SpaceX has just done something incredible. The company launched 31 of the 33 Raptor rocket engines of its giant Super Heavy accelerator at the same time. This launch managed to create a giant thrust – probably the most powerful rocket fuse in the history of mankind.
“Team turned off 1 engine just before start & 1 stopped itself, so 31 engines fired overall. But still enough engines to reach orbit!” CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter.
Team turned off 1 engine just before start & 1 stopped itself, so 31 engines fired overall.
But still enough engines to reach orbit! https://t.co/QYx3oVM4Gw
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 9, 2023
The launch of the Raptor engines is a grand step forward, preparing the groundwork for the long–awaited, first orbital test launch of the Starship spacecraft, which can potentially revolutionize space travel by the end of the decade.
It was a truly iconic sight. A live broadcast of the event showed a giant fireball flying out from under a prototype rocket booster, covering the entire launch pad with smoke and forcing countless birds to quickly leave the area. It is worth noting that the launch stand withstood the explosive launch and remained intact.
The pad looks fine. Does not mean there is not internal damage, but this looks very, very good. pic.twitter.com/9Ja3eR5UGK
— Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) February 9, 2023
According to preliminary mathematical calculations by Stephen Clark of NASASpaceflight, the test run created more than 6.8 million kilograms of thrust. According to Clark, this means that the Super Heavy has just produced almost twice as much thrust compared to NASA’s Saturn V rocket, which sent the Apollo missions, and the Space Launch System, which successfully launched the Orion mission.
The full launch of the Super Heavy rocket with the Starship spacecraft is scheduled for March. But SpaceX’s test orbital launch still requires certification from the Federal Aviation Administration, which the company has not received yet.
Earlier we reported on how Super Heavy “flared up” during tests.
According to Aviationweek
Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time