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Another and this time longer static fire tests for Superheavy prototype #7

Capitalism in space: SpaceX engineers yesterday conducted a second static fire engine test of the 7th prototype of its Superheavy first stage booster, firing a different engine for 20 seconds.

The action ramped up on Thursday (Aug. 11) for Booster 7, which conducted a much longer static fire on Starbase’s orbital launch mount. The burn, which occurred at 3:48 p.m. EDT (1948 GMT), lasted for 20 seconds, SpaceX said via Twitter (opens in new tab).

The long-duration burn aimed to “test autogenous pressurization,” according to a tweet posted by Musk (opens in new tab) shortly before Booster 7 fired up.

Expect these engine tests to occur on a regular basis over the next few weeks, as engineers ramp up their operations in preparation for the first orbital flight of both prototype #7 with Starship prototype #24 stacked on top.

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6 comments

  • Tim Kyger

    How many engines? One?

  • geoffc

    Seems like they are hooking B7 up to transport back to base, and install the 13 engines missing. The engines were spotted being moved into the high bay. We may see a much bigger static fire soon enough.

    Woo Hoo!!!

    Some have suggested they are racing to beat SLS. But I think the odds of SLS launching Aug 29 are basically zero. There will be delays. (Which sucks since my son will be there to watch that day… I have warned him of the unlikelyhood of seeing it launch. But I will be super duper jealous if he does!)

  • John

    Somebody please wake me up when they light all 33. Thanks.

  • George C

    Engineers don’t race when there is no compelling business competition, which SLS is not. A good SLS launch first, will only put everybody in a happier mood and get the general audience more interested in the next big thing, which is Starship. In theory Starship moon landing contractneß depends on SLS, although the backup plan B is obvious.

    On the other hand all investor owned businesses are on a race involving cash flow and roi and quality.

  • Mitch S.

    If SLS has a successful launch before Starship/SH it won’t change the real lead SpaceX has this year.
    SpaceX has put 36 rockets into orbit or beyond this year.
    If all goes according to plan NASA/SLS will have one launch this year. Sure SLS is a lot bigger than Falcon9 but not 36 times bigger!
    If somehow SpaceX gets Starship/SH into orbit before SLS pundits will correctly point out that the big SpaceX rocket isn’t ready for real missions while SLS is ready to bring Artemis to the moon. But while SpaceX was working on it’s big rocket it was simultaneously launching more rockets than any other space competitor including major powers such as China!

    Starship/SH’s early launches aren’t what will alter the game. When SpaceX establishes regular launches, if Starship/SH lives up to it’s potential of reusability and rapid turnaround, then SLS will be left as a dinosaur. The day SLS launches is not only the day it achieves it’s potential but also the day it nears peak potential. SLS can’t exceed the tonnage/year SpaceX is achieving today with Falcon. SLS can’t achieve reusability or lower it’s cost per launch to anywhere near SpaceX.

    Doesn’t matter when SLS launches, the race is already over.

  • Jeff Wright

    SLS will allow NTRs. Hydrogen is best for that. Starship for cargo…SLS and Alpaca for crew..

    Now…in terms of something that may dwarf SLS and Starship both:

    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51364.msg2392880#msg2392880

    New Armstrong may actually be a thing.

    This makes me happy…that puny Delta II sounding rocket was a real crutch.

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