Starship: SpaceX

Taylor Albert, Reporter

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company conducted a test on the company’s newest rocket system: Starship. The rocket test was performed by a “static fire” test in which 31 engines at the base of Starship were simultaneously ignited. The rocket was held in place by clamps to prevent movement during the assessment of the engines’ power and lasted a matter of seconds.

The test was held in Boca Chica, at SpaceX’s R&D Facility on the border od Mexico and Texas. Elon Musk posted on Twitter about how one of the engines was manually shut off, and another engine broke down by itself, leaving 31 of the 33 engines functioning enough to reach orbit, once launched.

Starship barely beat the Soviets attempt at a rocket to reach orbit in the 1960s. The N1 rocket developed by the Soviets was cancelled due to four unsuccessful flights. This rocket had two rings of engines around it, for a total of 30 engines. Starship should have approximately 70% more launch power than the N1 Soviet rocket due to the Super Heavy booster SpaceX is using. It is also twice the amount of power from engines as NASA’s Artemis Rocket.

Another test is planned in March, hoping for a full orbital launch. Musk is aiming to make it to Mars to make settlements, complete a goal of point-to-point travel where passengers can go from one point of Earth to another in rapid time, and to “make humans a multi-planet species.”