SpaceX Starship S25 And Booster 9 Almost Ready To Flight:- After signing several deals with various Space companies regarding its Starship launch and landing system, it’s finally the time for SpaceX to start working on it. Yes, the Starship has been under development since the very start of its announcement.
The Starship has already flown towards the orbit of the earth on 20th April, 2023 under the first integrated launch test. And as many of the SpaceX’s fans know, it exploded just after 4 minutes of liftoff. It was not all sudden.
The Starship was one of the most powerful the biggest rocket that was ever built and no one’s expecting that to happen with it. But, what actually happened was that the company detected some major problems in the rocket. And in a rush, they commanded the rocket to self-destruct just after a few minutes of liftoff.
Since then, the company and its CEO, Elon Musk, have been wondering when the Starship will launch again. And to the goodness, Elon Musk has recently announced that the Starship is going to launch again just after a couple of weeks, maybe 6-8 weeks. The timeline is too short… and so the company has to build it even faster.
Recently, they announced that the new Starship will have some technical upgrades. And guess what, all the major issues have been resolved and the company is ready with its new Starship’s Ship 25, the upper prototype and Booster 9, the Super Heavy Booster and the lower prototype. But, during Orbital Flight Test 1, the Starship causes severe damage to the Orbital Launch Mount by blasting a big crater beneath it.
Due to this, the big blocks of concrete even flew away all around in the huge cloud of dust. Now, for the OFT-2, SpaceX is planning to develop and test a water cooled steel plate which will be fitted right below the Orbital Launch Mount to prevent the damage, said Elon Musk.
The water cooled steel plate system will be composed of high power jets that will shoot up the engines away from the ground. The company is hoping that this system would help in preventing launch mount damage and the surrounding areas during the ignition of the engines for the flight test of Ship 25.
What’s more fascinating is that SpaceX has put 2 giant water tanks that are twice the size of their water supply. To cover up the deadline as well, they have already started testing this system at their Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas.
After the failure of the first integrated test flight of the Starship S24 and Booster 7 due to its engine failures, SpaceX have been working on the second prototype of the Starship which is completely ready now. The Ship 25, in short S25, is the Starship’s second prototype which will fly along with Booster 9 on the second integrated test flight or the OFT-2.
Ship 25 was under development for a long time, even its basic testings were started back in October 2022. With all the upgrades needed in the Ship 25, the company has already tested the S25 once at their Masseys Testing Facility, which is just West down the road from Starbase, in May 2023.
As of June, the upgraded version of the S24, named as the S25, has already been moved to the suborbital pad after the pad repairs for a static fire test. In this, the S25’s six Raptor Engines will be briefly lit to configure its power and analysis with the Ship remaining at the ground. The company plans to fire all the 6 engines together on the new suborbital launch pad.
The Ship 25 will be the upper part of the Starship prototype and it does not have so many new upgrades over the Ship 24. The Starship consisted of the Super Heavy Booster at the bottom part dubbed as the Booster 7. In the next prototype of the Starship, Booster 7 is replaced with the Booster 9 with a lot of technical and physical upgrades.
The company’s CEO, Elon Musk has its say over the newly upgraded Booster 9, “Our focus is on reliability upgrades for flight on Booster 7 and completing Booster 9, which has many design changes, especially for full engine RUD isolation.”
After it was completely assembled with all the parts, Booster 9 was moved to the OLS cryo station for performing its preliminary structural testing. Going deeper into the techs we found that Booster 9 is the very first booster which is going to use the electric thrust vector control instead of the hydraulic thrust vector controls.
This will help the B9 a lot during the launch time with all the Raptors working together for a better life and less chance to get destroyed. The second integrated flight test will have an advantage over the first one due to the upgrades in the B9 and probably will not do the same destruction as B7 did in the first flight.
Musk said that after all the launch pads are completely repaired, the company will commence all the tests regarding Ship 25 and B9 head-to-head for the Orbital Flight Test 2 to be done as early as possible. The company is completely ready with the hardware works and you’re not going to believe why I said this!! It’s because the company is completely ready with the hardware works of Ship 25 to Ship 29. If not, they are very close to completion.
Even their speed has boosted and the stacking operations of the Ships upto Ship 35 have been started. On working with the lower parts, I mean the Boosters obviously….. The Booster 9 planned for the second integrated flight has already completed its 2 cryo tests with Booster 10 to Booster 12 having their Raptors installation left.
The company has even started working on the Boosters 13 through 16 for faster launches in the future. Well, it’s not that easy….. because the company is in big trouble. Due to the failure and destruction of its first orbital flight test, the cemented rocks have blown all around and got a massive destruction at the launch site as well, and due to this, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently reviewing concerns and investigation is on the go over the harmful dust and debris.
In addition to dealing with the aftermath of the failed launch, the FAA finds itself stuck severely in a legal battle. This lawsuit was sparked by a coalition of conservation and local non-profit groups who have taken legal action against the FAA regarding its approval of SpaceX’s Starship activities in Boca Chica. This is going to be a very big problem for SpaceX if they can’t handle the situation.
The SpaceX has to assure the groups of people that the same situation won’t happen again as they have all the required safety measures including a water steel at the bottom of the launch pad. The first integrated launch appears to have served as a catalyst for this legal action, as the groups are contesting the FAA’s decision to grant SpaceX permission to carry out their operations in the area.
What makes this situation even more interesting is the recent involvement of SpaceX in the lawsuit. They have taken a surprising step by filing to fight alongside the FAA in this very lawsuit. This unexpected alliance between SpaceX and the FAA indicates a shared interest in defending the agency’s decision and addressing the legal challenges brought forth by the coalition of conservation and non-profit organisations.
The outcome of this lawsuit will not only impact the FAA’s credibility in overseeing space activities but also have broader implications for the future of SpaceX’s operations in Boca Chica. As the legal proceedings unfold, all parties involved await a resolution that will determine the fate of SpaceX’s ventures and shape the relationship between regulatory agencies, environmental concerns, and space exploration endeavours.
And after all this has been announced which for sure will be resolved very soon, there’s one thing we can’t unsee. And it is that SpaceX and we are not the only ones who are waiting for this new and fully upgraded Starship to launch. The world famous company, NASA, is also waiting for a long time for Starship’s perfect flight. And, this is not all of sudden.
It’s because the company has signed a $2.89 billion dollars contract with SpaceX assuring to use a lunar lander version of its Starship rocket to land humans on the Moon within 2 years as a part of the Artemis 3 mission. This isn’t the only deal signed… the Artemis 4, planned for 2028, a separate contract of $1.15 billion dollars was signed last year.
NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems development, Jim Free, has also expressed his concern regarding the Artemis 3 mission that it can be delayed due to the upcoming problems in the SpaceX ‘s way. The fully assembled Starship is now again ready to have its flight after the issues between SpaceX and FAA resolves, and till then, SpaceX is going to test each part individually for a better outcome.
Let’s open up the comments section and have a discussion regarding the Ship 25 and Booster 9’s ability. And what do you guys think?? Will the issues between the SPACEX, FAA and the local communities resolve before the orbital flight test 2?
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