Home News SpaceX’s first Starship flight (re)scheduled for next week

SpaceX’s first Starship flight (re)scheduled for next week


SpaceX’s full-scale Starship prototype could become the first to take flight just a week or so from now if a Raptor engine evaluation goes as planned early next week.

Known as Starship serial number 5 (SN5), SpaceX teams are currently in the process of completing the installation of Raptor SN27 and preparing the gigantic steel rocket because of its initial cryogenic moist dress rehearsal and inactive fire tests. Produced from July 8th and 10th, Starship SN5’s first Raptor static fire is now scheduled no earlier than ~10 am CDT (~15:00 UTC) on Monday, July 13th.

When things go well during those nominally back-to-back tests, public road closure filings show that SpaceX desired to try the first full-scale Starship hop just three days after, even though the current two-day delay increases a bit of uncertainty.


— Simply Space (Ben) (@SimplySpace_YT) July 8, 2020

SpaceX’s full-scale Starship prototype could become the first to take flight just a couple of days from today. (NASASpaceflight – bocachicagal)

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The chances are good that you or both of those evaluation periods will slide or change in the next few times and, in actuality, Starship SN5’s dormant fire test period was postponed two weeks while this article has been actually work. SpaceX could run into road bumps that prevent the July 10th 13th moist dress rehearsal (WDR) from smoothly transitioning into a Raptor static fire effort and any number of further delays could beset the actual flight evaluation throughout the flow. Along the very exact lines as Starhopper, now the only car to have flown beneath the power of a Raptor engine, Starship’s flight computer could abort the launch at almost any stage prior to liftoffup to and including Raptor automobile.

Just like Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, Starship (and Starhopper) will take and interpret hundreds or thousands of channels of telemetry to determine the health of its engines for a second or two later ignition while thrust is ramping. If the Raptor or Merlin engine(s) appear fit, the rocket commands hold-down clamp release and lifts off (or, in the case of Starhopper, uses its immense weight to avoid liftoff till Raptor is throttled up).

A Raptor engine is currently stationary fired in McGregor, Texas. (SpaceX)

Thanks to a updated launching bracket, SpaceX’s full-scale Starship prototypes have access to built-in hold-down clamps, allowing operations that are at least a little more like those utilized for Falcon 9 and Heavy launches. Starship’s six hold-down clamps are attached to exactly the identical arrangement that the ship’s six landing legs have been set up on.

Starship’s unique landing legs are pictured here on SN3 at March 2020. (NASASpaceflight – bocachicagal)

Perhaps the single biggest point of uncertainty with Starship’s first full-scale test flight is its somewhat cryptic landing legs – almost completely different from Falcon 9’s well-proven four-leg design. The stubby Starship legs keep in the ship’s engine section, swinging out and down (and potentially telescoping, albeit less than Falcon 9) come touchdown. According to photos of the thighs, they might also feature rudimentary shock absorption mechanisms, meaning that Starship should be able to tolerate slightly neater landings. SpaceX has probably tested Starship leg deployment broadly on the ground but beyond that premise, they stay an unproven puzzle.

Regardless, SpaceX will be extremely busy over the next 7-10 times together using Starlink-9 scheduled to establish NET July 11th, Starship SN5’s dormant fire NET July 13th, Falcon 9’s ANASIS II launching scheduled NET July 14th, along with a potential SN5 hop test effort as early as July 16th (speculation).

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