Installation of the three Raptors that will power Starship SN8’s unique test flight began on Sunday at SpaceX Boca Chica. The brand new engines will be the focal point of a test program that will involve at least two Static Fire tests ahead of a test flight to 50,000 feet.
SN8 underwent a total of three cryo proofing tests during the week. The first was deemed acceptable per the test parameters, but a small leak “opened up near the engine mounts, possibly due to differential shrinking,” according to SpaceX Chief Designer and CEO Elon Musk.
The repair was completed in time for a second test the following night, which appeared to show SN8 fully loaded with LN2 (Liquid Nitrogen), but without any reference as to how it went from Elon. Roadblocks were then called for the third time, pointing to another test 24 hours later.
This time the test concluded with Elon noting cryo proofing was a success.
Passed cryo proof
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 9, 2020
With this milestone complete, the Thrust Rams were removed from underneath SN8 to make room for installing the three Raptor engines.
These rams are used to mechanically simulate the forces ...