The latest SpaceX program Starship The prototype needs some maintenance before it reaches the sky.
On Wednesday (Jan.13), the Starship SN9 prototype was implemented Three “steady fire” tests In quick succession at SpaceX’s site in south Texas, he launched the three Raptor engines while the spacecraft remained at anchor.
These short burns were part of SN9’s initial test routine, which is set up for high altitude testing. That big jump would have happened sooner this weekend if Wednesday’s fires had been completely steady. But there appeared to be some hiccups.
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“Two of the engines need minor repairs, so they will be shut down,” says SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk He said via Twitter Early this morning (January 15th).
Musk has not specified a target release date for SN9. But he said, In another tweet, It is “probably wise” to conduct another steady fire of the vehicle after the engine switch is completed. So a weekend SN9 launch seems unlikely.
SpaceX is developing the Starship to transport people and cargo to the Moon, Mars and other distant destinations. The architecture consists of a 165 feet (50 meters) spacecraft called the Starship and a giant rocket known as Super Heavy. Musk said that these cars will be completely reusable and quickly reusable.
The upcoming SN9 flight is expected to be the same as From the previous one, The SN8 three-engine, which soared 7.8 miles (12.5 kilometers) into the Texas sky on December 9. That flight, the first high-altitude test of any prototype of the spacecraft, went very well. Musk said, Even though SN8 didn’t stick to its landing.
Mike Wall is the author ofAbroad“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustration by Karl Tate), a book on the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.