Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Starship 25 Resumes Testing

After the brief testing of Ship 25 last week, SpaceX went back into their construction and repair mode, with road closures being cancelled through the end of last week, then cancelling both Monday and Tuesday this week.  

The county website said today still wasn't cancelled when I checked in mid-morning, but the roads weren't closed and it looked pretty much like any other day.  I went back later and saw that they appeared to have closed the roads and were working toward a spin prime test in which propellants are loaded, the ignition sequence is started but with no sparks to ignite the fuel.  That test was conducted at 3:24 PM (and around 38 seconds) their time (Central time zone) and appeared to go without issue.  

A loop of the test that's not quite dramatic to look at can be found at NASASpaceflight's Chris Bergin on Twitter.  If you'd prefer not to go to Twitter, here's the NSF video of the day's coverage. 

The video is 2:15:56 long and you want to set the timing slider close to, but not past 1:33:05.  Or you can click here and it will take you to an obligatory commercial and then start a few seconds before the test, which the commentators will all talk about as soon as they realize it's starting.  The Twitter-linked video is on endless loop.  This one will require you loop it yourself. 

I should mention that last night's Delta IV Heavy launch was scrubbed due to "an issue with a ground systems pneumatic valve" and is currently set for tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 3:25 AM ET, or 0725 UTC.  At 3:19 AM ET, SpaceX will launch another load of Starlink satellites (Group 5-7) from Vandenberg SFB.  The separation of 6 minutes guarantees that both missions will be flying and the videos streaming simultaneously. 

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