A significant test of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company’s massive new Starship rocket system has been completed.
Engineers ignited 31 of the 33 engines at the base of the vehicle’s lower half simultaneously in a manoeuvre known as a “static fire.” Everything was fastened in place to avoid any movement during the brief firing.
After its first flight, Starship will surpass all previous functioning rocket systems in terms of power.
If SpaceX is happy with the results of Thursday’s test, this may happen in the upcoming weeks.
Elon Musk claimed on Twitter that there were 31 engines operating in total after one engine was shut down by the team prior to the test and another engine shut down by itself.
Even though there were fewer engines present than usual, the number of engines that were cooperating was still noteworthy. The Soviet Union’s N1 rocket, which was created in the late 1960s to carry cosmonauts to the Moon, is likely the closest analogue.
With 33 contemporary powertrains, the SpaceX Super Huge booster should explode with about 70% greater thrust than the N1 does. The capabilities being put into Starship surpass even the latest mega-rocket from the US space agency NASA, the “Space Launch System (SLS),” which made its maiden flight back in November.
Mr. Musk has great expectations for the automobile. The businessman plans to use it to launch a rocket and humans outside Earth’s orbit.
To help NASA’s Artemis mission, which aims to send men back to the moon, SpaceX has already been hired to develop a version of the technology.
Both the Ultra Heavy rocket and the spacecraft on top of the idea are intended to be completely reusable, allowing them to return to Earth and fly repeatedly.
It may therefore function quite similarly to an aircraft. The long-term financial savings over traditional, one-off rockets would be enormous.
Now that the 33 engines couldn’t be fired at once, SpaceX will examine its data to determine why. Additionally, it will examine the launch site to determine whether any damage was done during the brief firing. The concrete beneath the launch platform had to be repaired after being cracked during earlier, smaller-scale engine tests.
In February or early March, Mr. Musk mentioned attempting to orbit the entire Starship system. In case the booster failed disastrously during the test on Thursday, the ship was withdrawn.