Flight 4 Starship goes through 2nd static fire test, OLM gets repairs at Starbase, more

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SpaceX conducted the 1st static fire test on Starship 29 (Ship 29) on Monday in preparation for the next orbital launch test named Flight 4 (IFT-4).

The 2nd static fire test has been performed on Ship 29 today. This step is one of the major milestones in getting closer to the Flight 4 launch.

SpaceX concluded a very successful Flight 3 test on Ship 28 and Booster 10 just around 2 weeks ago. Elon Musk’s space launch company is now moving fast toward Flight 4 test building upon the success of the previous launch.

Ship 29 (upper/2nd stage) spaceship was moved to the Starbase launch site on Friday. SpaceX mounted it on Pad B because the Orbital Launch Mount (OLM) has been getting repairs due to the damage caused by the Flight 3 test.

Video: Full-duration static fire of all six Raptor engines on Flight 4 Starship at SpaceX Starbase, Texas on Monday 25th March 2024.
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Starship 29 mounted on Pad B of the SpaceX launch site at Starbase, Texas.
Starship 29 mounted on Pad B of the SpaceX launch site at Starbase, Texas. You can see tiny-looking humans in the middle right of the Starship for scale comparison. Credit: SpaceX / X (Twitter).

Monday’s test was a full-scale 6-engine static fire. According to SpaceX, this was a ‘full duration’ static fire test which means that the Raptor engine thrust lasted as much as they were expected to be without any major issues. I counted the seconds in the SpaceX official video, this static fire lasted for 12 seconds.

Today’s 2nd static fire test is most probably going to be a single-engine in-space burn test (mimicking engine burn as it would be in space). Just a few minutes ago as of this writing, SpaceX completed the 2nd Starship 29 static fire test with one engine. The exact time of the Ship 29 single-engine static fire was 1:30:50 PM CDT (27th March 2024).

This should be the final static fire test on the Ship 29 upper stage before IFT-4. The schedule of Flight 4 is currently not set as other tests and regulatory approvals are pending in the middle.

Some heat shield tiles fell off Ship 29 in the 1st static fire test. However, it did not happen in the 2nd test. Of course, there is a huge difference in thrust impact between 6 engines and a single-engine static fire.

Video: 2nd static fire test of Ship 29 (in-space single-engine).
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Video: SpaceX repairs the OLM at Starbase which was damaged during the Starship Flight 3 test (IFT-3).

The CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk shared an aerial image of Starbase which shows the expansion of the Starfactory (Starship rocket factory). The image also shows 3 rocket bays behind the factory that hold the Super Heavy rocket boosters before they are moved to the launch pad.

SpaceX started expanding the Starbase rocket factory in July 2023. In less than a year, the factory construction has reached a significant milestone. We can see multiple buildings completed in the photo shared by Elon Musk.

Aerial drone picture of SpaceX Starbase, Texas showing the construction progress of Starfactory expansion.
Aerial drone picture of SpaceX Starbase, Texas showing the construction progress of Starfactory expansion. Credit: Elon Musk / X (Twitter).
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Stay tuned for future updates on Starship and SpaceX, Follow us on:
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Related Starship News & Stories:

Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Alihttp://www.teslaoracle.com
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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