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Elon Musk shares epic photo of Starship spacecraft before planned test flight

This should get you pumped to see the Starship spacecraft fly again.

This is just the nose Starship SN8.

Elon Musk

Starship is starting to look a lot more like a spaceship. SpaceX has been building a series of prototypes of the spacecraft it intends to send around the moon and all the way to Mars one day. Founder Elon Musk just gave one of our best looks at SN8, the latest test craft. 

SpaceX is working toward a big test flight that will attempt to send Starship up to 8 miles (12.5 kilometers) into the air. This would make previous flights look like bunny hops.

Musk tweeted a stunning view of SN8 towering over some very tiny-looking people at a test stand at the SpaceX development facility in Boca Chica, Texas. "Out on the pad in South Texas," Musk wrote. 

While SpaceX has had success with its hops, it has also had some spectacular-looking testing failures down on the ground. Musk even suggested in late October that a "rapid unscheduled disassembly" (i.e., a blow up) could happen right off the launch pad for SN8. "Fortunately, SN9 is almost ready," he tweeted.

The goal is to get a Starship into orbit as the first major milestone in eventually reaching out into the solar system, but the shorter test flights come first as SpaceX works out the spacecraft design and checks out the Raptor engines that will power it.

The actual test flight for SN8 could happen as early as Tuesday, but we've seen plenty of delays in the past. This is all part of normal operations when developing a new spacecraft. SpaceX intends to livestream the event.

SpaceX has been rapidly building prototypes and has successor Starships in line to keep the testing process moving forward no matter what happens with the ambitious high-altitude attempt.