The latests Starship by SpaceX had a shocking ending, so how much did the SN8 cost?

SpaceX is Elon Musk’s privately funded space company which aims to eventually build a space Starship rocket which combines with a super-heavy booster to stand at 394ft.

The spaceship will be completely reusable, making space travel far more affordable and routine in the future. If all goes to plan, Starship will eventually fly NASA astronauts to the moon and take humans to Mars. While on earth it could be used to make round-the-world travel quicker.

At the moment however, SpaceX’s Starship is in the creation process still and the company is testing out prototypes of the rocket. SN8 is SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype which seemingly went oh-so-wrong. Take a deeper dive however and you’ll realise it didn’t go as wrong as it might seem.

What happened to the Starship?

On December 10th, SpaceX launched the SN8 in Texas, pushing boundaries with how high the rocket goes and how advanced the prototype was. SN8 was 16 stories tall and used three car-sized Raptor rocket engines, making it SpaceX’s most advanced one yet.

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The rocket was expected to reach 7.8 miles in the air but it’s unclear exactly how high it really went. However, after 6 minutes and 42 seconds in the air, sn8 attempted to land but didn’t have enough thrust, leading it to explode.

It might sound like a dramatic downfall, but Elon Musk actually predicted this would happen, tweeting that there’s a 1/3 chance it would successfully land.

How much did the SpaceX SN8 Starship cost?

Although neither SpaceX or Elon Musk himself have confirmed the exact cost of sn8, there are some estimates about the price.

SpaceX have said that its Falcon 9 rocket cost $54 million, while the Starship is said to cost ‘roughly four times as much to build’, which put SpaceX’s SN8 Starship at around $216 million, according to financial advice company Motely Fool.

This might sound like a staggering figure, and it is, but SpaceX’s boosters and landings are all reusable, which slashes costs.

The cost of SN8 hasn’t come solely from SpaceX’s pocket either, as Nasa granted the company $135m to help develop Starship, in hopes it will land a contract to build moon landers under Nasa’s Artemis program.

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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