SpaceX continues to prepare its latest Starship prototype for a historic orbital test flight.
Starship SN20 ignited every six of them Raptor engines In a short “static shooting” test today (November 12) at Starbase, SpaceX’s facility near the village of Boca Chica, South Texas.
“Good static fire with all six engines!” Founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk tweeted Shortly after the test, which took place at 1:13 p.m. EDT (1813 GMT; 12:13 p.m. Texas local time) and it was Webcast from NASASpaceflight.comAnd SPadre.com.
SpaceX is evolving Starship To transport people and goods to the Moon, Mars, and other distant destinations. The system consists of two fully reusable components: a giant first-stage booster called the Super Heavy and a 165-foot (50-meter) spacecraft known as the Starship.
SpaceX It launched prototypes of the Starship before, and sent a handful of three-engine vehicles to Maximum elevation of about 6 miles (10 kilometers). But the SN20 will take a much bigger leap: It is being prepared to launch over the Super Heavy on the Starship’s first orbital test flight, which SpaceX aims to launch in the coming weeks or months.
The timing of this takeoff is unclear, in part because the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still conducting an environmental assessment of the Starbase orbital launch site. The FAA submitted a draft assessment and collected public comments on the document, but the final report has not yet been released.
Today’s test was not the first static fire — one in which the rocket engines run for a brief period while the vehicle remains moored on the ground — of the SN20. SpaceX conducted Constant consecutive fires vehicle on October 21, but the SN20 had only two Raptors aboard at that point. Today’s testing included a flight configuration of six engines – three standard “sea level” Raptors and three optimized to operate in the vacuum of space.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook social networking site.
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