SpaceX’s SN9 starship launch has been one of the biggest awaiting in space ventures. After the crash of the SN8, the SN9 was the hope for SpaceX to solve all the previous issues and do a successful test flight launch. And after all the delays and the Starlink satellites’ launches, the company finally plans to do a test flight today. If the weather conditions stay as required and everything goes according to plan, then the starship will rise to heights like its predecessor.
All the pre-flight testing of SpaceX’s SN9 starship
Initially, the testing of the SN9 involved the minor trials that lasted between 29th December and 6th January. This testing took place between 8 am to 8 pm every day during this period. There were two primary tests in this pre-flight testing phase: static firing and cryogenic pressurization. In the former, the starship engines are fired, while the latter is done by pouring liquid nitrogen into the rocket.
At the same time, issues with the SN8 were also addressed. This included the low tank pressure due to which the starship exploded. After all this, the flight was scheduled for 12th January, but that got delayed too. After this, the SN9 went through another set of rigorous testing, ensuring that the test-flight happened successfully.
In this phase, there was a static firing test that took place in quick successions. In a span of few hours, the raptor engines were fired three times. Elon also tweeted regarding the same saying, “All three static fires completed & no RUDs!”. Though after these firing tests, one of the raptor engines got damaged and had to be replaced by the company. And now it seems all the testing and polishing is done, and the SN9 starship is ready to make its first big flight.
The upcoming launch
SpaceX’s Starship SN9 is a marvelous piece of engineering that was supposed to be launched on 26th Jan. But bad weather conditions again, and it was delayed to 27th Jan. In this test-flight, the starship will rise to about 12.5 km in altitude like the SN8. And it will aim to come back to the Earth without exploding, unlike its predecessor. If all goes well, this starship will be a major step forward towards Mars. Another important thing to note is that the final Starship will be much bigger with 6 raptor engines. And it will be backed by the Super Heavy rocket with 30 engines for lifting it off Earth.
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