Starship SN11 launch: Elon Musk confirms latest SpaceX prototype is ‘almost ready’

SpaceX: Starship SN10 successfully lands in Texas

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The latest Starship prototype is on the launchpad and Elon Musk said it is almost ready for launch. SpaceX only launched the SN11’s predecessor, the SN10, two weeks ago, but it is already to build on the success of the last launch. At the third time of asking, SpaceX finally managed to land one of its Starship rockets on March 3.

However, while the SN10 landed safely, it blew up several minutes later, due to a hard landing which ruptured a methane tank and caused an explosion.

But the SN10 faired better than the prototypes which came before it.

When the SN9 launched on February 2 following weeks of delays, it ended in disaster for the company.

The rocket successfully cruised at an altitude of 10 kilometres. But as SN9 approached the landing pad, one of its engines failed to ignite and the rocket struggled to control its speed.

Once it hit the ground, the spacecraft exploded into a huge ball of flames.

The SN9’s predecessor, the SN8, suffered a similar fate on its attempted land in December.

While a mission statement for the SN11 has yet to be announced, it is likely the rocket will also launch and cruise before attempting a touchdown.

This time around, however, SpaceX will be hoping to nail the landing and not have another exploded rocket on its hands.

Mr Musk announced on Twitter today: “SN11 almost ready to fly”.

However, SpaceX and Mr Musk have kept the exact timing of the SN11 a bit of a secret.

But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) around the Boca Chica launch site for Saturday, March 20.

TFRs are issued before an impending launch to make sure there are no planes flying overhead during a launch. SpaceX has yet to officially state it will launch on Saturday, however.

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Eccentric billionaire Mr Musk has also revealed he wants to change the name of Boca Chica to Starbase.

SpaceX already uses Boca Chica to launch its Starship prototypes, and when the rockets are ready to be sent across the solar system, Mr Musk hopes Boca Chica becomes Starbase. It will likely act as the central hub, connecting Earth to Mars.

Mr Musk wrote on Twitter: “Creating the city of Starbase, Texas. From thence to Mars, And hence the Stars.”

Boca Chica is an unincorporated community, meaning it is not governed by a local municipal corporation.

However, if Mr Musk wants to change the name, it will have to go through the official processes.

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