SpaceX performs static fire test of Booster 9

Booster 9 performs a static fire test at Starbase, Texas (Credit SpaceX)

Following two prior tests of the water deluge system and a spin prime test of Booster 9, SpaceX lit all 33 engines for the first firing since the April 20th Integrated Test Flight.

SpaceX began the process of fueling the rocket early this morning but encountered an issue when chilling the lines that run to the rocket, and a red team was sent back to the pad to perform repairs. After repairs were completed, the red team departed and SpaceX spooled up their fuel tank farm again.

Booster 9 static fire test (Credit: SpaceX)

After a couple of hours of chilling the fuel lines, filling of the liquid oxygen and liquid methane tanks aboard Booster 9 began at T-Minus 67 minutes. The liquid oxygen tank was fully filled with the liquid methane only partially filled with what was required for the test.

After a smooth countdown, Booster 9 lit all 33 Raptor engines, however, 4 shut down early during the 2.74-second duration test. The test was intended to last 5 seconds.’

The new water deluge system seemed to work as intended, albeit with a very short firing of the engines. Instead of a giant dust cloud that is usually formed after a static fire test, this test created a steam cloud that dissipated fairly quickly following the test.

Booster 9 from above shortly after the static fire test (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX will now go over the data collected, most likely switch out the Raptor engines that did not perform as expected, and conduct another static fire test. That test could come within the next couple of weeks.

Watch a replay of the static fire below!

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SpaceX performs static fire test of Booster 9
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