Here we go again for a full Starship! For the first time, copy 24 of the Starship has been assembled with demonstration booster No. 7. They will undergo tests together, in preparation for a flight attempt which will come later, with these two elements.
On the night of October 11 to 12, the demonstratordemonstrator SN 24 joined the boosterbooster 7 at Starbase. This is the first time that these two models are together. However, there is still a very long way to go before making a test orbital flight. Nevertheless, Elon MuskElon Muskleader of SpaceX and chief engineer of the Starship, predicts a flight at the end of October, with a strong chance that it will be for November.
Together for the first time, the two demonstrators will undergo numerous tests. It is in particular a question of pressurization of the tanks, consistency tests, etc. They should also then be disassembled to perform engine tests, each on its own.
One step after another to the orbital shot, then the Moon
If the stages are numerous before a first test shot, the teams manage to pass them one after the other. Of particular note is the success of a Booster 7 fire test with seven Raptor engines at the same time on September 19, a new record. But we are still far from a fire test of the 33 Booster engines at the same time. We also note a test of the “deluge” system a few weeks ago on the launch pad before the arrival of Booster 7. This system releases a large quantity of water to protect the infrastructure during takeoff.
As a reminder, the Starship of SpaceXSpaceX has been retained so far as the only solution to land the astronauts of the Artemis missions on the Moon. A Starship launch pad has also been built at Cape Canaveral, and Elon Musk recently announced that production of the first elements intended to be tested there would soon begin. For its part, the NasaNasa opened a new call for tenders to have a second lunar lander later.
Starship, SpaceX’s fully reusable launch system under development at Starbase, Texas. © Nasa