The designation has allowed SpaceX to not only survive but to prosper as the company continues its efforts to open the space frontier, both in partnership with NASA and alone.
NASA SpaceFlight notes SpaceX recently rolled out the SN3 test article of the planned Starship rocket for both ground and flight testing. The plan was to test the cryogenic fuel tank to ensure it can handle the pressure needed for flight operations. SpaceX planned to follow that test with engine firings and then a hop test of about 150 meters. However, the SN3 suffered a catastrophic failure at the end of the cryogenic test.
As of this writing, SpaceX is already building SN4. It will likely attempt to do the tanking and then the 150-meter hop test with this prototype, using lessons learned from the previous test articles.