It’s starting to look like SpaceX is trying to test the 15km (9.3 miles) hop before Christmas! After two successful 150m (~500ft) hops SN5 and SN6 Prototype, SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch facility in southern Texas, has launched the SN8. spaceship Prototype you have 3 raptor engines. However, before the SN8 performed the high altitude test flight, the engineer had to run a static fire test.
This test spaceshipThe internal piping of the can handle cryogenic propellants and spaceship You can fly at altitude. In the evening Tuesday, October 20Work, That’s exactly what they did! At 3:13 AM local time (01:13 AM PDT; 04:13 AM EDT) the SN8 fired three Raptor engines and continued firing for a few seconds.
SpaceX has yet to make a statement about the test, but NASA Spaceflight’s Mary McConnaughey (aka. Hello.) Implies success. The event video (posted below) shows the engine ignites at 2 hours 27 minutes 12 seconds after a few minutes of ventilation and stays on for a few seconds.
Once this milestone is achieved, the company appears to be ready to conduct a historic 15km (9.3 mile) hop test. At this point it is likely to happen before the end of October or early November. While the SN8 received three Raptor engines and prepared for a test launch, the other team was busy assembling the nose cone in different parts of the facility.
after Star hopper The test vehicle was active. spaceship The prototype comes with a nose cone. But this segment Star hopper Blown by a strong wind January 2019. All that’s left is to continue in the single engine bottom section Tether hop testFollowing the first free flight hop test 20 meters (~65 feet).
In August 2019, these tests 150 meters (~500 feet) Hop test, SN5 and SN7 prototypes did not reach again after a year. Since then, the development of the SN8 has progressed at a rapid pace, and a series of proof tests on the core (from 6th OctoberWork ~ October 8Work) Validate stainless steel propellant tank for static fire test.
This was followed by a large maneuvering flap on the core section and nose cone. The nose cone was attached to the SN8 fuselage by a crane on Thursday (October 22).nd), an incident witnessed by several observers who took pictures and videos. Above is a time lapse video of the stacking job. Bong Bong, Made using 24-hour live coverage Of the Boca Chica launch facility.
With the nose cone and flap installed, the vehicle now looks complete. spaceship Design for the first time. Incorporating three engines, nose cones and maneuvering flaps, the SN8 is “ready to try the included 15km (9.3 mile) hop test.”navel”Test your ability to glide back to the landing point using only the maneuvering surface.
According to Musk’s past statement, SpaceX hopes to perform sub-orbital leap tests to altitudes of 200 km (~125 miles) next year. For this final test spaceship It will be equipped with six Raptor engines. Three optimized sea level thrusts and three are optimized for vacuum in space. The company also Super heavy It is an element of the firing system with more than 28 Raptor engines.
Additional Resources: ArsTechnica
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