SpaceX Starship launch: Why is SN15 the next prototype to launch after SN11 and not SN12?

SN5 was followed by another successful test flight of the Starship SN6 and both were scrapped in January and February this year, respectively.

Starship SN7 was the next prototype that exploded during a pressurisation test in June 2020.

A scaled-down Starship SN7.2 tank, however, was used for pressure tests.

A full-scale SN8 with nosecone and fins then launched in December of that year but failed to land.

SN8 was followed by the SN9 in February, the SN10 in March and then the SN11 on March 30, 2021.

In January this year it was rumoured SpaceX would skip over the SN12 model after eagle-eyed fans spotted the SN15 being assembled at Boca Chica.

The jump meant SpaceX would be scrapping three iterations – SN12, SN13 and SN14 – after launching the SN11.

Mr Musk confirmed this plan after SN11’s crash landing when he said SN15 would be the next rocket to launch.