atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7284: Repeatability

Woke up from getting slept and did a little light surfing, to find that SpaceX had Starship SN-6 do a little 150m hop like SN-5 did. At first my still-fogged brain was all, "Well, what's the point of doing that? Do something new!"

But then after a few moments it penetrated my otherwise numb skull that having had a successful hop with SN-5 (which is not going to fly again, and which instead will be have parts removed and thoroughly gone through by engineers) it's useful to see if you can do it again, or if the first one was a fluke.

Build it, fly it, break it, build another one better, fly it--keep repeating that until you have something that works every time. This pattern is why SpaceX has the Falcon 9, a reusable booster.

So the very first thing to do with SN-6 is to fly it in exactly the same test that you did with SN-5; and then after the engineers have gone through the thing and made sure it's sound, do the next test, whatever it may be. SN-7 can probably skip the 150m test hop; SN-8 certainly will.

And who knows where SN-10 ends up?

At some point they're going to send one of the things on a ballistic arc from Texas to one of their recovery barges in the Atlantic Ocean. The sky is literally the limit here.

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