TechnologySpaceX rolls Starship Super Heavy booster off pad to...

SpaceX rolls Starship Super Heavy booster off pad to prep for epic launch (video)


- Advertisment -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

SpaceX’s Starship Mars rocket is getting some work done to gear up for its coming orbital launch attempt.

SpaceX aims to launch that test flight — the first orbital mission for the Starship program — in late October or November. It will involve Booster 7 and Ship 24, prototype versions of Starship’s Super Heavy first stage and Starship upper stage, respectively.

SpaceX has been performing “static fire” engine tests with both vehicles at its Starbase facility in South Texas over the past six weeks or so. On Monday (Sept. 19), for instance, Booster 7 ignited seven of its 33 Raptor engines, more than it had ever lit up simultaneously before.

Video: SpaceX ignites multiple engines on Starship Super Heavy for 1st time

SpaceX moves its Super Heavy Booster 7 from the launch pad at the company's Starbase facility in South Texas to the factory for some

SpaceX moves its Starship Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype from the launch pad at the company’s Starbase facility in South Texas to the Starship factory for some “robustness upgrades.” This is a screenshot from a video posted on Twitter on Sept. 22, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX via Twitter)

Presumably, SpaceX will work its way up to a full 33-Raptor static fire with Booster 7 before the orbital attempt. But that ramp-up will have to wait, at least for a little while, since Booster 7 is no longer on the pad.

“Booster 7 transported back to the Starship factory for robustness upgrades ahead of flight,” SpaceX said via Twitter (opens in new tab) on Thursday (Sept. 22). The post featured a 30-second time-lapse video of the 230-foot-tall (70 meters) booster making that journey, accompanied by a fleet of cars and trucks.

SpaceX is developing Starship to carry cargo and people to the moon and, ultimately, Mars. NASA has already signed on for a lunar trip, picking Starship as the first crewed lander for its Artemis program of moon exploration. Starship will land astronauts near the lunar south pole on the Artemis 3 mission, which NASA aims to launch in 2025. 

Starship’s two elements are designed to be fully and rapidly reusable, the key breakthrough that company founder and CEO Elon Musk thinks will make Mars colonization economically feasible.

SpaceX is also counting on Starship to launch the next version of its Starlink internet satellites, which will be much bigger and more capable than the current iteration. SpaceX aims to start launching Starlink Version 2 spacecraft, which will be able to beam service directly to smartphones, in 2023, Musk has said.

If all goes according to plan on the coming test flight, Ship 24 will make one circuit of Earth and then splash down in the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Booster 7 will come down in the Gulf of Mexico off the South Texas coast not long after liftoff.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, “Out There,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

Read More

Latest news

RACO Investment founder Randall Castillo Ortega explains what it takes to be an effective leader

Financial and business process expert Randall Castillo Ortega of RACO Investment provides an in-depth look at what it...

Angelo Babb explains the different type of digital currencies available to consumers

Cryptocurrency expert Angelo Babb offers insight into the difference between digital currencies and cryptocurrencies, and the roles they...

Allen Woo offers actions and strategies for retaining human talent in a company

There is no doubt that talent retention in companies is a difficult task to achieve, but Allen Woo’s...

Kimberly Rosales explains why cryptocurrencies are important for foreign trade

Foreign trade has always depended on many factors, cryptocurrencies being one of the most recent, and that is...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Ann Marie Puig discusses the challenges businesses still face after the COVID-19 pandemic

Global business consultant Ann Marie Puig offers valuable insight into how industries are changing because of COVID-19 and...

See the Pogues As Castaways in Outer Banks Season 3 Teaser

The Pogues have been exiled in the first teaser for season three of Netflix's Outer Banks. Watch the trailer...

Must read

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you