SpaceX has recently been busy testing the Raptor 2 rocket engines for the last week or so at its Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. While at Starbase, the Starship Orbital Launch Mount received upgrades throughout last week (video and update below).
The team at NasaSpaceFlight just recently filmed a Rapid Relight test on a Raptor engine. In this test, the Raptor engine was mounted on the vertical test stand, it was test-fired, shut down, and then re-ignited just after 9 seconds.
This test shows that the engine is capable of re-firing after completely shutting down. We have seen the practical use of these Raptor engines’ relighting on Starship prototype high-altitude tests, especially on the SN15 successful landing.
Super Heavy (rocket booster) and Starship engines need to have the capability of completely shutting down and re-igniting rapidly at different altitudes. This is necessary to give the space vehicle a specific angle such as in a belly-flop maneuver in case of landing back on Earth.
Let’s watch how this Raptor V2 rapid re-ignition test went at SpaceX McGregor yesterday.
There has been a low amount of Starship or Super Heavy activity at Starbase since the Booster 7 static fire tests last week. But SpaceX engineers and staff have been seen working on the Orbital Launch Mount intermittently throughout the last 8-9 days.
Repair and upgrades to the Orbital Launch Mount and Booster 9 are spotted by NasaSpaceFlight cameras. The Orbital Mount went through a water deluge test last week as well, so continuous testing and upgrades are happening.
These upgrades and repairs are in preparation for the first Starship orbital flight test which Elon Musk said is most probably going to happen in November. The first successful orbital flight test is going to be a major Starship milestone to accomplish the future goals of the Moon and Mars.
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