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SpaceX's interstellar spacecraft survived the hurricane and will do a static ignition test

Netease Technology News, July 27, according to foreign media reports, the US space exploration technology company SpaceX's interstellar spacecraft factory in Texas, and the latest full-scale spacecraft prototype built there successfully withstood the first hurricane and tropical The test of the storm.


On July 25th, local time in the United States, Hurricane Hanna made landfall just a few dozen kilometers north of the SpaceX facility, with winds reaching 145 kilometers per hour. However, it is gratifying that neither the SpaceX factory nor the prototype of the interplanetary spacecraft has been greatly affected, and the hurricane quickly evolved into a less threatening tropical storm eight hours after landing.

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Picture: SpaceX's interplanetary spacecraft factory in Texas, USA, and the spacecraft prototype SN5 successfully withstood the hurricane test


Despite this, these facilities are still facing the threat of heavy rains, gusts, low visibility, and hurricanes. SpaceX originally planned to hold the first wet suit rehearsal (WDR) of the Starship prototype SN5 and the static ignition test of the Raptor engine on July 25. The company had previously postponed the original test plan for two weeks.


Weather, rockets, launchers and other conditions permit, SpaceX may finally have the opportunity to conduct a static ignition test on the SN5 Raptor SN27 engine, which was installed more than three weeks ago. So far, Tropical Storm Hannah has continued to weaken as it moves westward in southern Texas and Mexico.


For SpaceX, testing interstellar spacecraft in extreme weather conditions may actually be of great significance, because the company may eventually need to increase the launch frequency of super-heavy rockets and interstellar spacecraft, which requires them to have the ability to launch all-weather.


However, for early prototypes like the SN5, testing during a major storm will do more harm than good because it will confuse the key data and observations required for future testing and improvement of new prototypes. Now, SpaceX plans to conduct WDR and static ignition tests on SN5 on July 27th, local time in the United States. Although there may still be rainfall that day, the hurricane threat will be eliminated.


In view of the recent changes in plans, the test of the interstellar spacecraft SN5 has also become unpredictable, but if the rocket’s static ignition test is successful and the weather conditions are good, SpaceX may try to conduct the first suspended flight test of SN5 in a few days. Before the hurricane hits, SpaceX is preparing for a quick static ignition test and a 150-meter flight test of the SN5.


At the same time, SpaceX and its contractors are building a huge new assembly building (VAB, also known as the high cabin), used to assemble the upcoming super heavy rocket booster prototype. The assembly work of the interstellar spacecraft SN8 is also in progress. This is an upgraded spacecraft prototype, which may be the first integrated fairing, aerodynamic control surface, full-featured header tank (internal container for landing propellant) and three A prototype of a Raptor engine. These facilities and hardware were also intact during the hurricane. (Little)


Source: NetEase Technology Report, translated by Google Translate

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