Although the SN8 prototype made a successful flight, it ended in a major explosion and destruction of the vehicle. After all, this is why tests are performed to detect and eliminate all defects earlier. Elon Musk announced that the test collected valuable data that will allow the maiden flight of SN9 to be carried out from start to finish in a perfect way.
SpaceX fans believe that we are unlikely to be able to count on the SN9 flight this year, but there will definitely be cryogenic tests of the vehicle. Engineers will first check the tightness of the steel structure and install three powerful Raptor engines. If all scheduled tasks are successful, then flight preparations will be made.
A week ago, there was an unusual situation in the hangar where the SN9 prototype stood. During the transfer, the vehicle tilted and leaned against the hangar structure. Fortunately, only the ailerons were visibly damaged, but the engineers aren't sure if there was damage to the steel skin as well. Everything will become clear in the course of cryogenic tests.
Starship is to be ready by the end of next year. Until then, we'll see a few more prototypes being tested. Currently, several of them are under construction. All work is carried out at the company's facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Interestingly, Elon Musk moved permanently from Los Angeles to Austin a few weeks ago. The billionaire wants to focus there on building a powerful space transport system and the production of new Tesla vehicles.