SpaceX has shared impressive footage of its newest Starship spacecraft test. These tests included the static firing of all six Raptor engines at the Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, ahead of the expected third launch of the Super Heavy (Booster 9) rocket and the Starship spacecraft itself.
The first video was shot directly above the spacecraft from a drone. The footage captured the moment when all six Raptor engines operated at full power for several seconds. The second video shows this moment in slow motion, highlighting each stage of the test. The third one offers an overall view of this exciting process at normal shooting speed.
Flight 3 Starship completed a full-duration static fire with all six of its Raptor engines pic.twitter.com/Mxn8faKcEv— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 20, 2023
Recently, the Super Heavy was delivered to the launch pad in a festive “outfit” and is ready to be crowned with Starship for the test flight. However, this event cannot take place without permission from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is currently investigating a previous test flight that ended in a double explosion in November.
Slow motion view of six-engine static fire pic.twitter.com/0O3H0jb9oq— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 20, 2023
Additional drone view of Starship static fire pic.twitter.com/rpIN9shSwt— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 20, 2023
The next step in the development of this ambitious space program will be an attempt to send Starship into orbit and then land it off the coast of Hawaii. The Super Heavy launch vehicle, in turn, will land in the Gulf of Mexico. SpaceX plans to develop the technology so that the spacecraft can land on Earth after orbital missions or even on other planets, sending the crew and payloads to the farthest reaches of the solar system.
A step forward was the agreement between SpaceX and NASA to use a modified version of the Starship spacecraft for the first manned landing on the Moon. This will be a historic event, as it will be the first manned lunar landing since the Apollo mission in 1972. It is planned that the lunar landing will take place in 2025-2027.
However, SpaceX is not stopping there. The company has ambitious plans to use Super Heavy and Starship to organize the first manned mission to Mars. According to experts, this could happen as early as the 2030s if all tests are successful and safe.
Despite the impressive achievements of SpaceX and their ambitious plans, it is worth noting that before inviting people aboard the Starship, the company still needs to conduct many tests and resolve technical issues to ensure maximum safety of space flights.
Earlier, we reported how Elon Musk announced the second-generation Starship.
Based on materials from interestingengineering.com