SpaceX’s third high-altitude Starship prototype seems to have efficiently ignited its trio of Raptor engines, boosting the chances of one other launch and touchdown try later this week.

Following a previous try aborted earlier than propellant loading started on February twenty second, SpaceX managed to show round Starship serial quantity 10 (SN10) and its launch services for a second try ~24 hours later. Unlike Starship SN9, which went via 4 torturous weeks of scrubbed, aborted, and off-nominal static hearth take a look at makes an attempt earlier than lastly being cleared for flight; Starship SN10 seemingly sidestepped an identical destiny and ignited its Raptor engines with out apparent situation after simply two days of actual makes an attempt.

Of course, it stays to be seen if the take a look at was really profitable. Long-distance, outside-looking-in observations depart little to no room for nuanced interpretation and the distinction between an excellent and a foul take a look at could be too refined to detect with the bare eye.

Yesterday’s aborted try by no means made it previous tank farm activation however might have been attributable to floor help gear (GSE), Starship itself, or one thing else fully. Regardless, virtually precisely 24 hours later, Starship SN10 fired up all three of its Raptor engines after a easy, bug-free take a look at circulate. That single static hearth concurrently served as the huge metal rocket’s first moist costume rehearsal (WDR) with stay (and flammable) liquid methane and oxygen propellant, making such a clear circulate that rather more spectacular and inspiring.

Nevertheless, one of many final remaining residents of Boca Chica Village reported that they’d obtained a typical security ‘alert’ distributed by SpaceX round 40 minutes after SN10’s static hearth. Those alerts function reminders for residents to avoid their properties’ home windows throughout Starship static hearth testing to mitigate the danger of harm within the occasion {that a} given take a look at goes incorrect and a automobile explodes.

Ignition… (NASASpaceflight – bocachicagal)SN10 instantly started to depressurize after Raptor shutdown. (NASASpaceflight)That might imply that SpaceX shortly decided that Tuesday’s static hearth wasn’t passable, although it might simply as simply be SpaceX hedging its bets within the occasion that it must redo SN10’s static hearth on Wednesday, February twenty fourth. If Tuesday’s take a look at went properly, SpaceX might flip SN10 round for a launch try as early as Thursday, transferring to Friday if a hypothetical Wednesday static hearth redux goes properly. Stay tuned for updates (and hopefully affirmation from CEO Elon Musk).
SpaceX Starship static hearth bodes properly for a launch later this week