Screen capture from LabPadre live stream.
Capitalism in space: Starship #10 today successfully completed a launch dress rehearsal and static fire test in preparation for a planned 30 to 40 thousand foot test flight, possibly as soon as February 25th.
The Starship SN10 (“Serial No. 10”) vehicle performed its first “static fire” test on Tuesday (Feb. 23), lighting up its three Raptor engines for a few seconds at 6:03 p.m. EST (2303 GMT) at SpaceX’s South Texas site, near the Gulf Coast settlement of Boca Chica Village.
Static fires, in which engines briefly ignite while a rocket stays anchored to the ground, are a common preflight checkout for SpaceX. If all went well with today’s test, SN10 remains on track to launch soon — perhaps as early as Thursday (Feb. 25) — on a 6-mile-high (10 kilometers) demonstration flight into the South Texas skies.
I personally think it would be quite ironic if this Starship flies on the same day the second SLS static fire test had been originally scheduled but postponed. The contrast between the two development programs continues to be stark and astonishing. While one program has been flying test articles repeatedly as well as doing numerous engine and tank tests, the other has had trouble getting one static fire test completed without a hitch.
UPDATE: Apparently they have decided to swap out one Raptor engine based on the results of the static fire test, and thus will not do a flight tomorrow.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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