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SpaceX moves the Super Heavy Booster 4 with 29 Raptor engines to the launch pad

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk gave an update yesterday that the Starship rocket Super Heavy Booster 4 prototype is going under installation of the Raptor engines. But it was not confirmed that how many rocket boosters were being installed on this Super Heavy prototype.

Now, earlier this morning, SpaceX officially confirmed that 29 Raptor engines have been installed on the Booster 4 prototype (previously called BN4). The space exploration company also shared a couple of pictures of the rocket booster’s forward fins and under the aft section where the installed engines can be seen.

Photo of the Starship Super Heavy Booster 4 with 29 Raptor engines installed (click/tap for the HD version of the image). Credits: SpaceX.

This is the same Super Heavy Booster 4 prototype, of which, Elon Musk shared an image of the massive and complex fuel feed system for 29 Raptor engines last week.

Looking at the picture closely, I have found that SpaceX has installed 29 Raptors engines in a 20-8-1 configuration on this booster prototype. This config means that there are 20 fixed engines installed on the outer ring, 8 gimbal engines on the inner ring, and a single gimbal in the center.

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Photo of the SpaceX Super Heavy Booster 4 rocket prototype taken from inside the High Bay at the Boca Chica, Texas launch site. The image focuses on 1 of the 4 forward grid fins. Credits: SpaceX.
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Since there was already a road closure notice in place the Cameron County from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. today. SpaceX has already moved the Super Heavy Booster 4 out of the High Bay to the launch pad at Boca Chica, Texas launch site around 11:30 a.m.

Elon Musk has just shared a short video of this Super Heavey Booster being moved to the orbital launch mount at the launch site.

Full video of the Booster 4 lift to the launch pad below.

In response to a question about the grid fins on the Booster 4 not being evenly spaced as they are on the Falcon 9 rockets, in response, Musk shed light on the function of the grid fins:

Pitch control requires more force than yaw & much more force than roll. Also, grid fins closer to or in the wake of the booster are less effective.

However, pretty good aero control can technically be achieved with only 2 grid fins, with some effect on accuracy.

Elon Musk via Twitter.

Musk has just shared a few more stunning aerial photos of the Super Heavy Booster 4 from the orbital launch mount at Boca Chica, TX.

Moving this massive 72 meters tall stainless steel structure with 29 giant Raptor engines is a historical event in its own right. Landing it back after the first stage separation will be even more historic and intensely interesting to watch. But SpaceX has not yet confirmed the Starship orbital flight test date.

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Aerial photo of the Super Heavy Booster 4 rocket at the SpaceX Boca Chica launch site. Credits: Elon Musk / SpaceX.
Aerial closeup photo of the Super Heavy Booster 4 forward grid fins. Credits: Elon Musk / SpaceX.
SpaceX Super Heavy Booster 4 rocket lifted to the launch pad at Boca Chica, Texas launch site. Credits: Elon Musk / SpaceX.

Video: Booster 4 lifted to the Orbital Launch Pad

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, 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

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