On January 23, SpaceX specialists fully refueled the Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy accelerator for the first time. This brought the company one step closer to conducting a full-fledged orbital test of the system.
The refueling test was conducted on the territory of the Starbase test site, located near the Texas village of Boca Chica. It used an accelerator with the designation Booster 7 and a prototype of the Ship 24 spacecraft. Their bundle was installed on the launch pad, after which it was refueled with more than 4,500 tons of fuel consisting of methane used as fuel and oxygen oxidizer.
According to SpaceX, the test was a success. It will help to check the complete sequence of operations during the pre-launch countdown, as well as the operational qualities of Starship and the launch pad in preparation for a real flight.
First orbital test of Starship
The successful refueling test was an important step towards conducting the first orbital test of Starship. It is expected that the next step will be a static burning test, during which SpaceX will burn through all 33 Raptor engines installed on the Super Heavy stage.
As for the possible date of the Starship orbital test, it remains unknown at the moment. Earlier, Elon Musk stated that there was a significant probability that the flight could take place at the end of February. However, since the company did not have time to perform all the necessary preparatory operations for this, it was obvious that even in the most favorable scenario, the flight would take place no earlier than spring.
It is worth recalling that SpaceX is also engaged in the construction of a new launch complex at Cape Canaveral. In the future, it will become the main launch site for Starship.
According to https://spacenews.com
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