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SpaceX fills Starship with fuel and conducts launch rehearsal, but no engines ignited.

Published: 2023-01-25

SpaceX conducted another test of the Super Heavy rocket and the Starship, filling their tanks with cryogenic fuel, which will be used in orbital flight in due time. This is a critical test of a new system designed for deep space exploration and is part of the preparations for the first attempt to put the ship into orbit.

The procedure, held last Monday at the Starbase launch site in Texas, is known as a “wet” dress rehearsal, which involves going through all the stages of preparation for the flight, except for the actual start of the engines. SpaceX's next-generation ship has been preparing for several years to deliver people and cargo into space, primarily to the Moon and Mars. It is known that NASA has contracted SpaceX to turn Starship into a variant of the lander that will take astronauts to the moon and back.

SpaceX itself says that during the test, the Starship system was filled with more than 4.5 million kg of fuel, which made it possible to check the sequence of actions during the countdown, as well as the readiness of Starship and the launch pad to perform operations in conditions close to real.

Successful completion of the test paves the way for the next phase of verification, a static fire test of all 33 Raptor engines in the Super Heavy first stage, as previously all engines had not fired simultaneously. It is known that during the first orbital launch all of them must work synchronously.

Once the fire tests are complete, SpaceX will be one step closer to actually launching into space, although the company's team may have to conduct other tests. In addition, you will need to obtain a launch license from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Earlier, the head of SpaceX Elon Musk repeatedly announced the launch date of Starship, but later the information was not confirmed. According to his latest forecast, the launch should take place in February or March of this year.