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SpaceX launches Starship SN11 prototype in preparation for this week’s test flight

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SpaceX has launched its latest starship prototype and put the vehicle in orbit for this week’s high-altitude test flight.

The Starship SN11 (“Serial No. 11”) three raptor engines were tested today (March 22) at 9 am during a static fire test at SpaceX’s South Texas facility near the Gulf village of Boca. I ignited EDT (1356 GMT) for a short time at 15:56. Chika.

A static fire test, in which the engine lights up while the vehicle is fixed to the ground, is a standard pre-flight checkout for SpaceX rockets. On the next flight of the SN11, the stainless steel vehicle will reach a maximum altitude of approximately 6.2 miles (10 km). According to the planned closure in the Bocachica area, the unmanned spacecraft could occur as early as Wednesday (March 24).

Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceX Mars-Vehicle Colonization in Image

SpaceX’s Starship SN11 will perform a static fire test at its South Texas site on March 22, 2021. (Image credit: Spadre.com)

SpaceX is developing Starship to bring people and cargo to the Moon, Mars, and other distant destinations. This architecture consists of two reusable components. A 165-foot (50-meter) high spacecraft called Starship and a huge first-stage booster called Super Heavy. Both vehicles are equipped with a Raptor engine. 6 for starship and about 30 for super heavy.

In the last few months, three Starship prototypes have already flown into the sky on high altitude test flights. The SN8 and SN9 exploded when they hit the landing pad and worked very well until they touched down. The SN10, which flew on March 3, is even better. The prototype landed in One Piece, but exploded about eight minutes later.

SpaceX will soon be able to keep pace with super heavyweights. Last week, company founder and CEO Elon Musk unveiled the first ever Super Heavy. This is what he described as a “production pathfinder.” According to billionaire entrepreneurs, the next super-heavy that SpaceX will build will actually fly.

You should expect a lot of Starship and Super Heavy testing in the coming weeks and months. Musk recently said SpaceX is aiming to launch an orbital test flight on Starship this year, hoping that the spacecraft and rocket duo will be fully functional by 2023.

SpaceX first tried to turn on Starship SN11 last Monday (March 15th), but its static launch attempt was stopped.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate), a book on exploring alien life. Follow him on Twitter @ michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @ Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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