SpaceX successfully completes static fire test of Starship’s Super Heavy booster

SpaceX has cleared a major hurdle that brings it one step closer to the Starship system’s first orbital flight test. The company has been successful passed a static fire test of the Super Heavy’s current prototype, the Booster 7, a month after its previous attempt burst into flames. SpaceX again used the Booster 7 for this test, but only fired a single Raptor engine on the orbital launch pad and fired it for a few seconds to give engineers an accurate view of its performance.

The Booster 7 is equipped with 33 Raptor Version 2 engines, designed to provide the necessary boost to launch both the first stage itself and its upper stage companion, the starship Starship. During the company’s previous static fire test attempt, the booster caught fire on the launch pad. Company boss Elon Musk announced on Twitter at the time that the problem was due to the motor spin-launch test that SpaceX had been conducting and that the company “will not be doing a spin-launch test with all 33 motors simultaneously” going forward. .

In addition to testing Booster 7, SpaceX also performed a static fire test on two of the six Raptor engines on Starship 24. This is the current prototype for the launch system’s upper stage, and it will go into space for the system’s first orbital flight test. It’s still unclear when SpaceX intends to send the spacecraft into orbit for the first time, but it will likely need to conduct further testing before that happens, including static firing more of its Raptor engines.

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