Starlink receives FCC approval to conduct rare rocket tests in Texas
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SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype photo with the Starlink dish antenna installed has begun to circulate on Twitter before it is approved today (April 28, local time). Clearly shows the white round user terminal fixed on the SN15. The prototype is SpaceX’s most advanced test product of the launch vehicle platform to date. According to the company’s CEO Elon Musk, it may launch later this week, which will be critical to the design of the verification platform.
As far as Starlink is concerned, SpaceX plans to use its terminal to communicate with orbiting satellites.
As of now, Starship has tested Most of the problems are related to the rocket propulsion system. This causes its Raptor engine to often deviate from the thrust level required for landing, or melt internal components due to low fuel pressure like the first prototype. The green flame proves this, it shows that the liquid oxygen has begun to melt it. Raptor uses methane as fuel, and liquid oxygen ignites methane to generate thrust.
Reports from Boca Chica, Texas confirmed that SpaceX is testing Starship there, and the company conducted a static ignition on the SN15 on Monday. It checks the rocket’s engine and fuel system to make sure there are no problems before the flight. Since the SN15 and its engine contain several upgrades over its predecessor, this test is very important to verify that the changes it makes are ultimately suitable for flight.
If SpaceX successfully launches SN15 and lands, its focus will shift to Starship’s first-stage rocket booster. According to the specifications listed on the SpaceX website, the flying version of the rocket is called “super heavy” and it will use 28 Raptor engines, which generate approximately 10 times the thrust of the currently operating “Falcon 9”.
Once it is put into use, Starship will replace the “Falcon 9” and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to become an integrated launch vehicle system. The company plans to use the system to send humans to the moon, launch satellites, perform interstellar missions and perform point-to-point missions on the earth.