Those who like to accompany spacecraft launches can prepare themselves, because SpaceX has yet another flight planned. Elon Musk’s company plans to make the first test flight of its Starship prototype next week, according to the Teslarati. However, this depends on another test, this time with the Raptor engine, scheduled for the beginning of next week.
SpaceX employees are currently installing a Raptor engine on the prototype in question, called the SN5, as a preparation phase for an aesthetic fire test that will take place next Monday (13).
This is in line with the road closings records recently released in the Boca Chica region of Texas, where the company’s testing facility is located. According to the documents, the launch should happen on the 15th, Wednesday.
New road closures in Boca Chica! Starship SN5 static fire testing starts July 10. Then, the notice starting July 13 through July 15 says SN5 150 meter launch! Surely too soon? Ÿ ”Windows are daily from 8 am to 5 pm local.https: //t.co/6u2msVb0b8 pic.twitter.com/2T3c89FS6i
– Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) July 7, 2020
The official flight date has not yet been confirmed and is subject to change, as SpaceX has not directly confirmed its plans. The event also depends on the success of the fire test on the Raptor engine, so it can be postponed for some time.
A video released by the channel NASA Spaceflight on YouTube this Thursday (9) showed SpaceX building a “mass simulator” on top of its SN5 prototype, probably as a way to simulate the presence of a payload during test flights. See the video below:
One point to be noted, highlighted by Teslarati, the fact that SpaceX has not yet tested the Starship’s landing legs, which are very different from previous experiments and the final version of Falcon 9. The legs retract into the engine section and not to the outside, as showed an animation done in April. Subsequently, Elon Musk himself confirmed that the animation looks very much like the legs being developed by the company.
Yes, v close! Nice work. Those are V0.9 legs, so major upgrades coming. Need wider span, longer stroke & ability to auto-level for uneven ground or leaning into high winds.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2020
Many things can go wrong during testing, as we’ve seen in other Starship prototypes. So it can take a long time before the ship is actually launched.