SpaceX conducts successful static fire of Starship

Ship 29 conducts a successful static fire (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX continues to progress towards the fourth flight of Starship following a successful static fire of Ship 29.

Ship 29 lit all 6 Raptor engines for around four seconds on sub-orbital pad B at Starbase, sending up a massive cloud of dust, and once the dust cleared, Ship 29 was still standing, just missing a few heat shield tiles.

SpaceX may conduct another static fire test similar to what they did with Ship 28 by lighting one Raptor engine to simulate a de-orbit burn. If that goes well, the next major step for Ship 29 will be stacking on top of Booster 11 for a Wet Dress Rehearsal closer to the 4th test flight.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s President and COO, recently said they are still reviewing all of the data received from the 3rd test flight while putting together a mishap report for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Kevin Coleman of the FAA said they did not expect anything major to pop up during the investigation that could delay the 4th test flight, which could occur as soon as May. Coleman indicated they considered the test flight a success, with no critical safety systems compromised.

Back at the Starbase production site, Booster 4 was cut in half to be scrapped. Booster 4 was first rolled to the launch site in March 2021 and was predicted to be the first to fly, but with the rapid changes SpaceX made, the booster was deemed obsolete.

Besides Booster 11, which is set to fly the 4th test flight, there are at least 6 other known boosters in various stages of production, and for the Starships, there are 8 Starships either built or in progress.

When do you think the 4th test flight will occur if testing keeps going smoothly?

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SpaceX conducts successful static fire of Starship
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