SpaceX completes first wet dress rehearsal of Super Heavy and Starship.
SpaceX has successfully completed the first-ever wet dress rehearsal of its stacked Super Heavy rocket and Starship spacecraft. This rehearsal, which involved fueling the rocket and working through pre-launch procedures, is an important step toward the vehicle’s first orbital test flight. The test took place at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on Monday and was announced in a tweet.
Once the rehearsal is complete, SpaceX will move onto the static fire test. This test will involve tethering the first-stage booster to the ground and firing its 33 Raptor 2 engines to ensure they’re behaving as expected. A successful engine test will be followed by the highly anticipated orbital test flight, which will earn the space vehicle a place in the record books as the most powerful ever to fly.
NASA is also eagerly awaiting the test flight as it wants to use a modified version of the Starship spacecraft to land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface as part of the Artemis III mission. The mission is currently slated for 2025, though that date could slip. NASA could also use the Super Heavy and Starship for the first crewed mission to Mars, which could take place in the 2030s.
SpaceX also wants to use its new rocket and spacecraft for the first all-civilian moon mission, which will see Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa travel with eight others to our nearest celestial neighbor and perform a flyby of the lunar surface before returning home. The six-day dearMoon mission was originally planned for this year, but with the Super Heavy still to complete its first orbital flight, the mission looks certain to be delayed.
SpaceX has completed the first wet dress rehearsal of its Super Heavy rocket and Starship spacecraft. This rehearsal is an important step towards the vehicle’s first orbital test flight, which could take place in February or March. Upon completion of the rehearsal, SpaceX will move onto the static fire test, where the first-stage booster is tethered to the ground and its 33 Raptor 2 engines are fired. A successful test flight would be a major achievement for SpaceX and NASA, who are looking to use the vehicle for the Artemis III mission and the first crewed mission to Mars. SpaceX is also looking to use the Super Heavy and Starship for the first all-civilian moon mission, though this mission is likely to be delayed due to the Super Heavy still needing to complete its first orbital flight.