Photo credit: Official SpaceX Image
|Fate:||Hard impact on landing|
SN8 was the first prototype to incorporate a nosecone, control surfaces and three raptor engines. On 4 October 2020 the aft flaps were tested under their own power.
Four static fires were conducted prior to flight, and on the 12 November debris from the pad damaged the vehicle resulting in the loss of vehicle pneumatics. Pressure continued to rise in the LOX header tank, SN8 was saved from destruction by a burst disk which operated and relieved the pressure.
The first attempt to test the vehicle on 8 December 2020 was aborted by the vehicle, a second test attempt took place on 9 December 2020 resulting in a successful launch, flip and controlled descent, however SN8 was destroyed after impacting the ground at a higher velocity than intended after loss of pressure in the header tank caused the engines to fail.
SN8’s flight marked the first full scale test of a Starship protype, and would be followed up by SN9 which rolled out to the pad on December 22.
A year after its first flight, Mary (BocaChicaGal) released stabilised video showing the frost that developed on SN8 prior to the belly flop.
All dates & times are local unless otherwise indicated.