The latest on SpaceX Star ship the prototype can now be allowed to take off.
The Starship SN9 vehicle performed its fifth static fire test on Friday morning (January 22), briefly igniting its three Raptor engines at 9:59 a.m. EST (1459 GMT) while remaining firmly on the ground at the SpaceX facility in South Texas, near to the village of Boca Chica in the Persian Gulf.
Static fires are common pre-flight checks for SpaceX rockets, and the SN9 may have already checked enough flights to launch a high-altitude test mission in the coming days – perhaps as early as Monday (January 25th).
Star ship and super heavy: SpaceX̵
STATIC FIRE! Starship SN9 launches its three Raptors. Very smooth morning flow to ignition. It looked and sounded very good. Let’s hope the data is good for approving the launch next week. SN9 status: https: //t.co/Q0QbkThFh6➡️https: //t.co/KLFof9P5Ts pic.twitter.com/fs7KK78WYb22 January 2021
The flight of the SN9 is expected to resemble that of its predecessor, the three-engine vehicle SN8, which jumped about 12.5 kilometers over Boca Chica on December 9th. SN8 did everything that was required of him that day, except for the landing sticker; the stainless steel ship sank a little too fast and exploded when it hit the designated landing area.
SpaceX is developing Starship to transport people and cargo to the moon, Mars and other space destinations. The transport system consists of two elements, both of which will be able to be used fully and quickly for multiple use: the spacecraft with a height of 50 meters (50 meters) and a huge booster known as Super Heavy.
Both will be powered by the next generation Raptor. The final version of Starship will have six Raptors, and Super Heavy will have about 30 of the engines, founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk he said. (Super heavy will be needed to launch Starship out of Earth, but the spacecraft will be able to escape from both the moon and Mars.)
SpaceX moves fast with Starship, as it usually does with its projects. Musk said he expects the starship to start flying humans to Mars by 2026 and that this epic stage could even happen in 2024. “if we are lucky. “Mars missions operate in approximately two-year cycles; Earth and Mars align properly for interplanetary missions every 26 months.)
Previously, SN9 fired one static fire on January 6 and three consecutive fires on January 13. After the January 13 SpaceX tests replace two of the vehicle’s three engineswhich Musk said needs minor repairs.
The prototype also appears to have attempted a static fire on Thursday (January 21st), but that attempt was so brief that it appears to have been interrupted.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow it on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.