SpaceX latest Starship The prototype fired its fourth engine on Tuesday evening (November 24), putting the vehicle in orbit for a groundbreaking test flight next week.
The Starship SN8 prototype ran a fourth “static fire” test at SpaceX’s South Texas facility near the seaside village of Bocachica at 6:23 pm EST (2323 GMT).
A common pre-flight checkout for SpaceX rockets is a static fire in which the engine burns for a short time while the vehicle is bolted to the ground. And the SN8 (“Serial No. 8”) is certainly preparing for flight. This is a test to reach a target altitude of 9 miles (15 km), which is much higher than other Starship prototypes.
Good Starship SN8 Static Fire! We are aiming for the first 15km / ~ 50kft altitude flight next week. The goal is to test three engine rises, a body flap, a transition from the main tank to the header tank, and a landing flip.November 24, 2020
Tuesday’s test kept SN8 the goal of that milestone leap, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk Said.
“Good Starship SN8 Static Fire! Aiming for the first 15km / ~ 50kft altitude flight next week. The goal is to test 3 engine climbs, body flaps, main tank to header tank transitions, and landing flips. That is. ” Musk tweeted on Tuesday night, About 45 minutes after the test occurred.
Starship is SpaceX’s next-generation space transport system, carrying people and payloads to Mars and the Moon, launching satellites into orbit, and developing to do everything SpaceX needs to do.
The final version consists of a 165-foot (50-meter) high spacecraft called Starship and a giant rocket called Super Heavy, both of which are completely reusable. Starship and Super Heavy will be powered by SpaceX’s new Raptor engine, which burns liquid methane and liquid oxygen. Starship will sport six Raptors, and Super Heavy will have about 30 engines, Musk said.
The first super heavy prototype has not yet been built. However, SpaceX has already built and tested many starship test vehicles, three of which are already in flight.A chunky craft called a star hopper Flew in the summer of 2019, And SN5 and SN6 got off On the ground in August and September of this year,Respectively.
All three of these prototypes were single-engine aircraft, reaching maximum altitudes of approximately 500 feet (150 m). The SN8 is much higher, so unlike its predecessor, it boasts three Raptors and a nose cone to stabilize the body flaps.
Star Hopper, SN5, SN6 participated in a simple test flight. The mask isn’t likely to do the same for the SN8, but he said it wouldn’t be a disaster if the vehicle crashed and burned.
The last three static fires of SN8 occurred on October 20th. November 10 The third test did not go as planned.Raptors ignition crushed the top layer of the test pad, sent material debris to the engine bay, causing an early shutdown, mask Explained in last week’s tweet..
However, the SN8 will bounce quickly and will fly high soon if everything goes according to plan.
Mike Wall saidthere“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book on exploring alien life. Follow him on Twitter @ michaeldwall. Follow him on Twitter @ Spacedotcom or Facebook.