As Part Of The Final Critical Step Before Orbital Launch,Starship Booster Successfully Tested By SpaceX

SpaceX tested 31 of the 33 engines in its Starship prototype’s towering rocket booster on Thursday, as the company prepares to launch the rocket into orbit for the first time.

The “static fire” test is the final major hurdle before SpaceX attempts to launch the nearly 400-foot-tall rocket into space.

In a tweet shortly after the test, the company stated that the engines at the base of the Super Heavy booster fired for “full duration,” referring to the expected length of the test.

In a subsequent tweet, CEO Elon Musk stated that SpaceX turned off one engine prior to the test, and another engine “stopped itself.”

“Still enough engines to reach orbit!” Musk said.

SpaceX has been steadily preparing for the first flight test of its Starship rocket. Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, stated on Wednesday that the first launch attempt would be experimental.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s plan to return astronauts to the moon requires the use of a starship to transport cargo and people beyond Earth. The space agency awarded SpaceX a nearly $3 billion contract in 2021.

While SpaceX had hoped to launch the first orbital Starship as early as summer 2021, delays in development and regulatory approval have pushed that date back. To launch Starship, SpaceX requires a Federal Aviation Administration license.

Shotwell said Wednesday, “I think we’ll be ready to fly right at the timeframe that we get the license.”

The results of Thursday’s static fire test will be analyzed next. Shotwell predicted that if the static test went well, SpaceX would be ready to launch the first Starship orbital flight “within the next month or so.”

(Adapted from  

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