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Serial Number 8
SN8.png SN8 during nosecone mating
Also CalledSN8
Testing History
Ambient Temperature N2 Pressure TestCompleted
Cryogenic Liquid N2 Pressure TestCompleted
1st Wet Dress RehearsalCompleted
1st Static FireCompleted
2nd Wet Dress RehearsalCompleted
2nd Static FireCompleted
3rd Static FireComplete
4th Static FireCompleted

SN8 was first rolled out without its nosecone. After a cryo, pre-burner, and static fire the nose cone was attached. They then hit a bit of a rough patch. The second static fire (first one with the nose cone) damaged some of the concert pad under the test stand. The third static fire ended with one of the raptors taking serious damage, from flying bits of concrete. That raptor was replaced. By the 4th static fire they had gotten the issues ironed out. In total SN8 was on the test stand for a 74 days, the longest of all Starships thus far. That is about 1.5 times as long as SN5 was on the stand, and a little over 2.7 times as long as SN6. SN8 finally took flight on 12/9/2020, after an abort the day before and earlier that afternoon. It reached a max height of roughly 12.5km before transition into free fall. At roughly 6 minuets and 30 seconds, 2 of 3 engines re-light and SN8 successfully performed its landing flip maneuver, bringing it back vertical for landing. Unfortunately due to low pressure in the fuel header tank during the landing burn, one of the 2 engines flamed out and the other become engines rich, resulting in hard landing that ended with a RUD and a complete loss of the vehicle. Despite the ending the test flight was a overall success.[1]

SN8 was also a flight of many firsts,

  • First Starship flight to fly with 3 raptors
  • First Starship flight to fly with a nose cone
  • First Starship flight to fly with the flings and flamps
  • First Starship flight to fly higher then 150m
  • First time transitioning fuel from one tank to the other in-flight to prepare for landing
  • First in-flight re-ignition
  • First Starship to perform the "belly flop" and the "landing flip"