What has SpaceX been doing in South Texas since early May? SpaceX appears to have gone a long time without launching - or detonating - a rocket at its South Texas launch site. It's been just over two months since the company launched its prototype SN15 Starship at an altitude of 10 kilometers before the car landed safely on May 5th. P>
Brendan (_brendan_lewis) July 13, 2021
Finally, SpaceX technicians and engineers assembled the Super Heavy boosters themselves and put the "Booster 3 On the launch pad. In early July. This is the first full-scale booster prototype to actually be tested and has passed the cooling pressure test of its fuel tanks.
This week, the company added three Raptor rocket engines to the Booster 3 and told locals it could test static fire as soon as Thursday, July 15. The road closure schedule shows a potential testing window from noon local time until 10 PM (17:00 UTC Thursday to 03:00 UTC Friday). SpaceX founder Ilan Musk said that Booster 3 will not be launched, but if all goes well in ground testing, the company will continue to launch Booster 4. The rocket is currently being built by a company that is assembling a facility a few miles from the launch site in South Texas. While SpaceX Booster 3 is testing with three Raptor engines, the fully orbital version of the Super Heavy will feature 33 methane-powered Raptors. Announcement p>
In parallel, SpaceX built the "Ship 20". (SpaceX has dropped the SN nickname for the Starship prototypes and now calls them "ships.") This is the first of a new generation of spacecraft models with features that allow them to go into space and then return to Earth. Several of the Ship's 20 missiles have already been completed at Center Bay in Boca Chica, Texas.
All this - in the case of missiles, turrets and ground systems - is preparing for a test launch. From Super Heavy and Starship later this summer. SpaceX wants to make this test flight — which, until early August, will make the spacecraft the longest orbiting Earth before returning to the controlled ocean north of Kauai.
However, regulations remain barriers. In addition to all the technical work and testing, SpaceX still needs to obtain a launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is studying the environmental status of the launch facility in South Texas. The Federal Aviation Administration said it had not made a decision since May to allow SpaceX to launch Starship orbital missions from southern Texas.
Image included by Elon Musk
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