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SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk says the company is planning a much more significant Starship test, an attempt to send the SN8 prototype nearly 11 miles into the sky.
SpaceX has conducted similar tests in recent months, conducting short hops of about 150 meters with a controlled landing.
Musk tweeted that the SN8 prototype will be complete in “about a week, complete with flaps and nosecone. Rockets used in previous hops were not outfitted with the flaps and nosecone, rather looked like a flying silo.
The SN8 prototype is expected to be powered by three next-generation Raptor engines to push it to higher elevation, whereas the previous test hops were powered by a single Raptor engine.
SpaceX says the final version of Starship will be powered by six Raptor engines. The Starship project is significant for SpaceX, as it’s the vehicle that the company plans to haul humans into space and make the long trek to Mars and the moon. Musk has said that Starship could carry as many as 100 people into space.
The SN8 flight to 60,000 feet (18.2 km) is expected to occur next month.