SpaceX conducted 3 static fire tests in a single day on the Starship SN9 prototype. The result is 2 of the 3 Raptor engines need to be swapped before SN9 is ready for the 12.5 km test flight.
According to Everyday Astronaut, when the SN8 prototype needed a single-engine swap, it took around 26 days from the swap to the test flight. However, Elon Musk replied that SpaceX is making major process improvements to shorten the rocket engine swap time.
Thanks to NASASpaceFlight.com for shooting the three SN9 static fire tests from multiple angles and posting them in one video (below).
One of the observers at the SpaceX Boca Chica launch site saw the Raptor SN44 engine being transported to the SpaceX build site after being removed from Starship SN9.
Elon Musk also said that it would be wise to test SN9 for another static fire after the new Raptor engines are in place. Today’s Starship prototype launch sites are now called the future Mars Spacports, they will truly be as soon as the goal for a real mission to Mars is achieved, and Musk thinks that’s going to happen in the next 4-6 years.
A few photos of the Starship SN9 from Pauline Acalin and Jack Beyer show how majestic the Starship is looking right now standing at the launch site. The evening sunset photos look like they are from a sci-fi movie but they are not.