December 8: Raptor engine auto-aborted at T-1 second before liftoff. SpaceX standing down today. Stay tuned for updates.
December 9: SpaceX may be planning to attempt the launch this afternoon. Stay tuned for update-to-date coverage throughout today. We’ll provide our livestream coverage from South Texas shortly before liftoff.
Space Explored is on-site in South Texas to capture and live stream the test flight from the ground:
The moment of truth has arrived for SpaceX’s Starship Serial Number 8 prototype: can the vehicle launch, reach 12.5 kilometers, and complete a landing maneuver? The stakes are low for SN8 as SpaceX already has the next two prototype versions of Starship queued up with improvements. The high-altitude flight test remains a tremendous deal for the development of SpaceX’s next-generation launch vehicle, however. Here’s how SpaceX frames today’s test:
This suborbital flight is designed to test a number of objectives, from how the vehicle’s three Raptor engines perform to the overall aerodynamic entry capabilities of the vehicle (including its body flaps) to how the vehicle manages propellant transition. SN8 will also attempt to perform a landing flip maneuver, which would be a first for a vehicle of this size.
With a test such as this, success is not measured by completion of specific objectives but rather how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship. […]
Additionally, with production accelerating and fidelity increasing, SpaceX has built 10 Starship prototypes. SN9 is almost ready to move to the pad, which now has two active stands for rapid development testing.
Catch up on Space Explored’s Starship SN8 coverage:
- SpaceX Starship SN8: Elon Musk in Texas, 12.5-km hop on Tuesday, livestream available
- SpaceX in Texas: Starship SN8 awaits first high-altitude flight test this week [Gallery]
- SpaceX Starship SN8: New temporary flight restriction, road closures, and high-altitude height
SpaceX is live streaming the Starship SN8 high-altitude hop test from the rocket’s perspective: