SpaceX, a Us space exploration technology company, has delivered its fifth full-size starship prototype (SN5) to a nearby launch pad to begin preparations for next week’s test,media reported. Almost exactly two months after its predecessor (SN4) went from its predecessor (SN4) to SpaceX’s launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, the SN5 is now mounted on a new launch pad.
Figure 1: Less than eight months after testing began, SpaceX has just shipped its fifth full-size starship prototype to the launch pad
The month-long delay was simple, with the SN4 damaging the existing launcher and additional ground support equipment (GSE) after an explosion during the May 29 test, forcing SpaceX to scrap the destroyed launcher and build a new facility from scratch.
Figure 2: Technicians mount SN5 on new launcher
Just two weeks later, SpaceX completed all the structural work, installing it on a launch mount, installing a conical frame to allow hydraulic gate testing to simulate the thrust of the Raptor engine, and equipping the bracket with a variety of complex pipes, wiring and fixtures. The current design is as simple as possible, but it is still quite complex, and a wide variety of systems must work together perfectly at the same temperature and other pressure strains
SpaceX will now face different challenges to ensure the safety of the new launcher and to ensure that the SN5 is tested as planned. The company also appears to have taken advantage of the opportunity to replace the launcher smaking to make a number of minor design changes, all of which need to be tested and validated.
There is a high probability of a delay in testing, but SN5 currently plans to launch its first testing activity as early as June 29. SpaceX may first conduct an environmental stress test to check for leaks, and then perform a liquid nitrogen low temperature test to confirm that SN5 is performing at ultra-low temperatures while withstanding its liquid methane and oxygen propellants. The SN5 will then enter the Wet Suit Rehearsal (WDR), use live propellant, and perform one or more static ignition tests with a single Raptor engine.
Finally, if this complex series of tests performbetter than the SN4, the SN5 will be the first full-size prototype to attempt a controlled flight, at least 150 meters above lift-off.