SpaceX completes spacecraft rocket testing in preparation for first orbital launch

The Starship 24 prototype is stacked on top of the Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype at the company’s facility near Brownsville, Texas on January 9, 2023.

SpaceX

SpaceX announced Monday that it has completed a major test of its latest prototype spacecraft, as the company prepares for the first orbital launch of the towering rocket.

The Starship 24 prototype, stacked on top of the Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype, was fueled at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Texas in a test known as the “wet clothes rehearsal.” While the test does not include firing the rocket engines, it is standard practice during development of a new liquid-fueled vehicle to show that it can be safely filled prior to launch, as well as to verify launch countdown steps.

“This was the first time a fully powered, integrated ship was loaded with over 10 million pounds of propellant,” SpaceX said in a tweet.

Starship is a nearly 400-foot-tall rocket designed to carry cargo and people beyond Earth. Also of importance is NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the moon, as SpaceX won a nearly $3 billion contract from the agency in 2021.

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The Starship’s orbital launch attempt marks the next step in flight testing of the missile. It’s been nearly two years since the company last conducted a flight test on the spacecraft, W.L.L Late last year, SpaceX shook the lead on its Starbucks facility It’s in Texas where the company is pressing to get the next launch off the ground.

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SpaceX still has a few steps left before the next Starship launch, including a planned test launch of all 33 engines in the Super Heavy rocket’s booster base. The company also needs Launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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