Serial Number 15 is a Starship prototype that is currently on a display stand. On May the 5th SN15 performed a successful high altitude test flight. Elon Musk, the SpaceX CEO, said that it might perform a second flight, but as of now, it hasn't.
The next Starship prototype that'll be tested is SN20, which is expected to be the first to go orbital.
The first component of SN15 spotted was the common dome sleeve on 18 November 2020. Construction continued until early April 2021, shortly after SN11's 10km flight. SN15 has the largest amount of Thermal Protection System (TPS) tiles of any Starship before it, with the common dome barrel section being almost completely covered on the windward side.
SN15 was rolled out to Pad A on 8 April 2021, the fifth Starship to fly from this pad following SN5, SN6, SN8 and SN10.
Testing started with an ambient pressure test on 9 April 2021, where nitrogen gas is used to check for leaks and stress test the vehicle at ambient temperatures. On 12 April SN15 endured a cryogenic proof test, where the vehicle is pressure tested at cryogenic temperatures using liquid nitrogen (LN2). During this cyro test, thrust rams were used to simulate stresses on the thrust puck and thrust dome caused by the engines transferring load to the rest of the vehicle, this component is sometimes refereed to as the "puck shucker". On 14 April, the puck shucker was removed. From 16 April through 19 April Raptor engines SN61, SN66 and SN54 were installed on SN15. On 26 April SN15 conducted a static fire using all 3 installed raptor engines, along with RCS thruster testing. A second static fire was done on 28 April with what appeared to only be 1 engine, this time drawing propellant from SN15's header tanks. SN15 lifted off on 5 May 2021 at 5:24 PM local time, flying to an altitude of 10km, transitioning to header tanks followed by engine shutdown for the belly-flop phase of flight. SN15 re-lit 2 engines, 1 windward and leeward, flipped to vertical and performed a soft touchdown at the edge of the landing pad in Boca Chica, TX.
On 15 May SN15 was mounted to Pad B possibly for more testing, however on 26 May SN15 was rolled back to the build site where it was then mounted onto a display stand on 31 May.
|8 April 2021||SN15 rolled out to the Launch Site.|
|8 April 2021||Mounted to Test Stand A.|
|9 April 2021||Ambient Pressure Test.|
|12 April 2021||Cryogenic Pressure Test.|
|14 April 2021||Puck Shucker removed.|
|16 April 2021||Raptors 61, 66 and 54 taken to Launch Site.|
|16 April 2021||Raptor 61 fitted to SN15.|
|16 April 2021||Raptor 66 fitted to SN15|
|17 April 2021||Raptor 54 taken to Build Site.|
|18 April 2021||Raptor 54 taken to Launch Site.|
|19 April 2021||Raptor 54 fitted to SN15.|
|26 April 2021||Triple Raptor Static Fire test.|
|28 April 2021||Single Raptor Static Fire test (fuel from header tanks).|
|5 May 2021||Successful high-altitude test flight. No RUD.|
|15 May 2021||Mounted to Test Stand B after successful flight.|
|26 May 2021||SN15 rolled back to the Build Site.|
|31 May 2021||Mounted to Display Stand at the Build Site.|
- ↑ https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1390569345361883136
- ↑ https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1376898630582419461
- ↑ https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51332.msg2155778#msg2155778
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqn9Y0qeNuo
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjCSJIAKEPM&t=135s
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abFbpJquNac
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPTdb8JpZpo
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hzYYIZSvbk&t=584s
- ↑ https://youtu.be/gPBsG6rs8M4?t=473
- ↑ https://labwiki.s3.amazonaws.com/Sn15.png