SpaceX fired up the three rocket engines of its Starship SN8 prototype for the second time last night at its testing facilities in Boca Chica, Texas.
The event was a powerful blast of orange smoke — and flying sparks, as captured by onlookers on video.
SN8 also became the first ever Starship prototype to complete a static fire test with a nosecone. Its initial static fire test with three Raptor engines on October 20 didn’t feature the stainless steel dome.
The event was the second of several upcoming static fire tests leading up to the prototype’s planned test flight to an altitude of nine miles or 50,000 feet. While the static fire test was a success, it’s still unclear when SN8 will take flight.
Videos of last night’s test show sparks flying after ignition. SN8 survived the event, but we have yet to find out what caused the fireworks. Insiders suggest it could be bits of the platform itself, as Teslarati reports.
Starship, standing 165 feet on its own, will eventually be making its way into space with the help of a massive Super Heavy booster — another 230 feet tall — which will feature around 30 rocket engines. The Elon Musk-led company has already laid the groundwork for building the first booster prototype.
READ MORE: SpaceX’s Starship SN8 prototype fires its engines for the 2nd time [Space.com]
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