SpaceX has published a series of colorful photos showing the burning of the Super Heavy accelerator prototype on February 10.
Super Heavy is designed to launch the Starship spacecraft into orbit. It is the largest rocket stage in history. Its length is 70 meters, its diameter is 9 meters. The accelerator is equipped with 33 Raptor thrusters running on liquid methane and oxygen. Its tanks are capable of holding 3,600 tons of fuel (the mass of the stage itself in the dry version is about 200 tons).
In the Super Heavy test conducted on February 10, 31 of the 33 Raptor thrusters were activated (engineers turned off one power unit before the start of the test, another one turned off itself). The test was performed at a throttling level of approximately 50%. At the same time, according to preliminary mathematical calculations by Steven Clark from NASA SpaceFlight, 31 Raptor thrusters created more than 6.8 million kg of thrust. This is almost twice as much as the Saturn V and SLS rockets.
SpaceX expects to carry out the first attempt of the orbital launch of Starship and Super Heavy in the near future. According to Elon Musk, during it, the throttling level of Raptor thrusters will be 90%. The head of SpaceX hopes that the launch can take place as early as March.
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