SpaceX released additional details about its record-breaking rocket test, in which the company fired the most rocket engines simultaneously on a single rocket in human history. The company’s Starship Super Heavy booster, capable of producing 17 million pounds of thrust, stands 230 feet tall – the same height as a fully stacked Falcon 9. Following the recent release, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and the company confirmed immediately that they had tested 31 rocket engines.
However, the thrust of the engines remained unknown, especially since SpaceX has yet to construct a noise suppression system at the base of its launch tower in Boca Chica, Texas. True to form, SpaceX revealed these details earlier, confirming that, while Starship Super Heavy set a record for the most engines fired, it has yet to generate the highest thrust for a rocket.
A wide range of systems must be in place before a rocket launch test can take place. One of these is the launch tower and pad, which caused issues for SpaceX when it first tested the Falcon rocket lineup.
SpaceX was an untested company at the time, and the US Air Force (now the Space Force) was allegedly unwilling to risk its launch facilities for a rocket whose launch could end in disaster. This proved to be a wise decision, as the first Falcon 1 flight resulted in the rocket crashing only a few hundred feet from the launch site.
SpaceX’s launch pad was damaged by a booster fire last year, and the company appeared cautious this time around, not only because it wanted to take things slowly with a 33-engine rocket, but also to save time by avoiding damage to the pad. According to the most recent information, the Starship test recently generated 7.9 million pounds of thrust, or roughly 46% of the rocket’s thrust. The Soviet Union’s N1 rocket set the record for the most thrust produced by a rocket, producing 10.2 million pounds during its test flights, all of which failed.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) extended SpaceX’s authorization for orbital test flights from March to September. This licence covers the frequencies that will be used by the company to test the rocket. SpaceX must also obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before launching it into orbit.
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