SpaceX fires up Starship SN11 prototype to prep for test flight this week – Space.com2 min read

SpaceX just fired up its most current Starship model, keeping the vehicle on track for a high-altitude test flight this week.The 3 Raptor engines of Starship SN11 (” Serial No. 11″) ignited briefly today (March 22) at 9:56 a.m. EDT (1356 GMT) during a static fire test at SpaceXs South Texas facilities, near the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica.Static fire tests, during which engines are lit while a car remains anchored to the ground, are a basic preflight checkout for SpaceX rockets. SN11s upcoming flight will take the stainless-steel car to an optimum altitude of about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers). That uncrewed jaunt could occur as early as Wednesday (March 24), according to set up road closures in the Boca Chica area.Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceXs Mars-colonizing automobiles in imagesSpaceXs Starship SN11 performs a fixed fire test at the companys South Texas site on March 22, 2021. (Image credit: SpaceX is establishing Starship to carry individuals and freight to the moon, Mars and other remote destinations. The architecture includes two multiple-use elements– a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) spacecraft called Starship and a huge first-stage booster understood as Super Heavy. Both cars will be powered by Raptor engines– 6 for Starship and about 30 for Super Heavy.Three Starship prototypes have currently taken to the skies on high-altitude test flights in the last few months. SN8 and SN9 carried out effectively till touchdown, taking off when they struck the landing pad. SN10, which flew on March 3, did even much better: The prototype landed in one piece but exploded about eight minutes later.SpaceX will soon begin putting Super Heavy through its rates also. Recently, company creator and CEO Elon Musk unveiled the first-ever Super Heavy, which he described as a “production pathfinder.” The next Super Heavy that SpaceX constructs will really fly, the billionaire entrepreneur said.We need to expect lots of Starship and Super Heavy tests in the coming weeks and months. Musk just recently stated that SpaceX aims to release an orbital test flight with Starship this year, and that he anticipates the spaceship-rocket duo to be completely operational by 2023. SpaceX initially tried to light up Starship SN11 last Monday (March 15), however that static fire attempt was aborted.Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the look for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook..

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