SpaceX performed the static ignition of the new Starship test rocket SN9. The rocket is expected to take off for the first time next week.
The development process of Starship, SpaceX’s new generation interplanetary transport system, continues at full speed. The SN9, the new prototype version of the giant spaceship, will also be flying next week. SpaceX prioritized static firing of the rocket today.
Images from the SN9’s static ignition test:
The new SN9 prototype has almost the same features as the previous test rocket, the SN8. The rocket is home to three different Raptor engines. In the experiment SpaceX plans to carry out with the SN9 next week, the goal will be to reach a height of 12.5 kilometers and land on the surface.
SpaceX had successfully tested the SN8 prototype last month. The SN8 had risen to an altitude of 12.5 kilometers and immediately attempted to land on the surface. However, the landing attempt failed, as Elon Musk expected. No success was expected on the first try. However, in the upcoming test flights, SpaceX will gradually increase the success percentage, just like Falcon 9.
The Starship system is expected to carry humanity to the Moon and Mars, respectively, in the next 10 years. Elon Musk said that Starship can transport 100 different people to Mars at the same time. Starship is one of the most exciting projects in the history of space exploration.
SpaceX’s Starship project actually consists of two main parts: Super Heavy booster / propellant rocket and the Starship spaceship that will contain astronauts / cargo. The Starship ship alone does not have the power to reach the Moon and Mars, so the Super Heavy propellant rocket is used to carry the Starship into space. Super Heavy and Starship’s final versions will feature 28 and 6 Raptor engines, respectively. SpaceX is also aiming to begin prototype trials of its Super Heavy propellant rocket very soon.
SpaceX plans to bring Starship to space by 2021 and begin its first Starship official missions. Then they have the goal of transporting people to the Moon in 2023 and Mars in 2025.