SpaceX has fired the engine of its powerful spacecraft rocket that could one day bring astronauts to the moon and beyond.
The Starship SN5, a trial version of the rocket, was pinned to the ground when the Raptor engine was tested on Thursday, July 30, at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, tweeted a photo of the event (below) and also said that the spacecraft would soon make a "150-meter jump". It is not clear what he means by "soon", but it could come in a few days instead of weeks.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk), July 30, 2020
In July and August 2019, SpaceX made two successful jumps with a shorter version of Starship – a retired prototype called Starhopper – but the upcoming flight will be the first to use these larger "SN" prototypes.
It is also worth noting that so far some of the SN vehicles have not performed too well in testing since both the SN1 and the SN4 have suffered catastrophic structural failures.
The spaceship spaceship and the Super Heavy rocket (collectively referred to as the spaceship) will be a fully reusable transport system that can carry up to 100 people and cargo to Earth's orbit, to the moon, and even to Mars. Starship will launch on the massive first-stage Super Heavy rocket, which will have 31 Raptor engines. Starship will use its six Raptor engines in space to travel between different destinations.
In June 2020, Musk announced his desire to continue working on the Starship project and told SpaceX employees in an internal email: “Please consider SpaceX's top priority (aside from anything that reduces the risk of a dragon return) as a starship. ”At the same time, he begs his team to accelerate the work on the space transportation system“ dramatically and immediately ”.
If future tests go according to plan, it is hoped that Starship will make an unscrewed landing on the moon in the next few years before an astronaut mission.
Digital Trends has contacted SpaceX for more information on when to start with Starship. We will update this article as soon as we learn about it.