SpaceX briefly fired all seven engines of its “Booster 7” Super Heavy launch vehicle prototype on Monday, September 19, marking the most new Raptor engines ever tested at the same time. SpaceX is now preparing for new tests in anticipation of the first orbital flight of its Starship spacecraft.
Twenty years ago, Elon Musk created SpaceX with a clear goal: to make humans an interplanetary species. With this in mind, the company is developing a fifty meter tall reusable container called Starship. The latter will be propelled by a launcher seventy meters high called super heavy, equipped with thirty-three Raptor V2 engines. Once the Starship is capped, this rocket measures approximately 120 meters. Therefore, it is the tallest and most powerful rocket ever built.
This huge rocket will soon make its first orbital flight, before future voyages are considered. to the Moon or the planet Mars. With that in mind, SpaceX is running several key tests.
Activates at SpaceX starbase
Almost six weeks after the start of the test campaign for the first Super Heavy powertrain prototype (the Booster 7), the company recently distinguished itself by simultaneously firing seven new Raptor V2 (second generation) engines at once. This is the first. After this static shot, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, said that the camera presses on all seven engines ” it looked good“.
To give you an idea of the power of the test, keep in mind that if these seven upgraded Raptor V2 engines were running at full throttle, they could have briefly produced more than 1600 tons of thrustroughly the equivalent of two Falcon 9 boosters.
7 engine static fire pic.twitter.com/sOm8Jx8rJq
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2022
Hours later, a second Super Heavy prototype (Booster 8) was moved from the factory to the launch pad where it was joined by Booster 7. Musk revealed that SpaceX would return the latter to the factory again for mysterious reasons. robustness improvements“, adding that he ” next big test of the company will be first full trial of a fully assembled double-decker Starshipfollowed by the first static shot at Super Heavy thirty-three in a few weeks.
In other words, we may soon get our first real glimpse of the power potential of this incredible rocket, enough to consider a first orbital flight at the end of Octoberbeing optimistic. During this test, a Super Heavy booster will fly over the Gulf of Mexico shortly after liftoff before returning to land, while Starship will circle the Earth before coming to rest off Hawaii.