SpaceX conducted a fire test of the Super Heavy booster with the tail number B9. It will be involved in the next attempt to launch the Starship spacecraft.
Drone view of Booster 9 static fire test pic.twitter.com/ARv6H6njgu
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 6, 2023
The Super Heavy booster is the largest and most powerful rocket stage in history. Its length is 70 meters, its diameter is 9 meters. The booster is equipped with 33 Raptor engines running on liquid methane and oxygen. Its tanks are capable of holding 3,600 tons of fuel (the mass of the stage in the dry version is about 200 tons).
At the moment, Super Heavy was used in one test run, which took place in April of this year. Then Starship failed to enter orbit. At the same time, the launch pad received significant damage.
Since then, the company’s specialists have repaired the launch pad and equipped it with a water cooling system. The next step was to fire a new instance of Super Heavy, which would be involved in the next Starship test.
The Super Heavy fire took place on August 6. It was supposed to last 5 seconds. However, the engines shut down prematurely, it was stopped 2.7 seconds after the start. Subsequent inspection showed that the booster was not damaged. As for the cooling system, it also worked normally, protecting the launch pad.
At the moment, it is unknown whether SpaceX is going to re-fire Super Heavy and when exactly it may take place. Recall that the US Civil Aviation Administration recently announced that SpaceX would not receive permission for the next Starship flight until a full report on the previous test and a list of measures were provided to ensure that potential future accidents would not affect public and environmental safety.
Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time