On Tuesday, photos began to appear online on a new Starship that is built in an industrial park near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Later, SpaceX's founder, Elon Musk, confirmed that the company will develop a Starship prototype in Florida for parallel work in South Texas.
"Both places create a lot of Starships," Musk shared on Twitter. "This is a competition where you can find out which site is most effective. The answer can be both." It won't be a strict A / B test, a random experiment. Musk added any observations made by one team must be shared with others, but the other team is not required to use them. Especially as big and complex as the Starship, which is designed to land and take off from other worlds like Moon and Mars. However, this is far from unprecedented in the technology world. For example, Google has for a long time developed a strategy that consists of creating two of them, with multiple competing products going on the same user base. His Companion Rocket, Super Heavy. SpaceX, in the end, will need dozens of spacecraft and rocket engines. But initially, the company will test its prototype Starship with one and three engines. SpaceX has now completed four engines, the fifth in Hawthorne, California. The company should build more than 100 methane-powered engines by next year. Musk added:
Meanwhile, after about five weeks of downtime, SpaceX seems ready to increase its activity on the Boca Chica test site in South Texas. In early April, a series of tests culminated in a short, tied hops prototype Starship. Now the company can start testing activity again this month. Brownsville Herald reports that the nearby highway, State Highway 4 from Oklahoma Avenue to Boca Chica Beach, will be closed on May 28 between 14:00 and 22:00 CT, or alternatively, on May 29 and May 30.
SpaceX is working towards 2020, but, like all large aerospace projects, this date is likely to slip later in 2020. Any time soon, given the lack of government funding and overall project ambition, it would be remarkable.