SpaceX indicates business relating to the Starship rocket, as the firm ran a double test previously today that fired up all of the rocket’s 33 engines and tested the recently set up water deluge system at the launch pad. Today’s test was the first time that the water system, which is designed to prevent damage to the launch pad, stood up to the force of 33 rocket engines firing at it, and by the looks of the site post-ignition, the system worked as expected. However, SpaceX continues to deal with problems with the Raptor 2 engines on Starship, as 4 closed down throughout a test that lasted for seconds.
SpaceX Static Fires 33 Raptor Engines Within Days of Testing Their Pumps At Launch Site
The aftermath of SpaceX’s fiery Starship test in April had resulted in widespread speculation about the future of the Starship program, particularly due to the extensive damage to the launch pad. However, SpaceX is back with a bang after today’s test as it took the plunge and briefly fired up all of Starship’s 33 engines for a little over 2 seconds during the rocket’s very first fixed fire effort. The test came within days after SpaceX had checked the booster’s pumps at the launch pad.
A fixed fire test is a crucial turning point prior to a rocket’s launch as it enables engineers to gather information about the performance of the rocket’s engines and other systems, such as the tanks and their pressure. For SpaceX, each such run is particularly crucial as it permits the firm to gather more data about the Raptor engine system.
Starship’s design and thrust requirements require bigger engines and SpaceX has actually built the Raptor from the ground up. The engine is rather various from the company’s Merlin engines onboard the Falcon rockets. It utilizes a different fuel and piping system to feed the propellants into its combustion chamber.
The test comes 3 and a half months after the April test, and according to SpaceX’s live stream host John Insprucker, the firm tested a new start-up series for Starship. Starship’s April test saw the rocket take its time before clearing the pad. Before the test began, he explained that the test would run “simply under 5 seconds,” with different groups of engines launching at different times.
Although the Super Heavy booster did not fire up its engines at full thrust, the power created by the rocket today was greater than SpaceX’s biggest operation rocket, the Falcon Heavy. The water deluge system switched on roughly 6 seconds prior to engine ignition, and as the fire from the Raptors met the water flowing beneath, Starship produced clouds nearly as high as the rocket itself. The total rocket system, with the 2nd phase Starship stacked on top, is 394 feet tall and the Super Heavy stands at 226 feet.
After the test, it looked like if there was a lot of methane left in Starship’s tank and chatter over the webs confirmed that the test lasted for 2.74 seconds. This was much shorter than what Mr.
Insprucker had revealed before the engine firing and SpaceX’s fixed fire test of 31 engines for Starship booster 7, which took to the skies in April.
A static fire test does not guarantee an approaching launch, especially when considering Starship’s testing history. While the first totally stacked rocket was evaluated in April, its booster fixed fire took place in February. The company also has to evaluate the Starship second-stage rocket. During today’s test, it also appeared like 4 Starship engines closed down “prematurely,” according to the test group. Whether this is the reason why the test was much shorter than anticipated is uncertain, but SpaceX has actually made essential upgrades to the Raptor engine after April.
Drone view of Booster 9 fixed fire test pic.twitter.com/ARv6H6njgu
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 6, 2023