SpaceX launched the Starship super rocket – the most powerful rocket on Earth, in its second test flight on November 18, 2023. Although the Super Heavy rocket complex – Starship spacecraft (collectively called this system Starship) exploded a few minutes after launch, the successful separation of the two stages of the launch system marked an important milestone for SpaceX.
SpaceX praised Starship’s second test flight for “reaching space”: Flying higher, farther and longer than the first test launch in April of the same year. After this launch, billionaire Elon Musk’s company will study the flight to make any improvements needed for the next launch.
“It’s incredible to witness Starship’s beautiful technology display. Even from a distance of 8,000m, you can still see the sheer power of the “huge” engines as it moves past launch tower. Really impressive” – Josh Dining’s Space.com Express your feelings when directly present at the launch.
The “heart of power” of the most powerful orbital-class rocket ever launched
It can be seen that the “heart of power” of the Starship launch system comes from its set of 39 powerful Raptor engines. Of these, 33 of them are designed for the 71-meter-high Super Heavy rocket. The remaining 6 engines (3 engines for use while in the Earth’s atmosphere and 3 engines for operation in the vacuum of space) are for the 50-meter tall Starship spacecraft itself.
The set of 33 Raptor engines used for the Super Heavy super rocket are tied together like a honeycomb, giving Super Heavy an unparalleled power that no other rocket in history has had – together creating thrust. 7,590 tons – double the thrust of NASA’s SLS super rocket, CNBC information.
Set of 33 engines – with 13 engines in the center and the remaining 20 engines around the circumference of the rocket’s tail. Each Raptor engine (diameter 1.3 meters, height 3.1 meters) is capable of generating 230 tons of thrust.
Thanks to the Raptor engine, the Super Heavy rocket becomes the most powerful orbital-class rocket ever launched.
SpaceX’s Super Heavy rocket is designed to provide the speed needed to escape Earth’s gravity. The speed to escape Earth’s gravity (escape velocity) is 11,000 meters/second, according to The Guardian.
Image of the Super Heavy rocket separating from the Starship spacecraft. Photo: SpaceXFP
As soon as it left the launch pad, the Super Heavy rocket burned all 33 of its Raptor engines. This is a success. Because even in ground tests, SpaceX has had difficulty getting all those engines, clustered together at the base of the rocket, to operate reliably at the same time, CNN information.
About 2.5 minutes after launching and launching from the launch pad, the “honeycomb” engine of the Super Heavy booster consumed most of the fuel of 3,400 tons of liquid oxygen and liquid methane, helping the rocket complex -spacecraft briefly escapes Earth’s gravity.
The Starship spacecraft then used its own 6 Raptor engines (with 1,500 tons of thrust) to continue propelling the ship to a faster speed, about 28,000 km/h. Finally, the Starship spacecraft launched to an altitude of about 150 km above the Earth’s surface, reaching the edge of space.
In total, the Starship rocket-spacecraft system flew for more than 7 minutes, successfully separating from the Super Heavy booster before the spacecraft flew itself into space. The entire system requires about 4,600 tons of fuel to launch.
NASA has chosen SpaceX’s Starship – a giant vehicle capable of carrying loads weighing up to 100 tons – to hopefully send astronauts to the Moon in the Artemis 3 mission that the agency hopes to launch in 2025 or 2026.
Meanwhile, SpaceX has sold tickets for trips around the Moon on Starship to VIP guests around the world, such as Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. Billionaire Elon Musk’s company hopes to use this vehicle for space flights to Mars and other destinations in the Solar System.
Source: CNN, Space.com, SpaceX, CNBC