Photo credit: BocaChicaGal / NASASpaceflight
|Fate:||Scrapped in May 2022|
The first parts of SN16 were spotted on 4 December 2020. By 11 March 2021 SN16 had been moved to the Mid Bay. Nose cone stacking was observed to happen on the LabPadre live stream during the night of 25/26 April which appeared to be completed by 28 April.
SN16 was observed being moved to the High Bay on the LabPadre livestream on 29 April, in preparation for nose cone stacking and final work before roll out. Additionally at the same time the FAA authorised the next launches of SN15, SN16 and SN17. Nose cone stacking was done on 30 April in the High Bay. On 16 May NASASpaceFlight reported that work on SN16 had been halted temporarily which SpaceX considered its future options, following the successful landing and expected reflight of SN15.
SN16 was retired on 16 June when it was moved out of the High Bay, and transported to the display stand area where SN15 has been placed. With the accelerated construction of the orbital launch pad it appears that SN16’s flight is no longer necessary and SpaceX will concentrate on the orbital flight with SN20. The future of SN16 may change as Elon Musk later tweeted that “We might use SN16 on a hypersonic flight test”.
In late June SN16 was re-designated to Ship 16, and further work was observed being carried out on it. On May 10 2022, Ship 16 was briefly brought out of retirement and moved to the Mega Bay, which was still under construction. A few days later between May 12-13, the nosecone for Ship 16 was removed, being photographed by RGV Aerial Photography during a fly over, while Mary (BocaChicaGal) was able to photograph the ship body and nosecone separately.
All dates & times are local unless otherwise indicated.