SpaceX ends 2023 with a major Starship Flight 3 milestone — 33 engine Booster 10 static fire test



Elon Musk’s commercial spaceflight and space exploration company SpaceX completed its year with a major Starship milestone. On Friday 29th December 2023, SpaceX performed a successful 33-engine static fire test on Super Heavy Booster 10 (B10).

SpaceX shared an official drone video of the Booster 10 static fire test. The video shows massive flames and thrust of 33 Raptor V2 engines firing at once. This in my opinion was even better than the New Year’s fireworks around the globe.

Video: SpaceX conducts a successful Booster 10 static fire test at the Starbase orbital launch site in Boca Chica, Texas.
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Starship will make life as we know it multiplanetary for the first time in Earth’s ~4.5 billion year existence

Elon Musk via X (Twitter)

This was the 2nd major test of Flight 3 Starship after the 2nd stage was tested for a 6-engine static fire test earlier. This test was expected as SpaceX needed to confirm the integrity of the engines and the rocket booster for the actual flight test.

The large clouds of mist that we see in the above Super Heavy Booster 10 static fire test come are formed due to the water deluge system. As soon as the Raptor engines are ignited, the Orbital Launch Mount (OLM) deluge system throws a large amount of water in the direction of the Starship engine bay area (aft/bottom).

The super-high temperature of the flames coming out of 33 Raptor engines turns water into steam and mist. The downward force of the 16.5 million pounds thrust also disperses water into a large radius around the OLM. This procedure helps protect the OLM from damage that we saw after the Starship Flight 1.

Video: Mechazilla Chopsticks lift Super Heavy Booster 10 from the launch mount after the success of the 33-engine static fire test.
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According to the latest reports from Starbase, SpaceX has removed Booster 10 from the OLM after the 33-engine static fire test. SpaceX might have done it for 2 reasons, upgrades and/or the uncertainty of the Flight 3 date.

The 2nd Starship launch (Flight 2) was delayed multiple times due to the lack of environmental compliance approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). After all the tests and validation procedures are completed, SpaceX will have to obtain another FAA approval for Flight 3. This might come early or late. Depending on the situation, the flight date can be extended unexpectedly.

Just after the Flight 3 Starship 33-engine Booser 10 static fire test, SpaceX re-shared the 5-minute “Starship Mission to Mars” video on X (formerly Twitter). This short film was first published by SpaceX on YouTube around 8 months ago (watch below). This animated movie illustrates the journey from Earth to Mars — the ultimate reason why SpaceX exists.

All in all, 2023 was a good year for SpaceX as it was finally able to attempt two Starship orbital launches. This is the cherry on the topping of the success the space company garnered with its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy commercial launches.

SpaceX also started expanding StarFactory at Starbase last year. This expansion will support a sustainable supply of Starship 1st and 2nd stage prototypes for test flights and validation tests, etc. You can browse major Starship events and flights from 2023 here.

Stay tuned for amazing Starship news, videos, and updates in 2024. Happy New Year to SpaceX & Starship fans and Space exploration enthusiasts out there.

Stay tuned for future updates on Starship and SpaceX, Follow us on:
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Iqtidar Ali
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


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