SpaceX Trio of Raptor Engines Ignited Simultaneously For the First Time Ever
SpaceX's next Starship spacecraft prototype, the SN8, is likely to be launching from the space company's South Texas launch facility very soon.
The company carried out its first-ever triple Raptor engine test, which saw all three massive SN8 test vehicle's engines roar to life in a burst of orange cloud. Each Raptor can create over 200 tons of thrust.
The test took place on Tuesday morning at approximately 3:13 AM CDT, per Tesmanian.
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Routine pre-flight testing
The static-fire test, which saw all three Raptors come to life simultaneously, is a regular part of pre-flight testing. The Starship SN8 prototype was filled with a propellant that was made up of cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen. Then, the Raptors were ignited for just a few seconds as the SN8 remained on the test pad on the ground, per Teslarati.
Starship SN8 STATIC FIRE!! The first-ever triple Raptor Static Fire!— Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) October 20, 2020
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) documenting history again!
Pre-burner tests had been carried out in the previous days, and some Boca Chica residents, who live nearby the test launch site, captured some of the history-making evidence.
What's fantastic is that this was the first try at a static-fire test of all three engines, and it went smoothly. This means that SpaceX may just be days away from assembling the Starship SN8's nosecone atop the spacecraft. Then, another static-fire test with all three engines ignited would be carried out. And ultimately, if all goes according to plan, the Starship SN8 would carry out a first high-altitude 50,000 feet (15 km) space flight, per Ars Technica.
Big moments are ahead for the Starship SN8 prototype and its huge engines.
SpaceX has yet to share the news officially, but from the footage provided by onlookers, the event took place.
Watch the milestone event below: