Elon Musk’s Starship 25 Is Ready For Stacking: Test Flight SOON!
The second Integrated Flight Test (IFT) for Starship is rapidly approaching. Booster 9 has finished pre-flight testing and is now awaiting its launch partner for the subsequent launch. Ship 25 has already undergone testing, thus the only remaining steps are full stack testing and obtaining regulatory certification for the second flight. And so in todays episode, let’s find out what would happen next and do we have a confirmed date for the second IFT?
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Booster 9 underwent a second static fire on August 25 after the previous fire on August 6 was not totally successful. Four engines prematurely shut down during the initial fire, ending the whole static fire 2.74 seconds earlier than anticipated (it was supposed to last slightly under five seconds).
After the fire, SpaceX immediately pulled out the booster from the orbital launch platform (OLM) and rolled it back to the manufacturing facility. This was followed by the installation of the heated staging ring. To adjust the booster for the hot staging of the upper stage, this 6-foot-tall ring was required. It has vents that may be opened while the ship is still fastened to the Booster to let the exhaust from the six engines below the ship out.
In order to limit gravity loss during flight and address other difficulties, such as fuel settling in the upper stage, the Booster will still have three engines fired during hot staging when the Ship engines are already running.
The Booster was once more deployed following the ring’s installation. The engines were sheltered during shipment by the engine protection it now had surrounding them. For engine transporting in Boca Chica, this has not always been the case; in the past, some engines had noticeable dents. Even though it’s not apparent if these dents developed during shipping, it could be a preventative measure for such harm caused by accidents that happen during shipment.
The second fire, which was carried out on August 25, looks to have been more successful. All 33 of the Booster’s engines lit, according to SpaceX. No other static fire of Super Heavy was able to start all the engines. 31 engines ran the full five seconds, with two engines shutting down immediately after activation.
The deflector plate, a new deluge mechanism, had a considerable effect on overall power suppression. It can be observed in images that were released by SpaceX that the OLM’s flames and thrust are significantly weaker than B7’s static fire. After the test, the area is in fine order save from a few minor damages to installations, including a fence next to the launch location.
Following this test, Booster 9 carried out three cryogenic proof tests, two spin primes, and high-engine static fires. This illustrates how SpaceX decreased the testing required to validate the vehicles by performing far less tests than the roughly 20 tests carried out on Booster 7. After completing its single-stage test campaign, the vehicle is anticipated to be ready for Ship 25 to be stacked on top of it.
And how about the status of its upper stage?
Having been rolled back in time for the first Booster 9 static firing, Ship 25 has been at the Rocket Garden ever since.
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