We are now used to the spectacular images that SpaceX gratifies us with each of its rocket launches. Elon Musk’s space company once again demonstrates a keen sense of communication by offering us an unprecedented view of the static firing of the Starship’s Raptor engines. A sequence probably filmed from a drone hovering above the spacecraft with which SpaceX hopes to fly over the Moon and one day reach Mars.
But before that, the Starship will have to make its first orbital flight to validate its systems. A key step that has been waiting for several months. Back in October, we were treated to some views of Starship 24 sitting atop a Super Heavy launcher on the launch pad at SpaceX’s Starbase in Texas.
Ship 24 completes a single-engine static fire test at Starbase in Texas pic.twitter.com/gF9beLcarX
—SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 15, 2022
The Starship’s first orbital flight is long overdue
There have been several static firings before, including a test that fired seven engines and a more recent one with eleven engines. The new Starship video shows only one engine, but it’s still very impressive.
SpaceX expected to make the Starship’s first orbital flight by the end of the year, but that now seems unlikely given that it needs to get Federal Aviation Administration approval for launch.
Remember that SpaceX has already sold tickets for the future dearMoon mission around the Moon. Before that, the ship will have to get into orbit and return safely, a crucial step in transporting humans into space.
CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance
Image: CNETFrance video capture