SpaceX’s most up-to-date Starship prototype simply thundered to life. The Starship SN10 (“Serial No. 10”) car performed out its first “static fireplace” check on Tuesday (Feb. 23), illuminating its three Raptor engines for just a few seconds at 6:03 p.m. EST (2303 GMT) at SpaceX’s South Texas website, near the Gulf Coast settlement of Boca Chica Village.
Static fires, through which engines momentarily mild whereas a rocket stays secured to the bottom, are a typical preflight checkout for SpaceX. Within the occasion that each one labored out positively for the current check, SN10 stays on the right track to launch quickly — possibly as early as Thursday (Feb. 25) — on a 6-mile-high (10 kilometers) exhibition journey into the South Texas skies.
It will likely be the third high-altitude check for a Starship car, after comparative aspect journeys in December 2020 and Feb. 2 of this present yr by SN10’s two immediate archetypes, SN8 and SN9. Each of these flights labored out in a great way till the tip; SN8 and SN9 hammered onerous onto their touchdown pads, detonating in dramatic fireballs.
Such flights are an important a part of the advance manner for Starship, which SpaceX sees because the car that may make Mars colonization economically possible. The Starship system will comprise of two utterly reusable components: a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) shuttle referred to as Starship and an unlimited rocket generally known as Tremendous Heavy.
The final Starship may have six Raptors, and Tremendous Heavy will sport round 30 of the engines, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has stated. Starship will likely be sufficiently superb to launch itself off the moon and Mars, but the spacecraft would require Tremendous Heavy to get off Earth.
We’ll most likely see much more Starship check flights over the approaching weeks and months, no matter how SN10’s launch goes. Musk not too long ago stated that SpaceX plans to launch a prototype to Earth orbit this yr, and he imagines Starship carrying people routinely by 2023.