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SpaceX Launches Giant Starship Rocket In Key Test

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SpaceX launches giant Starship rocket in key test

(CTN NEWS) – The most powerful rocket ever developed by SpaceX, intended to one-day launch men to the Moon and Mars, has completed a test firing of its engines.

At SpaceX’s Texas base, the 33 Raptor engines on the Starship’s first-stage booster underwent a static fire test on Thursday that seemed to break the previous record for the highest thrust ever generated by a single space rocket.

Elon Musk, the creator of SpaceX, claimed that one engine shut down right before the test started and another shut off on its own.

In a tweet, Musk stated, “So 31 engines fired altogether.” Still, there are enough engines to get into orbit.

The test went for its “whole duration,” according to SpaceX.

During the test firing, which lasted a few seconds, huge sheets of orange flames and clouds of smoke erupted from the rocket’s base.
In a few years, Starship will connect with NASA’s Orion spacecraft in lunar orbit to transport astronauts to the Moon’s surface.

Musk plans to take people to Mars using the enormous Starships in the future.

During the test-firing on Thursday, the 69-meter (230-foot) Super Heavy rocket was attached to the ground to prevent it from taking off.

At a Washington, DC, conference on Wednesday, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, predicted that if the test was successful, the company’s first orbital launch might happen in about a month.

That launch, which was intended as a test mission, would take off from Texas and land off the coast of Hawaii.

SpaceX launches giant Starship r

/ GETTY IMAGE

Before we light them up and take off, “it’s essentially the last ground test we can perform,” Shotwell said.

For the Artemis 3 mission, which is scheduled to launch no later than 2025, NASA has chosen the Starship capsule to transport its crew to the Moon.

The centerpiece of Musk’s plans to someday colonize Mars, the vehicle will be 120 meters (394 feet) tall when attached to its upper-stage Starship spacecraft. This height makes it taller than the Statue of Liberty.

However, the plans call for it to take the lead in NASA’s revived Moon exploration program.

The engine test was praised by spaceflight enthusiasts, who called it “a big win” for SpaceX.

A Starship might one day be sent into orbit by SpaceX, refueled by another Starship, and then sent on its way to Mars or beyond.

Other developed super-heavy rockets include the New Glenn from Blue Origin, the Long March 9 from China, and the Yenisei from Russia.

According to NASA, the US tech billionaire Jeff Bezos’ private space business, Blue Origin, was given its first interplanetary NASA contract on Thursday to fly a mission to research the magnetic field around Mars the next year.

According to plans, NASA’s dual-spacecraft ESCAPADE mission will launch in late 2024 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station aboard Blue Origin’s recently created New Glenn heavy-lift rocket.

The innovative NASA astronaut John Glenn, who became the first American to orbit Earth in 1962, is honored by the naming of New Glenn, which features a reusable first stage intended to be launched on at least 25 flights.

Blue Origin has launched past NASA missions with its smaller, suborbital New Shepard rocket, which can transport research payloads on quick, weightless flights to the edge of space and back.

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