024. Musk confirmed that the 2022 and 2024 goal is still the target as of June 2020.

With SpaceX’s Starship being chosen as a contestant for NASA’s Artemis lunar landers, SpaceX must accelerate their development to compete with the landers proposed by National Team and Dynetics, the other companies that are competing.

ClosuresCurrent dates for Boca Chica Highway 4 road closures are June 11 and June 12, respectively. These dates will most likely be for SN5 rollout and testing.

Written By

Toby Li is an avid EV and human spaceflight enthusiast. He is pursuing aerospace engineering in the hopes of someday becoming a future Martian.