SpaceX Fires Up Starship Engine Ahead Of Next Orbital Test

SpaceX Fires Up Starship Engine
SpaceX Fires Up Starship Engine

SpaceX has been actively working on the development of its Starship spacecraft, which is intended for various missions, including crewed spaceflights and cargo transport to destinations such as the Moon and Mars. One crucial step in the development process is engine testing, and firing up the Starship engine is a significant milestone.

Earlier this month, SpaceX boss Elon Musk promised that Starship would be taking to the skies for its second flight test in the next six to eight weeks.

SpaceX Fires Up Starship Engine

SpaceX’s next Starship rocket just performed a successful engine test, firing up all six of its Raptor engines in preparation for the massive rocket’s next orbital launch attempt.

Though questions still linger over the plausibility of that schedule, Musk and his engineers seem to be making steady progress. Recently SpaceX conducted a static fire test of Ship 25, the latest Starship prototype, lighting up all six of its Raptor engines in an all-out blast that lasted between five to six seconds.

Ship 25, the Starship upper stage prototype that will attempt to fly to orbit during the fully-integrated Starship launch system’s second test flight, performed the static fire test on Monday, June 26 at 8:27 pm EDT.

According to Musk, using hot staging will prevent a temporary loss of thrust during the separation sequence, bumping up Starship’s already gigantic payload capacity of 100 metric tons by ten percent.

SpaceX has shared footage of the fiery test, which took place at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in South Texas.

SpaceX Fires Up Starship Engine

But that means that SpaceX will have to fit the reusable booster with an extension that will direct the exhaust of the upper stage away from the rocket so it doesn’t get destroyed.

“This is the most risky thing, I think, for the next flight,” Musk said.

When Starship does fly again, Ship 25 will launch atop the Super Heavy prototype, Booster 9. As in the first launch of Starship in April, SpaceX aims for Ship 25 to perform a partial orbit around Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

SpaceX didn’t achieve this goal with the first launch of Starship, as the rocket spun out of control at a high altitude, forcing SpaceX officials to trigger the manual termination system.

SpaceX Fires Up Starship Engine

The first test flight did achieve several key milestones, though, and it saw the world’s most powerful rocket take to the skies for the first time and reach a maximum altitude of 24 miles (39 km).

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