What is unique about SpaceX’s Starship SN8 high-altitude flight?

BOCA CHICA, Texas – Another week of waiting in Boca Chica as the SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype sits on the launchpad for more than two months now, which is the longest amount of time for any Starship prototype. 

It’s a launch that has eyes on it from all over the world. SpaceX confirmed it will attempt to launch its Starship prototype for its first high-altitude flight Tuesday.

Starship is the two-stage vehicle system that founder Elon Musk hopes will one day take as many as 100 people to Mars.

South Texas is at the center of it all with the Starship manufacturing and launch facility right there in Boca Chica. Tuesday is expected to be the Starship Serial Number or SN8′s maiden flight. The spacecraft is expected to fly more than 41,000 feet into the air, do a now-iconic bellyflop or skydiving-like maneuver and then correct itself just before landing on the launchpad. This is the first test of its kind.

It’s the first starship to be fully outfitted with a nosecone and flaps and the first to ignite all three Raptor engines.

“Oh my gosh. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. Being here from Texas it’s amazing to know it’s here in this state. It was amazing to see it for real,” said Martina Colasanti, a visitor from Dallas.

“I have a lot of faith in SpaceX. They’re doing some pretty amazing things,” said Jacob Combs, another visitor.

Many people will head to Isla Blanca Park in South Padre Island to watch the Starship SN8 launch. The park has put in $24 million in renovations to the park. The Cameron County Parks Director, Joe Vega, said they are preparing for many guests to come this week.

“We’ve seen an increase in RV rentals. We have a lot of people that are coming down for this event--and we welcome them. We welcome them here at Isla Blanca Park. We call this the Crown Jewel of the Texas Gulf Coast,” Vega said.

SpaceX tweeted that it will have a live webcast of the launch event Tuesday.