Space exploration technology company SpaceX’s starship prototype SN5 has completed a stress test and plans to conduct static ignition tests of Raptor engines on July 8, local time, according tomedia reports. The SN5 is SpaceX’s fifth starship prototype since early 2019 and the fourth full-size prototype since January 2020.
On June 24, the SN5 moved from SpaceX’s rocket plant in Boca Chica, Texas, to a nearby test and launch facility, less than a month after the SN4 prototype was destroyed in a static ignition test for an engine.
Starship Prototype SN5 Moved to launch pad
The explosion in the SN4 caused damage to the launch ingnet, forcing SpaceX to quickly build a replacement. SpaceX completed the base replacement on June 20, installed the SN5 a few days later, and then spent about a week finalizing and inspecting the SN5 and launch base.
Raptor engine SN27 mounted on Starship Prototype SN5
The first round of testing began late on 30 June and continued until the early morning of July 1. SpaceX first conducted an environmental temperature test of the SN5, injecting more than 1,000 tons of liquid nitrogen into the spacecraft’s tanks. A few hours later, SN5 was tested for low temperature radiation.
Recently, SpaceX delivered an updated Raptor engine, the SN27, to the SN5 and completed its installation. The sN5’s first engine static ignition test has been arrowed on the string. The company has completed and tested at least one Raptor engine every two weeks since the first full-size Raptor engine was shipped to Texas in February 2019, the sources said. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive, believes the company’s short-term goal is to produce at least one Raptor engine a day, given that each starship requires 37 engines. This is the minimum for early orbital launch and operation.