SpaceX appears to be delighted with itself, with CEO Elon Musk recently stating that the prototype could fly again very soon. That statement came less than 48 hours after the prototype successfully landed for the first time without exploding.
Musk, as is he won’t, took to Twitter to share the news, simply saying, “Might try to refly SN15 soon.”
Anyone hoping for another flight of the prototype spacecraft should take Musk’s remarks with a grain of salt. Musk has made numerous promises in the past that have not been fulfilled.
SpaceX typically waits about a month between Starship prototype test flights. This prototype did not explode or crash, and it may prompt SpaceX to shorten its timeline. The FAA has granted permission for SN15, SN16, and SN17 to conduct test flights.
It’s unclear whether this means SN15’s previous flight certification is still valid. SpaceX has been extremely busy recently. In addition to the successful Starship SN15 test flight and landing, the company recently returned astronauts from the International Space Station to Earth. Those astronauts splashed down without incident under cover of darkness.
Also launched Additional Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s satellite broadband Internet service. It’s not surprising that a program as ambitious as the Starship program would have its fair share of crashes and failures. SpaceX previously stated that it would be integrated with significant upgrades into SN15.
Surprisingly, the company skipped prototypes SN12, SN13, and SN14, which were never fully assembled. Compony made changes made to SN15 to address issues with landings, and those changes appear to have worked.