After another Starship hop test last week, SpaceX is set to build the first prototype for the next-gen rocket’s huge first stage booster. Meanwhile, testing will commence soon on the Raptor engine model needed for orbital Starship missions.
The Falcon 9 booster assigned to launch two NASA astronauts on an orbital test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has been test-fired in Texas, but the schedule for the long-awaited mission remains unclear.
A Merlin engine designed for the version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that will carry astronauts into orbit for NASA failed during testing Saturday in Texas, but the company said its upcoming launches will not be affected by the accident.
The Falcon 9 first stage booster assigned to launch as soon as March on SpaceX’s first mission with a previously-flown rocket has been test-fired at the company’s development facility in Central Texas.
SpaceX released a video Thursday showing a propulsive hover test of a prototype of the company’s Dragon crew capsule conducted two months ago, a milestone in the development of the spaceship’s rocket packs that will eventually guide the craft to helicopter-like landings.
SpaceX’s upgraded Falcon 9 booster powered up to full throttle in a brief ignition at the company’s Central Texas test site this week as engineers prepare for the rocket’s return to flight as soon as mid-November with a European communications satellite.