SpaceX is ready for the fifth test flight of its next generation starship rocket.
As part of pre-launch processes to make sure everything is working, the Starship SN15 prototype anchored its three raptors on Monday, April 26, to the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas Briefly fired the engines. Steady fire below.
Static Fire! The starship SN15 fires for the first time. There will be a data review to check the performance.
Status article: https: //t.co/t2uFhIa1FQ
LIVE: https://t.co/GZgQHwfZp9 pic.twitter.com/26OWa3i9Ri
& mdash; Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) April 26, 2021
A little later, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that chasing steady fire, the team is now preparing to launch the prototype rocket “this weekend”. Like previous tests, this mission would last approximately six-and-a-half minutes and the rocket would be seen climbing to a height of 6.2 miles before performing a mid-air flip in preparation for an upright landing.
Starship SN 15 static fire completed, preparing for flight this weekend
& mdash; Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 27 April, 2021
All of SpaceX’s previous starship test flights ended in a fireball with explosions after landing on a rocket, or in one case, several minutes after touching down.
Although test flights have produced a lot of useful data for the team, it will be eager to score a breakthrough, landing the fireworks prototype in one piece with its fifth attempt in five months, without landing fireworks.
When SpaceX has starship launching and landing, just like its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, the California-based company plans to deploy it as a second-stage booster – and also as a spacecraft – first to super. -Stage Super Heavy Rocket, powered by more than 30 raptor engines. The combined height of the two phases will be 120 meters.
The first Super Heavy prototype, the BN1, will likely only do ground trials. On the other hand, BN2 is set to become the first Super Heavy to fly, although SpaceX is yet to announce any special dates for the first Super Heavy tests.
Upcoming targets for the company include the super heavy prototype until July 1, and the first orbital flight to use the Starship prototype, although that date is likely to slip. At the latest, SpaceX intends to get the first test flight using both stages by the end of 2021.
Looking ahead, SpaceX plans to deploy the Starship and Super Heavy rockets as a reusable system that takes 100 people to orbit Earth, the Moon, Mars and possibly beyond.
A Japanese billionaire has already booked seats on the starship for fly-by to the moon in a mission temporarily scheduled for launch in 2023.