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SpaceX rolls Starship Super Heavy booster off pad to prep for epic launch (video)

SpaceX’s Starship Mars rocket gets some work done to gear up because of its coming orbital launch attempt.

SpaceX aims to launch that test flight the initial orbital mission for the Starship program in late October or November. It’ll involve Booster 7 and Ship 24, prototype versions of Starship’s Super Heavy first stage and Starship upper stage, respectively.

SpaceX has been performing “static fire” engine tests with both vehicles at its Starbase facility in South Texas within the last six weeks roughly. On Monday (Sept. 19), for example, Booster 7 ignited seven of its 33 Raptor engines, a lot more than it had ever lit up simultaneously before.

Video: SpaceX ignites multiple engines on Starship Super Heavy for 1st time

SpaceX moves its Super Heavy Booster 7 from the launch pad at the company's Starbase facility in South Texas to the factory for some

SpaceX moves its Starship Super Heavy Booster 7 prototype from the launch pad at the business’s Starbase facility in South Texas to the Starship factory for a few “robustness upgrades.” This can be a screenshot from the video posted on Twitter on Sept. 22, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX via Twitter)

Presumably, SpaceX will continue to work its way up to full 33-Raptor static fire with Booster 7 prior to the orbital attempt. But that ramp-up must wait, at the very least for a time, since Booster 7 is not any longer on the pad.

“Booster 7 transported back again to the Starship factory for robustness upgrades before flight,” SpaceX said via Twitter (opens in new tab) on Thursday (Sept. 22). The post featured a 30-second time-lapse video of the 230-foot-tall (70 meters) booster making that journey, along with a fleet of vehicles.

SpaceX is developing Starship to transport cargo and folks to the moon and, ultimately, Mars. NASA has recently signed on for a lunar trip, picking Starship because the first crewed lander because of its Artemis program of moon exploration. Starship will land astronauts close to the lunar south pole on the Artemis 3 mission, which NASA aims to launch in 2025.

Starship’s two elements are made to be fully and rapidly reusable, the main element breakthrough that company founder and CEO Elon Musk thinks can make Mars colonization economically feasible.

SpaceX can be relying on Starship to launch another version of its Starlink internet satellites, which is much bigger and much more capable compared to the current iteration. SpaceX aims to start out launching Starlink Version 2 spacecraft, which is in a position to beam service right to smartphones, in 2023, Musk has said.

If all goes in accordance with anticipate the coming test flight, Ship 24 can make one circuit of Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean close to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Booster 7 should come down in the Gulf coast of florida off the South Texas coast shortly after liftoff.

Mike Wall may be the writer of “ON THE MARKET (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book concerning the seek out alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).

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Michael Wall is really a Senior Space Writer withSpace.com (opens in new tab)and joined the team in 2010.He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been recognized to dabble in the area art beat.His book concerning the seek out alien life, “ON THE MARKET,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before learning to be a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He’s got a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To learn what his latest project is, it is possible to follow Michael on Twitter.

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