Watch SpaceX's explosive Starship engine test ahead of second flight

'Key milestone completed for flight 2,' SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted shortly after Ship 25 completed a static fire engine test.
Chris Young
Starship Ship 25 during the static fire.
Starship Ship 25 during the static fire.

Elon Musk / Twitter 

SpaceX's next Starship rocket just performed a successful engine test, firing up all six of its Raptor engines in preparation for the massive rocket's next orbital launch attempt.

Ship 25, the Starship upper stage prototype that will attempt to fly to orbit during the fully-integrated Starship launch system's second test flight, performed the static fire test on Monday, June 26 at 8:27 pm EDT.

SpaceX has shared footage of the fiery test, which took place at SpaceX's Starbase facility in South Texas. You can view the entire test, as it happened, in the embedded tweet below.

Starship completes 'key milestone' ahead of second flight

Shortly after the static fire test was completed, Monday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote "key milestone completed for flight 2," on Twitter.

Static fire engine tests are typically carried out shortly before a launch. During these tests, a rocket's engines are ignited for a few short moments. The rocket doesn't lift off, though, as it is anchored to the ground.

During a recent online discussion with Bloomberg journalist Ashlee Vance on Twitter, Musk explained that Starship could be ready to fly again "in about six weeks."

However, SpaceX will still have to obtain Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approval for a second launch attempt, and this could be delayed by a lawsuit filed against the agency by an environmental group following the first Starship launch.

When Starship does fly again, Ship 25 will launch atop the Super Heavy prototype, Booster 9. As in the first launch of Starship in April, SpaceX aims for Ship 25 to perform a partial orbit around Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

SpaceX didn't achieve this goal with the first launch of Starship, as the rocket spun out of control at a high altitude, forcing SpaceX officials to trigger the manual termination system.

The first test flight did achieve several key milestones, though, and it saw the world's most powerful rocket take to the skies for the first time and reach a maximum altitude of 24 miles (39 km).

SpaceX making 'over a thousand' changes to Starship

Starship generates a massive 16.7 million lbs of thrust at launch, making it more powerful than NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), which briefly became the most powerful rocket when it launched the Artemis I mission last year.

Unlike SLS, Starship will be fully reusable, which is part of Musk's plans for driving down the cost of successive launches in order to make human spaceflight to Mars economically feasible.

Elon Musk stated during the online discussion last week, that SpaceX has carefully analyzed date from the first test flight and it is making "well over a thousand" changes to Starship ahead of the second launch.

"I think the probability of this next flight working, getting to orbit, is much higher than the last one. Maybe it's like 60%," Musk added.

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