SpaceX fueled and tested Starship vehicle for 1st time, preparing for orbital test flight.
SpaceX has achieved a major milestone with its Starship vehicle. On Monday (Jan. 23), the company completed its first ever fully stacked Starship fueling process, which involved loading 10 million pounds of supercold liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellant into the vehicle’s tanks. This was part of a landmark ‘wet dress rehearsal’ at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in South Texas.
The Starship is designed to be a giant vehicle for space exploration, and is capable of handling most, if not all, of SpaceX’s spaceflight duties. It is also the first crewed lander for NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to establish a permanent presence on and around the moon by the end of the 2020s.
Before the Starship can embark on its first orbital test flight, it must pass a few more tests. These include a static fire of the Booster’s 33 Raptor engines, and a separate test of the Ship 24’s six Raptor engines. To date, Booster 7 has static-fired a maximum of 14 of its 33 Raptors simultaneously, while Ship 24 lit up all six of its Raptors last September.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk believes that the Starship could soon make Mars settlement economically feasible. With the completion of the first full flight-like wet dress rehearsal, the Starship is one step closer to achieving its ambitious goals.
The Starship is an exciting development in space exploration, and is a testament to the dedication and hard work of SpaceX and NASA. With more tests to come, the Starship is sure to take us to places we have yet to explore.