“SpaceX” passes an important milestone in the development of its giant “Starship” rocket, which is intended to transport humans to the moon and Mars
On Thursday, February 09, 2023, SpaceX passed an important milestone in the development of its giant rocket, “Starship”, intended to transport humans to the moon and Mars, by completing a remarkable experiment on the ground for its engines, which opens the way for a possible orbital flight next month.
Within a few seconds, amidst a massive roar, the Raptor engines in the first layer of the rocket spun, followed by the formation of a giant ball of flame and a thick cloud of smoke at the SpaceX base in Boca Chica in the far south of Texas.
In the end, 31 out of 33 engines succeeded in operating, according to what Elon Musk, the company’s president, wrote on Twitter, who continued, saying, “But this number of engines is sufficient to reach orbit.”
He pointed out that one of the engines was turned off by the SpaceX work teams “before the start” of the experiment, while another engine “stopped working on its own.”
This missile has not yet flown in its full configuration, with its first layer called “Super Heavy”, which is 69 meters high.
Only the Starship, the second class of the rocket, has conducted suborbital spaceflights, many of which ended in huge explosions.
And in early February, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that “all remaining tests are going well,” with the launch of the “Starship” vehicle with the “Super Heavy” layer in March.
Starship was chosen by NASA to transport its astronauts to the Moon during the Artemis 3 mission, which is officially scheduled to be launched in 2025.
However, there is still a long way to go.
“We don’t want the fifteenth flight to carry people on board,” said Vice President of “SpaceX” Gwen Shotwell during a press conference in Washington, Friday, “but rather, on the flight the number one hundred or two hundred.”
“We want to be able to make hundreds of trips before we get humans to the moon, that’s our goal,” she added.
Shotwell pointed out that the rocket will initially transport the company’s satellites to join the “Starlink” constellation that provides the Earth with Internet from space.