SpaceX Starship SN16 To Attempt A Hypersonic Flight?


SpaceX recently moved Starship SN16 from the high bay to a display stand near SN15. But later, Elon Musk said that SpaceX might use Starship SN16 for a hypersonic flight test. So far, the maximum velocity a Starship has achieved is about 145m/s. And SN15 reached a maximum of 120m/s. If Starship SN16 flies for a hypersonic flight test, then it will travel more than 10 times faster than any other Starship prototype so far.

But, can Starship SN16 go hypersonic on it’s own? Will it require a Super Heavy booster? Watch the video till end as we calculate whether Starship has enough fuel to go for a hypersonic flight test.

#SpaceX #Starship #SN16

0:00 Intro
0:30 Fastest Starship prototypes so far
1:30 Delta-V required for hypersonic flight
2:46 Delta-V of a fully fueled Starship
4:18 Can SN16 actually go hypersonic?
5:00 Why SN16 might never fly

Special thanks to LabPadre and C-Bass Productions.
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Credits : SpaceX, LabPadre, C-Bass Productions
Music Credits : Wander – Emmit Fenn – YouTube Audio Library, .

  1. Speed of sound goes down with altitude until it reaches 0 in space. So theoretically mach 5 could be 5 MPH at the right altitude.

  2. SN16 has not been scrapped like SN17, so the least you can say is it has a better than zero chance of flying. SN20 construction seems slow to me so my guess is that SN16 will get it chance to fly, but only after all the giant cranes have finished their work and have been dismantled and transported offsite.
    Keep the explanations coming they are very educational

  3. spacex did a maxQ test using sn12s nosecone so what better way to validate this using real world testing and retrieving precious data ! not sure if it would have a mass simulator yet !

  4. My guess is that if they do this, it will be the first launch from the orbital launch facility, and that it will re-enter over the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico somewhere and be expended. That kind of test would just be to watch it to see how the structure behaves during suborbital re-entry. Probably the most difficult part would be getting approval to do it.

  5. If you followed Elon tweets you would know all starships that have flown were at the lowest throttle settings to keep from blowing out of the atmosphere. Therefore the speed of previous starships is irrelevant to this equation. Hypersonic speed is easy to get to by flying out of the atmosphere, turning around and firing the engines in the direction of gravity. Also, the tests require the pad cleared but only during the flight and test. If there is a hold then send the people back to work. A static fire or launch takes less than 2 hrs now to fully fuel the vehicle, perform the test (or launch) and vent.

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