The Starship’s first test flight, on Thursday, April 20, ended with an explosion more than three minutes after liftoff. Everything is not ready yet and there will be new attempts in the coming months. Meanwhile, the first successful flight, simulations show in detail what it would look like.
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Before take-off, you need to go through the pre-flight stages. The countdown begins at T-2 hours. At this time, the flight director supervises a review of the launch criteria prior to submission firefire Green for filling propellantspropellants : first the super heavy booster, then StarshipStarship. In the last quarter of an hour, several hydraulic tests are performed and the prop motors are cooled.
Animation of a typical spacecraft flight. The test flight would be different: the landing was not planned. The purpose of this trip is above all to collect data. © SpaceX
The flight begins in T-8 seconds, with 33 Raptors’ engines blazing. It provides 7575 tons of thrust! After 55 seconds, we pass the Max-Q course. This is the moment when the aerodynamic stresses on the operator are greatest, and it is one of the most critical moments in flight. At 2 minutes and 52 seconds after takeoff, the Super Heavy completed its mission. separates from the spacecraft.
Super Heavy is supposed to be reusable. In the end, you must land on the launch pad. For the test flight, SpaceX has logically chosen safety and will attempt to simulate a landing off the coast. Once separated from the spacecraft, it will perform a reversal maneuver (usually performed during Falcon flights). Then he will control his descent throughatmospheresatmospheres Using guide panels (fine nets), it then turns on some of its engines to level itself above the water before landing.
T + 2 minutes 57 seconds: the spacecraft ignites. Its engines would blast for 6 minutes, 17 seconds. It will continue its free-fall trajectory for more than 70 minutes on a sub-orbital trajectory. One hour and seventeen minutes after liftoff, the spacecraft will begin to re-enter the atmosphere, protected from the heat of friction by the spacecraft ceiling tilesceiling tiles Cover the entire face. His landing at T+90 minutes would end with a “crash” in the ocean.
Make sure that booting is working properly
There is no recovery planned for this trip. The goal above all is to see if everything is working during the boot phases. This is what interests NASA, who chose the spacecraft as a lunar lander. This is the first test specifically for Super Heavy. SpaceX’s main goal with this flight is above all that it doesn’t explode on the take-off pad. Other tests will follow for the rest.
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