This week, SpaceX carried out at least three static hearth exams on the most recent prototype of the Starship, a heavy launcher designed to transport astronauts from Earth to the Moon and presumably even to Mars. But testing and improvement is a gradual course of, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the corporate wants to exchange two of the prototype’s engines earlier than shifting on to its massive check wherein the rocket takes off.
On Wednesday, January 13, the Starship SN9 prototype was put to the check in three trials wherein the rocket motors have been fired however the prototype remained grounded. All three exams have been profitable, with Musk fortunately tweeting that the SpaceX crew had gathered all the information they wanted from the check.
The hope amongst SpaceX observers was that this meant the prototype would quickly be prepared for a excessive altitude leap check, wherein the engines are fired and the prototype rises from the bottom and into the air earlier than returning. on earth.
However, it appears to be like like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see this leap check occur for the SN9. Musk stated on Twitter that two of the Starship’s Raptor engines have been in want of “minor repairs” and would want to get replaced with new engines earlier than the following spherical of testing might happen.
Two of the engines require minor repairs and can due to this fact be turned off
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2021
Exchanging engines previously has been an extended enterprise, taking on to a number of weeks. But the excellent news for individuals who want to see SN9 fly is that Musk too. sharing that the corporate was making “main enhancements” to the engine swap course of and that the aim was for the method to take “a number of hours at most”. This information means the brand new engines will possible want to be examined in one other static hearth check earlier than the leap check can happen.
The leap check of the earlier prototype, SN8, ended with a spectacular fireball when it landed onerous on the bottom. However, he carried out his downhill maneuver on the stomach flop and Musk confirmed that the crew gathered all the information they wanted earlier than it was destroyed.