SpaceX's first Super Heavy booster made it to the launch location.
A few days back, 29 Raptor engines were installed on a Super Heavy, known as Booster 4, at SpaceX's Starbase location, near Boca Chica, South Texas. Today, August 3, the company rolled the 230-foot (70-meter) Booster 4 from the build site to the launch site, a few km down the road.
SpaceX will soon begin to test Booster 4 under pressurization. If everything goes according to plan, the rocket could be ready for an orbital launch attempt within the next few weeks.
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Super Heavy is the first stage in Starship - a fully reusable two-stage transport system that SpaceX is creating to carry cargo and people to Mars, the moon and other distant locations. NASA selected Starship to be the crewed lander in its Artemis program. This program aims at establishing a permanent human presence around the moon by 2020.
Starship's upperstage is a spacecraft measuring 165 feet (50 meters) in height. It is also known as Starship, although it is not clear what that means. Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, CEO, has stated that the final Starship spacecraft will be equipped with six Raptors and that the final Super Heavy will likely use 32 of the engines.
Starship spacecraft prototypes were launched previously. A three-engine vehicle called SN15 ("Serial Number.15") was launched this past May. 15") flew at a maximum altitude 6.2 miles (10 km) before landing safely back on Earth.
SpaceX conducted engine tests on Booster 4’s predecessor, three-Raptor Booster 3, last month, but so far, no Super Heavy has been able to get off the ground. If all goes according to plan, Booster 4 could change that. SpaceX plans launch the rocket, topped by the SN20 Starship prototype, from Starbase on an uncrewed orbital testing mission.
Booster 4 will launch shortly after liftoff, and it will crash in the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles (32km) offshore. SN20 will power itself into orbit, complete one circle around the planet, and then come down in the Pacific Ocean, near Kauai. This happens approximately 90 minutes after liftoff.
It is not known when SN20 and Booster 4 will fly. Even if they pass all of their prelaunch checks and tests, logistical obstacles may still keep them grounded. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has begun an environmental review of Starship’s launch operations, and we don’t know when it will be completed.