SpaceX is constantly working on the first orbital flight test of the Starship since Elon Musk showed us the aft section photo of the Super Heavy Booster 4 prototype with a 29 Raptor engine fuel feed system.
Musk’s SpaceX then installed those 29 Raptor engines on the Booster 4 rocket and in the next step, it was moved to the orbital launch pad at the space exploration company’s Starbase Boca Chica, Texas launch site.
Now Elon Musk has broken the news that SpaceX will attempt to stack the Starship SN20 prototype onto the Super Heavy Booster 4 today. This will be a historic event as it will be the first time ever that a Starship prototype is going to be stacked on a rocket.
Musk also shared the following photo of the Starship SN20 and Super Heavy seen side-by-side at the launch pad of SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site.
The belly of Starship SN20 will be completely covered with heat shield tiles as it is aimed for the orbital flight and will face atmospheric re-entry burn. SpaceX will also attempt to land both Super Heavy and Starship back on the Earth’s surface.
In the above video, we can see that about half of the Starship SN20 is covered with heat shields (the black area), and half is still not covered, “Remaining tiles are on their way!,” said Elon Musk in a tweet just minutes ago as I write this piece.
Stacking a 52 meters tall Starship prototype on a 72 meters high Super Heavy rocket booster makes it the tallest spaceship+rocket in history standing at 124 meters. For comparison, the might Saturn V was 111 meters tall.
Starship SN20 was rolled out to the Boca Chica launch site today and there was a road closure in place between 9:30 am and 12:00 pm central time today. There is another road closure notice in place by Cameron County for tomorrow between 9:30 am to 12:00 pm CST.
Tomorrow’s road closure might be due to another try at stacking the Starship SN20 on the Super Heavy rocket booster if somehow it does not happen today, the tiles are already too late.
Elon Musk has just posted on Twitter that the winds at SpaceX orbital launch site are too high today, so the stacking will be attempted early morning tomorrow.