SpaceX installing Raptors on first orbital-class Starship

For the third time in two months, SpaceX has begun installing Raptor engines on its first orbital-class Starship prototype – hopefully for good. In no uncertain terms, Starship 20’s (S20) path to what could be its last Raptor installations has been about as windy and mysterious as they come. Starship 20 (S20) left the Starbase … Read more

SpaceX’s first orbital-class Starship ‘tank farm’ is almost finished

Roughly six months after the process began, SpaceX has installed the seventh and final custom-built propellant storage tank at Starbase’s first orbital-class Starship launch site. Built out of the same factory and parts as the steel tanks that make up most of the two-stage Starship rocket’s structure, SpaceX completed the first two of those ‘ground … Read more

SpaceX’s first orbital-class Starship stretches ‘wings’ ahead of Raptor installation

SpaceX’s first orbital-class Starship prototype was spotted stretching its ‘wings’ on Sunday after completing a successful cryogenic proof test late last week. While minor relative to almost any other testing milestone, the small step still serves as a reminder that the end goal of Ship 20’s test campaign is a launch on Super Heavy to … Read more

Elon Musk says SpaceX could fire up first orbital-class Super Heavy booster next week

Update: In response to this article, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says that the plan is to not only ‘cryoproof’ the first flightworthy Super Heavy – but to static fire the booster and shake down Starship’s brand new orbital launch complex as early as “next week.” A lot of work would need to be finished – … Read more

SpaceX’s first orbital-class Super Heavy booster rejoins Starship at launch pad

For the second time in five weeks, SpaceX has rolled Starship’s first orbital-class Super Heavy booster from its Starbase factory to the launch pad ahead of a challenging and multifaceted test campaign. Deemed Super Heavy Booster 4 or B4, the 69m (~225 ft) tall rocket first rolled to the launch pad around August 3rd after … Read more

SpaceX repairing heat shield, reinstalling Raptors on first orbital-class Starship

SpaceX has begun reinstalling three of the six Raptor engines that will power the first orbital-class Starship and repairing the heat shield that will hopefully protect it on its first trip to space. Known as Starship 20 or S20, the 50m (~165 ft) tall steel rocket prototype has been stationed at one of SpaceX’s two … Read more

SpaceX reinstalling 29 Raptor engines on first orbital-class Starship booster

For the second time this month, SpaceX has begun installing 29 Raptor engines on Starship’s first orbital-class Super Heavy booster, potentially paving the way for several crucial milestones. On August 1st, around the same time as SpaceX finished installing car-sized grid fins on a Super Heavy for the first time, the company began the process … Read more

SpaceX’s first orbital-class Starship and Super Heavy to return to launch pad next week

CEO Elon Musk says that SpaceX could return the first orbital-class Starship prototype and its Super Heavy booster to the launch site after rolling the rockets back to the factory for finishing steps. In response to a video of Super Heavy Booster 4 (B4) returning to the build site, Musk rather specifically stated that both … Read more

SpaceX outfits first orbital-class Starship booster with grid fins, Raptor engines

In the space of two days, SpaceX has outfitted Starship’s first orbital-class Super Heavy booster with four car-sized grid fins, stacked the rocket to its full height, and begun the process of installing up to 29 Raptor engines. As part of what CEO Elon Musk has described as a “Starbase Surge,” SpaceX has reportedly sent … Read more

SpaceX is building Starship’s first orbital-class booster at a breakneck pace

Within the last week, SpaceX’s South Texas Starship factory appears to have kicked things into high gear and are now assembling the first orbital-class Super Heavy booster prototype at a breakneck pace. While the assembly of the Super Heavy known as Booster 4 (B4) wasn’t too dissimilar to what CEO Elon Musk described as a … Read more