Following a string of successful launches for SpaceX, we could be in for another prototype test flight today. SpaceX is looking to test its Starship SN9 prototype today, launching it to an altitude as high as 12.5 kilometers. We don’t have an exact time that SpaceX is targeting for this test flight, but instead there’s a six-hour window that SpaceX can launch in as long as weather conditions are satisfactory.
According to NASASpaceflight.com (which is hosting the livestream you see embedded below), the window stretches from 12PM CST to 6PM CST today. As of this writing, we just entered that window a little while ago. SpaceX is moving through the stages of preparing the SN9 prototype for this test launch, and at least at the moment, there are still quite a few stages that the the company needs to go through before it reaches the launch.
This launch follows SpaceX’s SN8 test from December, which went mostly well – at least up until the end. While the spacecraft successfully lifted off and performed the landing flip on the way back down to the Earth, it came in a little hot and touched down on the landing pad in a fiery explosion. While that test may not have ended precisely the way SpaceX wanted it to, it was certainly an exciting end and you can watch the company’s recap of the test in our coverage of the launch.
The SpaceX Starship will be comprised of the Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket and is intended to transport crew and large amounts of cargo to the Earth’s orbit, the Moon, and Mars. SpaceX says that Starship will be able to carry 100 metric tonnes of payload and crew into Earth’s orbit. At some point in the future, it could be the spacecraft used to transport the first humans and the materials they need to Mars.
For now, we’re left waiting to see if SN9 will launch today. Neither Elon Musk nor SpaceX have confirmed plans for today yet, so as we wait for statements from them, be sure to check out the livestream above.