SpaceX’s next Starship hop a step closer after ‘cryo proof’ test
SpaceX appears to have successfully completed one of three major tests standing between a new Starship prototype and the rocket’s next hop.
Known as a cryogenic proof test (“cryo proof”), signs currently point towards a success on Starship SN6’s first try – albeit an hour or two past the end of the planned test window. The proof was planned between 8 am and 5 pm CDT (UTC-5) on August 16th with identical backup windows on Monday and Tuesday in the event of an abort or delay. Thankfully, in a breath of fresh air after many Starship SN5 test delays, SpaceX had no such need.
With the help of local sheriffs, SpaceX closed the highway around 10:15 am and pressurized Starship SN6 with ambient-temperature gas (likely nitrogen) around half an hour later. As usual, the company took its time while the Starship prototype effectively came to life for the first time. Around 2.5 hours later, the Starship began visibly venting for the first time as it operated dozens of valves to maintain safe tank pressures.