Its gigantic booster is already on the launch pad

SpaceX is an unstoppable space launch machine. Elon Musk’s space company launches a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with satellites every week, at a frenetic pace. It is not the only one, its immense Starship already stars in test flights every two months, events followed live from Spain and the rest of the world. The immense ship commissioned by NASA prepares for its fifth flight in a few weeks surrounded by controversy over the environmental impact of this activity.

Starship’s fourth trip into space was a complete success in early June, when it demonstrated that it was capable of overcoming the difficult task of re-entering the atmosphere. It is now preparing for its fifth takeoff, scheduled for late July, where it is expected to make its first a landing on solid ground and attaches to the Mechazilla structure.

This will be the most complex attempt, for which the ship is already being assembled, the 12th booster that will launch the fifth Starship is already on the launch pad for pre-tests, as SpaceX has reported. The company continues to work as planned despite criticism from environmentalists and rivals such as Jeff Bezos for the environmental damage caused in the area by the continuous launches of this ship of unique proportions.

Starship on its launch pad



The first stage, the Super Heavy, responsible for lifting the ship from the ground, has a propellant capacity of 3,400 tons, and its takeoff thrust of 7,590 tonnes-force thanks to its 33 Raptor engines, 13 in the centre and the remaining 20 on the perimeter of the booster’s aft end. It is already positioned on the launch pad and should carry out several test firings before the official launch date.

For its part, Starship, the upper stage that must reach orbit, measures 50 meters in height and 9 in diameter, and has a capacity of 1,200 tons of propellant, in addition to a thrust of 1,500 tons-force. Both are intended for reuse so they must return to land.

In its fifth test, Mechazilla will have a major role. What could be described as a giant rocket-catching machine will be the final closure of the rocket in the next test. The structure will have to hold the rocket during its return landing, a truly complex operation.

This release rate would not be possible without Starfactory, a new manufacturing facility at the company’s headquarters in Starbasein South Texas. Although construction is still in the final stages, SpaceX has an ambitious goal of producing a new Starship rocket every day at the new facility.

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