- SpaceX fired up the Super Heavy booster for its Starship rocket for the first time on Monday.
- Super Heavy’s test takes SpaceX a small step closer to taking humans to Mars in Starship.
- “Full test duration firing of 3 Raptors on Super Heavy Booster!” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted.
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SpaceX fired up its Super Heavy rocket booster for the first time on Monday, bringing the company closer to launching its Starship to Mars.
Starship, SpaceX’s mega-rocket system, is made of two parts — a ship and a Super Heavy booster, designed to heave the craft into orbit.
This Super Heavy prototype, also known as Booster 3, is one of the world’s largest rocket boosters.
A video published by tourist information site South Padre Island showed that the 23-story Super Heavy fired three raptor engines for the first time on Monday. The booster remained still.
The static-fire test took place at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in southern Texas, not far from Boca Chica and Brownsville.
“Full test duration firing of 3 Raptors on Super Heavy Booster!” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted. He said that SpaceX might later try to fire nine engines on Booster 3, depending on the progress it makes with Booster 4.
Super Heavy’s static fire test takes SpaceX a step closer to achieving its eventual goal of taking humans to Mars and beyond.
The company successfully launched and landed the latest prototype of its 16-story spaceship, SN15, in May. The 160-story Starship rocket will sit on top of the Super Heavy booster before the whole spacecraft blasts into orbit.
SpaceX has not set a date for Starship’s first orbital mission. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the company is “shooting for July.” The Federal Aviation Administration is yet to approve the orbital launch or the launch tower which supports Starship.