SpaceX has achieved yet another milestone with the successful static-fire test of the Super Heavy Booster 9, the next stainless-steel Starship prototype set to attempt an orbital launch. "Super Heavy Booster 9's static fire successfully lit all 33 Raptor engines, with all but two running for the full duration. Congratulations to the SpaceX team on this exciting milestone!" said the company representatives. "The test produced approximately 7.9 million lbf of thrust (~3,600 metric tons)," they shared.
Today, August 25, Booster 9 completed its second static-fire test at 1:38 p.m. EDT. The test saw the gigantic spacecraft ignite its Raptor V2 engines while securely positioned atop the orbital launch mount at SpaceX's Starbase facility in South Texas. The company shared amazing videos of the testing operation, linked below.
The test produced approximately 7.9 million lbf of thrust (~3,600 metric tons) pic.twitter.com/LA6BIGzzLu— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 25, 2023
According to SpaceX, the engines blazed with fiery intensity for a planned duration of approximately six seconds. The dual static-fire tests are integral to the meticulous preparations for the second-ever test flight of a fully stacked Starship. Static-fire tests are routine pre-launch procedures that verify the functionality and performance of a rocket's engines. It is Booster 9 that will lead this mission, when it attempts to propel Starship 25 to orbit.
SpaceX engineers are working around-the-clock to get the rocket-ship ready. SpaceX founder Elon Musk says that the team had implemented “well over a thousand” design changes to the launch vehicle. Among these adjustments is the adoption of a “hot staging” strategy, in which Starship's six Raptor engines initiate firing before completely detaching from the Super Heavy booster. This alteration necessitated the installation of a venting system and a heat shield atop Booster 9, a task undertaken between the first and second static fire tests. Engineers also built a steel water-deluge system beneath Starbase's orbital launch mount to strengthen the pad.
While Musk is keen on expediting the launch of Booster 9 and Starship 25, the timeline is contingent on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Administration, responsible for issuing spaceflight licenses, is currently analyzing the comprehensive mishap report filed by SpaceX concerning the incident of the first launch attempt that took place on April 20.
According to a U.S. Coast Guard marine hazard warning, SpaceX may be ready to launch the next Starship flight test “on approximately September 8” – emphasis on the word “approximately” which indicates the date is subject to change. The marine hazard warning states: “mariners operating offshore in waters east of Brownsville, Texas, are advised of rocket launching activities and associated hazardous areas which may impact navigation interests. Navigational hazards from rocket launching activity may include, free falling debris and/or descending vehicles or vehicle components, under various means of control. Mariners should avoid all waters within rocket flight trajectories originating from launch sites in the vicinity of Boca Chica Beach and Brownsville, Texas.” We will find out more about whether SpaceX is ready for launch next month in the weeks ahead, the company is still waiting to receive an FAA spaceflight license.
》 Author's note: My work is possible Thanks to everyone who reads Tesmanian.com. Write your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any story suggestions or feedback, feel free to Direct Message me on X.com (social media): Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve Read my most recent stories here: Recent News Stories 《
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.