SpaceX gets closer to launching the first humans to Mars with every Starship development milestone. The aerospace company was founded by Elon Musk to make life multiplanetary by developing reusable spacecraft that would make it possible. SpaceX aims to develop a fully-reusable Starship launch system, consisting of a spaceship and Super Heavy rocket that will be capable of propelling 100 tons of cargo to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
SpaceX engineers are preparing stainless-steel prototypes – Starship SN24 and Super Heavy Booster 7 – to perform the first-ever orbital flight test that will provide them with data needed to speed up the rocket-ship’s development. This week, SpaceX completed a long-duration static-fire test of 11 Raptor engines on Booster 7. “A little more progress to Mars,” said Musk via Twitter and shared an amazing photo of the massive rocket surrounded by flames. Booster 7 is equipped with 33 Raptor V2 engines that are fueled by a combination of cryogenic liquid methane and liquid oxygen.
Today, November 29, SpaceX shared it test ignited 11 of those engines. During the static-fire test, engineers ignited the 11 Raptor V2s simultaneously for approximately 20 seconds as the booster remained grounded to the test mount at the Starbase launch pad. The firing was “with max oxygen fill to test autogenous pressurization,” according to a NASASpaceflight reporter who shared a video of the testing operation, linked below.
STATIC FIRE! Booster 7 with a long-duration Static Fire test.— Chris Bergin - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) November 29, 2022
"~20 sec firing with max oxygen fill to test autogenous pressurization" - was what @elonmusk preempted. Not sure how many Raptors, but looked great!
The test comes after engineers test ignited 14 Raptor V2 engines at once earlier this month. Ultimately, Musk says SpaceX will perform a 33-engine static-fire test before launching Starship to orbit. The test will ensure that all Booster 7’s engines can be successfully ignited at once with no issues. Once this milestone is achieved, SpaceX will need to obtain a spaceflight license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the orbital launch. The flight will originate from Starbase at Boca Chica Village, Texas, and end with an ocean landing off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.
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.