SpaceX is the latest Starship The prototype removed its engines for the fourth time on Tuesday evening (November 24), tracking the vehicle for a milestone test flight next week.
The StarShip SN8 prototype conducted its fourth “static fire” test on Tuesday at 6:23 pm EST (2323 GMT) at SpaceX’s South Texas facility, near the seaside village of Boca Chica.
Static fires, in which engines briefly ignite when a vehicle is bolted to the ground, are common preflight checkouts for SpaceX rockets. And the SN8 (“Serial No. 8”) is actually preparing for flight – it can reach a target altitude of 9 miles (15 kilometers), which is much higher than any other starship prototype.
Good Starship SN8 Static Fire! The goal is to travel the first 15 km / k at 50K feet next week. Aims to test 3 engine mount, body flaps, main to header tanks & landing flip.November 24, 2020
Tuesday’s test targets SN8, the milestone leap, founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk Said.
“Good StarShip SN8 Static Fire! Aims to travel the first 15km / k 50k ft next week. Objectives include 3-engine ascent, body flaps, switching from main to header tanks & landing flip,” Musk tweeted Tuesday evening, 45 minutes after the test.
StarShip is the next generation space transportation system of SpaceX, which is being developed to transport people and payloads to Mars and the moon, to launch satellites into orbit and to do all that SpaceX needs to do.
The final version will feature a 165-foot-long (50 meters) spaceship called the Starship and a heavy rocket called the Super Heavy, both of which will be fully reusable. Starship and Super Heavy SpaceX are powered by a new Raptor engine that burns liquid methane and liquid oxygen. The Starship will have six raptors, while the Super Heavy will have 30 engines, Musk said.
The first super heavy prototype has not yet been built. But SpaceX has already built and tested several starship test vehicles, three of which have already flown on board. A stubborn craft called StarHopper Traveled in the summer of 2019, And SN5 and SN6 descended Ground last August and September, Respectively.
All three models were single-engine craft, and they reached a maximum height of 500 feet (150 m). The SN8 becomes much larger and therefore very different from its predecessors, stabilizing the nose cone and body flaps along with the three raptors.
StarHopper, SN5 and SN6 have increased their short test flights. Musk is not giving the SN8 great odds in doing the same, though he said it would not be a disaster if the vehicle crashed and burned.
SN8’s previous three static fires occurred on October 20, November 10 And November 12. The third test did not take place as expected; Raptors’ ignition shreds top layer of test pad, sends materials into engine bay and premature shutdown, musk Explained in a tweet last week.
But the SN8 bounced back quickly and if all went according to plan it would soon fly high.
Mike Wall author “There“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Explained by Carl Tate), a book about the search for aliens. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelWall. Follow us on Twitter spacedotcom or Facebook.