As previously reported by Techobig, SpaceX celebrated another significant achievement in the Starship interplanetary spacecraft project for the colonization of the Moon and Mars – on the night of October 22, Elon Musk’s company conducted the first firing tests of the Raptor vacuum engine installed on the Starship 20 prototype. Tests, as usual, took place at Starbase in Texas. where all the main work on the project is concentrated.
Live Stream was conducted on the YouTube channel NASASpaceflight, and SpaceX posted on its Twitter page a short video that directly captured the moment of burning.
First firing of a Raptor vacuum engine integrated onto a Starship pic.twitter.com/uCNAt8Kwzo
– SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 22, 2021
According to the plan, the final version of Starship will receive six Raptor oxygen-methane engines, of which one half will be optimized for maneuvering at low altitudes and in a dense atmosphere, and the other will be adapted for operation in airless space.
It should be noted that the first static firing tests of the Raptor Vacuum Engine (RVac) took place a year ago, and in April in the chamber objects hit improved version of the engine. Now SpaceX has for the first time burned an RVac as part of Starship – one such, along with the atmospheric version, was installed together on the Starship 20 prototype.
Last month, the American regulator FAA published a draft version of the mandatory Environmental Assessment at SpaceX’s proposal to conduct Starship orbital launches from the Starbase launch pad in Texas. Literally the other day there was a second public comment on the document, and soon the regulator should make its decision. So far, everything goes to the fact that SpaceX will be able to conduct the first orbital launch of Starship by the end of this year. Public discussion and testing took place against the backdrop of the first hearing in a high-profile trial involving SpaceX, Blue Origin and NASA – Jeff Bezos’s company is trying to challenge SpaceX’s victory in the NASA competition for the creation of a lunar lander through the courts.
After commissioning, the Super Heavy + Starship system, designed to deliver cargo and people to low-earth orbit, the Moon and Mars, will become the most powerful and lifting system in the entire history of space exploration. The rocket will be capable of delivering a cargo weighing up to 150 tons in a fully reusable configuration with the return of both stages (Super Heavy and Starship) to Earth, as well as the possibility of docking and refueling in orbit.
Earlier this month, SpaceX, whose market value recently surpassed $ 100 billion, began building the next Super Heavy rocket prototype with 33 Raptor engines.
SpaceX begins building its next Super Heavy rocket prototype – with 33 Raptor engines