SpaceX is switching out one of many three Raptor engines on its Starship SN10 prototype, possible pushing the automobile’s high-altitude check flight again a bit.
The swap choice was made yesterday (Feb. 23), shortly after SN10 (“Serial No. 10”) ignited its engines for the primary time throughout a “static hearth” check at SpaceX’s South Texas services.
“One of many engines is suspect, so we’re swapping it out,” firm founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter yesterday.
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The static hearth was a part of SN10’s prep work for a roughly 6-mile-high (10 kilometers) check hop into the Texas skies, which might have occurred as early as Thursday (Feb. 25). The engine swap will most likely delay the flight a bit, however it’s unclear how a lot; Musk didn’t point out a brand new timeline.
SN10 would be the third Starship prototype to fly so excessive. The SN8 and SN9 autos carried out comparable flights on Dec. 9, 2020, and Feb. 2, respectively. Each flew nicely till the tip, checking off many milestones earlier than crashing at the landing zone.
Like SN10’s, SN9’s path to flight included an engine swap. SpaceX replaced two of SN9’s three engines after the automobile carried out three static fires in fast succession on Jan. 13.
SpaceX is growing Starship to get folks and cargo to the moon, Mars and past. The system consists of two reusable components: a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) spacecraft referred to as Starship and an enormous rocket referred to as Tremendous Heavy. The ultimate Starship may have six Raptors, and Tremendous Heavy can be powered by about 30 of the engines, Musk has mentioned.
SpaceX desires a Starship prototype to make an orbital check flight someday this 12 months. And Musk lately mentioned that he thinks the ultimate automobile can be operational by 2023.
Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the seek for alien life. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.