Capitalism in space: SpaceX engineers today successfully completed three static fire tests of their Starship prototype #9, all within a space of just over three hours.
The three-engine SN9 vehicle performed its second, third and fourth “static fire” tests in quick succession today (Jan. 13) at SpaceX’s South Texas facilities, near the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica. The engines lit up briefly at 1:28 p.m. EST (1828 GMT), again at 3:22 p.m. EST (2022 GMT) and then yet again at 4:36 p.m. EST (2136 GMT).
During static fires, engines blaze briefly while a vehicle remains tethered to the ground. SN9 already had one such test under its belt, having completed a short static fire on Jan. 6.
In each case they likely practiced their countdown and fueling procedures, followed by procedures allowing for a quick recycle should they have to abort a countdown but have time to still launch that day.
All this strengthens the reliability and overall design and operation of the rocket as they develop it.
The actual hop could occur, based on road closure announcements, on Friday. It is also possible the company will do additional static fire tests beforehand.
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