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SpaceX performs static fire test on Starship SN11, high-altitude test as soon as tomorrow


SpaceX has just performed a static fire test on the Starship SN11 prototype. The success of this test is a prelude to the high altitude test flight of SN11 that can happen as soon as tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd March).

Boca Chica launch site observers from live-streamed this important event the recording of it you can watch below.

The most favorable launch window seems to be on Wednesday 24th March this week as Cameron County, TX has a scheduled highway 4 closure on this day. If the SN11 high-altitude flight is scrubbed (called off) for some reason, the local county has already a possible road closure planned for Thursday 25th March as well (see public notice below).

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Tomorrow’s launch also depends on how good the test data is from today’s 3 Raptor engine static fire on SN11. The SN9 prototype went through three successful static fire tests in a day and needed 2 of the 3 Raptor engines switched, this resulted in a 2 weeks+ delay in SN9 launch.

Elon Musk or SpaceX have not yet confirmed that the SN11 static fire test data is good enough and none of the Raptor engines need a swap. However, according to Musk’s latest tweet on this subject, SpaceX is constantly improving the Raptor engine and it is now more efficient than the previous prototypes installed in earlier Starship prototypes.

Explanations of Raptor Vac and Specific impulse (lsp) mentioned in previous tweets by Reagan and Elon Musk.
Side by side: Merlin engine, human, and the giant Raptor engine at a SpaceX complex. Credits: SpaceX.

During the SN10 high-altitude test flight, the landing Raptor engine was low on thrust that resulted in a RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) or crash in plain English. Hopefully, we see a successful Starship landing this time, it will be a major milestone towards the development of the production version of this next-gen spaceship for Mars.

Related: SpaceX performs flap actuation tests on Starship SN11 (time-lapse videos)

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Video starts at 38:05, just before the static fire starts.

By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii