Elon Musk, on a testing spree on Thursday test fired 31 of the total 33 engines in the towering rocket booster of the Starship prototype. The move was a first step towards the journey to Mars, as SpaceX is getting ready to launch the rocket to orbit for the first time ever.
Reaching Mars- One Milestone at a Time!
The engine testing, or also called as the “static fire”, this was a milestone test, overcoming the first major hurdle before Elon Musk’s SpaceX tries to launch its nearly 400-foot-tall rocket- the Starship to space.
Shortly after the testing, the company in a tweet said that the engines at the base of the Super Heavy booster fired for “full duration”, that is at the expected length of the test.
In a subsequent tweet later, Elon Musk said that the company had turned off one engine before the test and another engine “stopped itself.”
Musk further added, “Still enough engines to reach orbit!”
The company has been steadily building up to first flight test of its 400-foot-tall Starship rocket. SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell on Wednesday also stressed that the first launch attempt would be experimental.
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More about Starship
SpaceX’ Starship is designed in a way to carry cargo and people beyond Earth. The design especially critical role to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as it plans on returning astronauts back to the moon. In 2021, SpaceX had won a nearly $3 billion contract from the space agency.
While SpaceX was hoping on conducting its first orbital Starship launch during the summer of 2021, due to the delays in progress and other regulatory approvals pushed it back. The company will be needing a license from the Federal Aviation Administration in order to launch Starship.
Shotwell in a statement on Wednesday said, “I think we’ll be ready to fly right at the timeframe that we get the license.”
After analyzing the results of Thursday’s static fire test, Shotwell has also estimated that depending on these results SpaceX would be ready to launch the first Starship orbital launch “within the next month or so.”