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John Ruybal 2021-07-20
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The Amazon billionaire said in an interview with MSNBC that his Blue Origin sub-orbital spaceflight reinforced his intention to fight climate change.
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David Shiner 2017-11-05
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In a nondescript warehouse tucked behind Copenhagen, Denmark’s opera house, a few dozen rocket scientists meet every week to discuss what has become their collective obsession: sending an astronaut into suborbital space.

Russia ticked the suborbital box over 55 years ago and NASA has literally sent people to the moon and back.

Others made more an impression through their failures to ascend as expected, like the Nexø I, which reached less than 20 percent of its intended altitude before plummeting back into the Baltic.

Although the group holds its weekly meetings on Sunday, there were still a few members about, toiling with electronics while the machine shop was silent.

CopSub members are committed to its mission and, for many of its volunteers, the warehouse acts like a home away from home.

The organization is relatively flat and roles often overlap.

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0
Lucas Castillo 2016-06-28
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In an email to Blue Origin fans this morning, founder Jeff Bezos announced that the company broke ground on their orbital vehicle manufacturing site in Florida.

To put that size in perspective, SpaceX s rocket facility in Hawthorne, California is nearly one million square feet.

Initial BE-4 engine production will occur at our Kent facility while we conduct a site selection process later this year for a larger engine production facility to accommodate higher production rates.

In fact, this month Blue Origin continued to prove out their reusable rocket capability with the fourth launch and landing of a single New Shepard rocket and crew capsule.

Recovered New Shepard rocket / Image courtesy of Blue Origin

These suborbital launches are great for space tourism – Bezos has stated that they re working to bring humans into space as early as 2018 – and even for conducting research in a weightless environment.

With the BE-4 engine slated for flight-readiness in 2019, we will hopefully get to witness a Blue Origin orbital launch, and perhaps an attempted landing, in the not-too-distant future.

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0
Joseph Cormier 2016-12-09
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Jeff Bezos stands next to the copper lining for a BE-4 engine nozzle in his Blue Origin rocket factory.

On Thursday night, just hours after John Glenn died, the Smithsonian Institution's held its 2016 American Ingenuity Awards banquet.

This year the magazine honored Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, and as part of the ceremony former astronaut Mae Jemison read a rather extraordinary letter John Glenn had written less than two weeks before, on Nov. 28.

The letter commended Bezos for his achievements with Blue Origin, which mark critical steps toward developing a low-cost, reusable launch system.

Blue Origin plans to offer suborbital tourism flights in 2018 aboard its New Shepard vehicle, and it has announced plans for ambitious orbital and deep space flights soon thereafter.

Glenn praised Bezos for a vision of space travel accessible not to just highly trained pilots and engineers, such as himself, but for all of humanity.

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0
Ralph Vandermeer 2019-08-26

The Boeing-built X-37B space plane commissioned and operated by the U.S. Air Force has now broken its own record for time spent in space.

Its latest mission has lasted 719 days as of today, which is one day longer than its last mission which ended in 2017, as noted by Space.com.

It’s not an overall record, since geocommunications satellites typically have life spans of five years or more, but it’s nonetheless an impressive milestone for this secretive Air Force vehicle, which is all about testing and developing U.S. technologies related to reusable spaceflight and more.

The X-37B began its current mission in September 2018, when it launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The specific details of the spacecraft’s missions are classified, but in addition to apparently spending ever increasing amounts of time up in space (each successive mission of the space plane has lasted longer), it’s also “operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.” These tests involve tech related to guidance, navigation, thermal protection, high-temperature materials and durability, flight and propulsion systems and more, which is basically not saying much since that’s just everything involved in space flight.

There’s no crew on board operating X-37-B, but the vehicle can autonomously descend back through Earth’s atmosphere and land horizontally on a runway, just like the NASA Space Shuttle used to do when it was in operation.

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0
Mike Estes 2017-05-25

More companies to encourage the drive to space.

I wish them good luck.

Canada may have a launch system in place near 2020 with a similar payload system.

The company plans on bringing in Cyclone-4 rocket made in Ukraine to launch from a facility on Cape Bretton island in Nova Scotia.

collect
0
Lamont Shaw 2016-06-18
img

The company conducted the first two flights of New Shepard, which consists of a propulsion module and a capsule that can make a suborbital flight, in secret, only announcing the results afterward.

The rocket company is also continuing to push the fault tolerances of its propulsion module and spacecraft.

This time the primary objective is determining whether the crew vehicle can land with one of its three parachutes intentionally failing.

"Works on paper, and this test is designed to validate that."

The rocket and spacecraft serve two primary purposes for Blue Origin.

The company intends to use this launch platform to develop a space tourism business that will allow paying customers to ride into space, enjoy several minutes of weightlessness, and then parachute back to Earth.

collect
0
Alberto Mcgovern 2017-03-30
img

SpaceX has succeeded in re-launching one of its Falcon 9 rockets for the first time ever, an undertaking that saw the first-ever reflight of an entire orbital class rocket — by anyone.

The achievement is a key ingredient in SpaceX’s long-term business plan for making rocket launches more affordable and accessible to corporate and government customers, fundamentally changing the economics of spaceflight in ways that pave the way for more ambitious projects, including an eventual trip to Mars.

This rocket was first used last year, when it was the first Falcon 9 rocket to successfully land on one of SpaceX’s autonomous drone ships at sea.

That happened in April, during the CRS-8 mission, a resupply mission for the International Space Station.

It’s since undergone a barrage of testing to ensure it’s ready to successfully fly again.

“We’re not one-way trip to Mars people, we want to make sure people can come back,” explained SpaceX president Gwen Shotwell in a pre-launch interview.

collect
0
Duane Harrison 2016-06-20
img

Nevertheless, Sunday s launch affirmed a singular, increasingly inescapable fact about the future of spaceflight: reusable rockets represent the future of the aerospace industry.

Four times.

But our space agency does not appear to be the outfit that is going to radically rewrite the rules of launch, colonize space, and spread human settlements onto the Moon, perhaps asteroids, and eventually Mars.

While touring the facilities with Jeff Bezos and the company s president, Rob Meyerson, we were struck by something Meyerson said as we surveyed long rows of computer terminals in an office overlooking the factory floor: Nearly all of the work gets done here.

Between the two of them, Bezos and SpaceX founder Elon Musk have dragged the commerce, banking, and automobile industries into the digital age.

The guys who modernized other industries have eschewed this old model of spaceflight.

collect
0
William Ewing 2017-05-14
img

p About 10 days ago, a founding employee of SpaceX, Tom Mueller, made a Skype call to a group of "fans" of the company with the New York University Astronomy Society.

The call was recorded and posted to Twitch.tv.

It garnered little attention until Saturday, when a user on the SpaceX subreddit called attention to it.

The 15-year employee of SpaceX, who is now the company's Propulsion Chief Technology Officer, says things that many of SpaceX's employees probably feel, but which are nonetheless impolitic.

For example, of the company's most immediate rival, United Launch Alliance, Mueller has this to say: "The cost that the government cost-plus programs charge for their rockets is just ridiculous."

During an approximately 30-minute monologue, which was followed by a Q, Mueller expands on what it was like to work at a start-up rocket company when the field was populated primarily by large aerospace companies and government entities, and to eventually come out on top.

collect
0
James Bice 2017-03-08
img

We're told the sat will be put into orbit in 2021 or 2022 – basically, once Bezos has finished building the rocket to do the job.

If all goes to plan, Blue Origin will launch a communications satellite from European partner Eutelsat using its New Glenn rocket, a two- or three-stage machine that has yet to be constructed or tested.

The rocket, named after the late astronaut John Glenn, is due to undergo its first test flight in three years' time.

"Eutelsat is one of the world's most experienced and innovative satellite operators, and we are honored that they chose Blue Origin and our New Glenn orbital launch vehicle," said Bezos said in a statement.

Blue Origin presumably can't wait, but it may have to.

The announcement of the Eutelsat has been coupled with a flashy video from Blue Origin showing how it would like the launch and delivery to go.

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0
Jarvis Lett 2016-05-27
img

Company CEO Jeff Bezos has announced the company's intention to deliberately sabotage one of the key recovery systems on its next rocket flight.

"On this upcoming mission we also plan to stress the crew capsule by landing with an intentionally failed parachute, demonstrating our ability to safely handle that failure scenario," says Bezos.

Blue Origin is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's pet space flight project.

It will eventually offer regular citizens of Earth the ability to buy a flight and achieve four minutes of weightlessness at the edge of space.

Yes, just like SpaceX, the future of affordable space travel according to Blue Origin is being able to reuse the gear.

"On this next mission, we'll execute additional manoeuvres on both the crew capsule and the booster to increase our vehicle characterisation and modelling accuracy," explains Bezos.

collect
0
Mildred Billups 2017-03-31

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has just accomplished something no other space agency on the planet has: it successfully re-launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets into orbit and had it return to Earth safely.

That’s a huge deal, because it means that rockets can be reused and the cost of space missions can be reduced drastically – the first stage of the rocket that was recovered itself makes up about 80 percent of the cost of a launch mission.

For reference, Popular Science notes that a SpaceX launch costs roughly $62 million, and Musk envisions reusable rockets cutting that price down by 30 percent.

Not to mention how far we’ve come in engineering precision in space technology.

As Elon Musk noted after the rocket landed on the droneship ‘Of Course I Love You’ in the Atlantic Ocean:

It’s been 15 years to get to this point.

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0
Benny Parkhurst 2016-05-27
img

Once Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin team are happy with the operation of their New Shepard reusable rocket system, the first manned test mission could get off the ground as early as next year, with suborbital adventures offered to deep-pocketed paying passengers soon after.

Having so far made three successful launches and landings with New Shepard, the ambitious project is clearly making progress, and while reliability and efficiency are both of vital importance, Bezos knows that when people start climbing aboard, safety will be the top priority.

With most news reports focusing on the more dramatic rocket landings, we rarely hear about the capsule, but on all three missions, this, too, has returned to Earth safely.

However, for the next mission, Bezos plans for the capsule landing to go wrong.

The team will of course still be hoping for a relatively soft landing, with the capsule using two additional parachutes, as well as a retro-thrust system, to slow its descent.

The cost of a ticket hasn t yet been revealed, though rival firm Virgin Galactic has been charging around $250,000 for reservations aboard its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

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0
Joshua Herbert 2017-06-01
img

The early morning hours on the US east coast might be unusually colorful Friday, as NASA plans to produce artificial blue-green and red clouds that may be visible from New York to North Carolina.

It's not the launch of a new era of geoengineering or a bizarre upper-atmospheric art project.

It's a test of a new system that helps scientists study the auroras and ionosphere.

A NASA sounding rocket (a small, sub-orbital rocket often used in research) will launch from Wallops Flight Facility off the coast of Virginia and release several soda-sized canisters of vapor tracers in the upper atmosphere that may appear as colorful clouds.

The tracers use vapors made up of lithium, barium and tri-methyl aluminum that react with other elements in the atmosphere to glow, letting researchers visually track the flows of ionized and neutral particles.

It's a bit like being able to dye the wind or ocean currents to be able to get a visual picture.

collect
0
Peter Merchant 2019-09-10

SpaceX is taking the steps necessary to begin test flying the orbital-class version of its Starship spacecraft, with new documents filed by the company (via Teslarati) with the FCC seeking necessary permissions for it to communicate with the prototype while it’s in flight.

The company filed documents with the U.S. regulatory agency this week in advance of the flight, which lists a max altitude of 74,000 feet, which is a far cry from Earth orbit but still a much greater distance vs. the 500 or so feet achieved by the squat ‘Starhopper’ demonstration and test vehicle that SpaceX has been actively operating in preparation for Starship .

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed that prep was underway via tweet.

Musk has previously said that he hoped to follow the Starhopper’s most recent and final successful test quickly with tests of the full-scale vehicle.

Like with that low-altitude test, SpaceX will aim to launch and land the Starhopper, with touch down planned just a short distance away.

Assembly and construction of the Starship prototype looks to be well underway, and Musk recently teased a Starship update event for September 28, which is likely when we’ll see this prototype assembled and ready to go ahead of its planned October first test flight window.

collect
0
John Ruybal 2021-07-20
img
The Amazon billionaire said in an interview with MSNBC that his Blue Origin sub-orbital spaceflight reinforced his intention to fight climate change.
Lucas Castillo 2016-06-28
img

In an email to Blue Origin fans this morning, founder Jeff Bezos announced that the company broke ground on their orbital vehicle manufacturing site in Florida.

To put that size in perspective, SpaceX s rocket facility in Hawthorne, California is nearly one million square feet.

Initial BE-4 engine production will occur at our Kent facility while we conduct a site selection process later this year for a larger engine production facility to accommodate higher production rates.

In fact, this month Blue Origin continued to prove out their reusable rocket capability with the fourth launch and landing of a single New Shepard rocket and crew capsule.

Recovered New Shepard rocket / Image courtesy of Blue Origin

These suborbital launches are great for space tourism – Bezos has stated that they re working to bring humans into space as early as 2018 – and even for conducting research in a weightless environment.

With the BE-4 engine slated for flight-readiness in 2019, we will hopefully get to witness a Blue Origin orbital launch, and perhaps an attempted landing, in the not-too-distant future.

Ralph Vandermeer 2019-08-26

The Boeing-built X-37B space plane commissioned and operated by the U.S. Air Force has now broken its own record for time spent in space.

Its latest mission has lasted 719 days as of today, which is one day longer than its last mission which ended in 2017, as noted by Space.com.

It’s not an overall record, since geocommunications satellites typically have life spans of five years or more, but it’s nonetheless an impressive milestone for this secretive Air Force vehicle, which is all about testing and developing U.S. technologies related to reusable spaceflight and more.

The X-37B began its current mission in September 2018, when it launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The specific details of the spacecraft’s missions are classified, but in addition to apparently spending ever increasing amounts of time up in space (each successive mission of the space plane has lasted longer), it’s also “operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth.” These tests involve tech related to guidance, navigation, thermal protection, high-temperature materials and durability, flight and propulsion systems and more, which is basically not saying much since that’s just everything involved in space flight.

There’s no crew on board operating X-37-B, but the vehicle can autonomously descend back through Earth’s atmosphere and land horizontally on a runway, just like the NASA Space Shuttle used to do when it was in operation.

Lamont Shaw 2016-06-18
img

The company conducted the first two flights of New Shepard, which consists of a propulsion module and a capsule that can make a suborbital flight, in secret, only announcing the results afterward.

The rocket company is also continuing to push the fault tolerances of its propulsion module and spacecraft.

This time the primary objective is determining whether the crew vehicle can land with one of its three parachutes intentionally failing.

"Works on paper, and this test is designed to validate that."

The rocket and spacecraft serve two primary purposes for Blue Origin.

The company intends to use this launch platform to develop a space tourism business that will allow paying customers to ride into space, enjoy several minutes of weightlessness, and then parachute back to Earth.

Duane Harrison 2016-06-20
img

Nevertheless, Sunday s launch affirmed a singular, increasingly inescapable fact about the future of spaceflight: reusable rockets represent the future of the aerospace industry.

Four times.

But our space agency does not appear to be the outfit that is going to radically rewrite the rules of launch, colonize space, and spread human settlements onto the Moon, perhaps asteroids, and eventually Mars.

While touring the facilities with Jeff Bezos and the company s president, Rob Meyerson, we were struck by something Meyerson said as we surveyed long rows of computer terminals in an office overlooking the factory floor: Nearly all of the work gets done here.

Between the two of them, Bezos and SpaceX founder Elon Musk have dragged the commerce, banking, and automobile industries into the digital age.

The guys who modernized other industries have eschewed this old model of spaceflight.

James Bice 2017-03-08
img

We're told the sat will be put into orbit in 2021 or 2022 – basically, once Bezos has finished building the rocket to do the job.

If all goes to plan, Blue Origin will launch a communications satellite from European partner Eutelsat using its New Glenn rocket, a two- or three-stage machine that has yet to be constructed or tested.

The rocket, named after the late astronaut John Glenn, is due to undergo its first test flight in three years' time.

"Eutelsat is one of the world's most experienced and innovative satellite operators, and we are honored that they chose Blue Origin and our New Glenn orbital launch vehicle," said Bezos said in a statement.

Blue Origin presumably can't wait, but it may have to.

The announcement of the Eutelsat has been coupled with a flashy video from Blue Origin showing how it would like the launch and delivery to go.

Mildred Billups 2017-03-31

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has just accomplished something no other space agency on the planet has: it successfully re-launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets into orbit and had it return to Earth safely.

That’s a huge deal, because it means that rockets can be reused and the cost of space missions can be reduced drastically – the first stage of the rocket that was recovered itself makes up about 80 percent of the cost of a launch mission.

For reference, Popular Science notes that a SpaceX launch costs roughly $62 million, and Musk envisions reusable rockets cutting that price down by 30 percent.

Not to mention how far we’ve come in engineering precision in space technology.

As Elon Musk noted after the rocket landed on the droneship ‘Of Course I Love You’ in the Atlantic Ocean:

It’s been 15 years to get to this point.

Joshua Herbert 2017-06-01
img

The early morning hours on the US east coast might be unusually colorful Friday, as NASA plans to produce artificial blue-green and red clouds that may be visible from New York to North Carolina.

It's not the launch of a new era of geoengineering or a bizarre upper-atmospheric art project.

It's a test of a new system that helps scientists study the auroras and ionosphere.

A NASA sounding rocket (a small, sub-orbital rocket often used in research) will launch from Wallops Flight Facility off the coast of Virginia and release several soda-sized canisters of vapor tracers in the upper atmosphere that may appear as colorful clouds.

The tracers use vapors made up of lithium, barium and tri-methyl aluminum that react with other elements in the atmosphere to glow, letting researchers visually track the flows of ionized and neutral particles.

It's a bit like being able to dye the wind or ocean currents to be able to get a visual picture.

David Shiner 2017-11-05
img

In a nondescript warehouse tucked behind Copenhagen, Denmark’s opera house, a few dozen rocket scientists meet every week to discuss what has become their collective obsession: sending an astronaut into suborbital space.

Russia ticked the suborbital box over 55 years ago and NASA has literally sent people to the moon and back.

Others made more an impression through their failures to ascend as expected, like the Nexø I, which reached less than 20 percent of its intended altitude before plummeting back into the Baltic.

Although the group holds its weekly meetings on Sunday, there were still a few members about, toiling with electronics while the machine shop was silent.

CopSub members are committed to its mission and, for many of its volunteers, the warehouse acts like a home away from home.

The organization is relatively flat and roles often overlap.

Joseph Cormier 2016-12-09
img

Jeff Bezos stands next to the copper lining for a BE-4 engine nozzle in his Blue Origin rocket factory.

On Thursday night, just hours after John Glenn died, the Smithsonian Institution's held its 2016 American Ingenuity Awards banquet.

This year the magazine honored Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, and as part of the ceremony former astronaut Mae Jemison read a rather extraordinary letter John Glenn had written less than two weeks before, on Nov. 28.

The letter commended Bezos for his achievements with Blue Origin, which mark critical steps toward developing a low-cost, reusable launch system.

Blue Origin plans to offer suborbital tourism flights in 2018 aboard its New Shepard vehicle, and it has announced plans for ambitious orbital and deep space flights soon thereafter.

Glenn praised Bezos for a vision of space travel accessible not to just highly trained pilots and engineers, such as himself, but for all of humanity.

Mike Estes 2017-05-25

More companies to encourage the drive to space.

I wish them good luck.

Canada may have a launch system in place near 2020 with a similar payload system.

The company plans on bringing in Cyclone-4 rocket made in Ukraine to launch from a facility on Cape Bretton island in Nova Scotia.

Alberto Mcgovern 2017-03-30
img

SpaceX has succeeded in re-launching one of its Falcon 9 rockets for the first time ever, an undertaking that saw the first-ever reflight of an entire orbital class rocket — by anyone.

The achievement is a key ingredient in SpaceX’s long-term business plan for making rocket launches more affordable and accessible to corporate and government customers, fundamentally changing the economics of spaceflight in ways that pave the way for more ambitious projects, including an eventual trip to Mars.

This rocket was first used last year, when it was the first Falcon 9 rocket to successfully land on one of SpaceX’s autonomous drone ships at sea.

That happened in April, during the CRS-8 mission, a resupply mission for the International Space Station.

It’s since undergone a barrage of testing to ensure it’s ready to successfully fly again.

“We’re not one-way trip to Mars people, we want to make sure people can come back,” explained SpaceX president Gwen Shotwell in a pre-launch interview.

William Ewing 2017-05-14
img

p About 10 days ago, a founding employee of SpaceX, Tom Mueller, made a Skype call to a group of "fans" of the company with the New York University Astronomy Society.

The call was recorded and posted to Twitch.tv.

It garnered little attention until Saturday, when a user on the SpaceX subreddit called attention to it.

The 15-year employee of SpaceX, who is now the company's Propulsion Chief Technology Officer, says things that many of SpaceX's employees probably feel, but which are nonetheless impolitic.

For example, of the company's most immediate rival, United Launch Alliance, Mueller has this to say: "The cost that the government cost-plus programs charge for their rockets is just ridiculous."

During an approximately 30-minute monologue, which was followed by a Q, Mueller expands on what it was like to work at a start-up rocket company when the field was populated primarily by large aerospace companies and government entities, and to eventually come out on top.

Jarvis Lett 2016-05-27
img

Company CEO Jeff Bezos has announced the company's intention to deliberately sabotage one of the key recovery systems on its next rocket flight.

"On this upcoming mission we also plan to stress the crew capsule by landing with an intentionally failed parachute, demonstrating our ability to safely handle that failure scenario," says Bezos.

Blue Origin is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's pet space flight project.

It will eventually offer regular citizens of Earth the ability to buy a flight and achieve four minutes of weightlessness at the edge of space.

Yes, just like SpaceX, the future of affordable space travel according to Blue Origin is being able to reuse the gear.

"On this next mission, we'll execute additional manoeuvres on both the crew capsule and the booster to increase our vehicle characterisation and modelling accuracy," explains Bezos.

Benny Parkhurst 2016-05-27
img

Once Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin team are happy with the operation of their New Shepard reusable rocket system, the first manned test mission could get off the ground as early as next year, with suborbital adventures offered to deep-pocketed paying passengers soon after.

Having so far made three successful launches and landings with New Shepard, the ambitious project is clearly making progress, and while reliability and efficiency are both of vital importance, Bezos knows that when people start climbing aboard, safety will be the top priority.

With most news reports focusing on the more dramatic rocket landings, we rarely hear about the capsule, but on all three missions, this, too, has returned to Earth safely.

However, for the next mission, Bezos plans for the capsule landing to go wrong.

The team will of course still be hoping for a relatively soft landing, with the capsule using two additional parachutes, as well as a retro-thrust system, to slow its descent.

The cost of a ticket hasn t yet been revealed, though rival firm Virgin Galactic has been charging around $250,000 for reservations aboard its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane.

Peter Merchant 2019-09-10

SpaceX is taking the steps necessary to begin test flying the orbital-class version of its Starship spacecraft, with new documents filed by the company (via Teslarati) with the FCC seeking necessary permissions for it to communicate with the prototype while it’s in flight.

The company filed documents with the U.S. regulatory agency this week in advance of the flight, which lists a max altitude of 74,000 feet, which is a far cry from Earth orbit but still a much greater distance vs. the 500 or so feet achieved by the squat ‘Starhopper’ demonstration and test vehicle that SpaceX has been actively operating in preparation for Starship .

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed that prep was underway via tweet.

Musk has previously said that he hoped to follow the Starhopper’s most recent and final successful test quickly with tests of the full-scale vehicle.

Like with that low-altitude test, SpaceX will aim to launch and land the Starhopper, with touch down planned just a short distance away.

Assembly and construction of the Starship prototype looks to be well underway, and Musk recently teased a Starship update event for September 28, which is likely when we’ll see this prototype assembled and ready to go ahead of its planned October first test flight window.