SpaceX in the process of preparing the latest Starship prototype for a landmark orbital test flight.
On November 12, the SN20 Starship prototype ignited all six Raptor engines during a “static fire” test at Starbase, a SpaceX facility near the village of Boca Chica, South Texas.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX confirmed a good test with all 6 engines in a tweet on the same day.
The static fire test took place at 13:13 on November 12, and was broadcast on NASASpaceflight.com and SPadre.com.SpaceX is developing Starship to send people and cargo to the Moon, Mars, and other distant destinations in space.
The Starship system consists of 2 completely reusable elements: a massive set of early stage boosters known as Super Heavy and a 50m-tall Starship spacecraft.SpaceX once launched a Starship prototype, bringing a handful of 3-engine vehicles to a maximum altitude of about 10km.
However, the SN20 prototype will make a huge leap: A prototype spacecraft aimed at sending humans to Mars is being prepared to launch on a Super Heavy rocket during the first Starship orbital test flight. first.
This landmark flight is expected by SpaceX in the next few weeks or months.The launch date of the Starship SN20 prototype is unclear, partly because the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still assessing the environment with the Starbase orbital launch pad. The FAA has submitted a draft review and public comment on the document, but the final report has yet to be released.
The November 12 test of the SN20 prototype was not the first static fire test. Before that, SpaceX tested continuous static fire with this space vehicle on October 21, but SN20 at that time only installed 2 Raptor engines.
The Starship prototype test on November 12 involved six engines, including three “sea-level” standard Raptor engines and three engines optimized for missions in the vacuum of space.