Around. 12:30 CST (UTC-6) ignited the SpaceX Starship prototype serial number 9 (SN9) its Raptor engines for the second time followed by another Raptor ignition at. 14:22 and a third around kl. 15:37.
All three tests were extremely short, reflecting SN9’s first static fire, which ended faster than SpaceX had planned back on 6 January. In the end, the short static fires were apparently intentional, according to a cryptic comment from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shortly after the first.
More importantly, it’s the first time ever that SpaceX has ended – or even attempted – two Statship fires in a single day, let alone two in as many hours. That the mere fact that SpaceX was willing to try two static fires in two hours already serves to confirm that the first test was successful, as the company would certainly not risk a car failure by doubling a failed or interrupted test unless it could immediately determine the cause.
Per Musk is SpaceX ”to practice engine start [today], ”So far results in three“ starts ”. This description reflects the extremely short static fires observed today. The need for specific ignition-related testing on the SN9 also seems to suggest that Starship’s first test may have ended prematurely due to a Raptor ignition issue.
Finally, less than 90 minutes after today’s second static fire, Starship SN9 fired up one or more of its three Raptor engines for the third time around 1 p.m. 15:37. Musk soon confirmed that the third successful (or at least non-destructive) static fire was complete.
Musk recently stated that SpaceX is now unveiling the SN9 to secure the cushion and vehicle for inspection. If these inspections ultimately conclude that the Starship SN9 and its three raptors are in good condition after an unprecedented busy day of static fire testing, SpaceX could easily turn the rocket into a 12.5 km (7.8 mi) launch attempt already in 14 or June 15.