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SpaceX completes fueling test, will now work toward massive engine firing test

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Expanding / SpaceX completed wet dress rehearsals for its Starship launch system on Monday.

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SpaceX on Tuesday Verified The Starship launch system was fully fueled during critical testing on Monday, and it is now preparing to take the next step toward launch.

The company shared the image, video A full Starship upper stage and Super Heavy first stage in South Texas. The shiny stainless steel vehicle appeared frozen as it was loaded with cryogenic liquid oxygen and methane propellants.

During this “wet dress rehearsal” test, SpaceX said it put more than 10 million pounds (approximately 4.6 million kg) of propellant on the vehicle. Then, basically in his little over an hour, the company filled his 30-story slender skyscraper with flammable liquid propellant, and nothing exploded.

Notably, SpaceX has completed this critical fueling test in its first attempt at a Starship and Super Heavy stacked configuration, and has not only delivered the rocket, but the launch tower and all these pressurized cryogenic fluids. We have tested both the myriad of ground systems required to pump.

Now, according to SpaceX, the company’s engineers and technicians will remove the Starship vehicle from above the first stage and set it aside. This will allow the company to conduct static firing tests of all 33 of his Raptor 2 rocket engines currently installed in the first stage. This is the last major technical test before any launch attempt takes place.

The launch will test several critical systems, such as engine ignition and the plumbing inside the rocket to bring all the fuel to all the engines at the same time. This testing could happen in the next week or 10 days, but that timeline could depend on a lot of work being done on schedule.

A frosty, fully fueled Starship can be seen in southern Texas on Monday.
Expanding / A frosty, fully fueled Starship can be seen in southern Texas on Monday.

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And if that test works? SpaceX will share data from this and other tests with the Federal Aviation Administration. The Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for licensing experimental launches from SpaceX’s facility in south Texas. Additionally, SpaceX has work to prepare its South Texas ground systems for the launch attempt.

Nonetheless, it’s clear that SpaceX is making great progress towards the long-awaited Starship launch. It will be the heaviest, tallest, most capable and most powerful rocket ever to take off from Earth.

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