SpaceX’s sixth full-scale test prototype of Starship has successfully completed a critical static fire test of its Raptor engines, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. The so-called “SN5” starship prototype is now set to proceed for short-term flight testing of 150 meters (about 500 feet), which will mark the farthest mark yet that one of these test spacecraft has launched on SpaceX. Made through the planned program.
SpaceX has been building and testing starship prototypes since last year (designated by “SN” after their number in order), a sub-scale demonstrator first created by the company that was originally just one The starship was formed from the base. A single raptor engine mounted to demonstrate low altitude flight and landing capabilities.
Since then, SpaceX has been building full-scale demonstration prototypes to perform more test flights, initially seeking to go into high-altitude testing immediately. These were known as the Mk1 and Mk2, and the Mk1 was destroyed during pressure tank testing, while the Mk2 was focused on the Mk3 (renamed SN1, a new naming convention for the series) by the company. It was done. Prototypes that have so far been developed and tested rapidly with SN3 and SN4 have both suffered havoc during the testing process.
SpaceX has successfully tested the SN5 prototype, however, as of today, and will now proceed to the first low-altitude “hop” flight of a full-scale prototype test vehicle.
Ultimately, SpaceX hopes to replace all of its launch vehicles with starships – including Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, as well as their upcoming take on Mars to carry large loads of cargo to establish a permanent human presence To use it with super heavy boosters. red Planet. It clearly still has many tests, and many iterations, before it reaches the lofty goal, but Musk and SpaceX are eager for the rapid pace of iteration and testing with a relatively public audience. Sufficient testing is very standard for the development of a space vehicle, but doing it out in the open is novel, as is SpaceX building actual test articles and then using the results to create new (and hopefully better) versions .