The A SpaceX Super Heavy Amplifier prototype passed the first week of testing without a hitch and potentially opened the door to a static firing test with several Raptor engines earlier this week.
Shortly after the latest engine storage vehicles moved from SpaceX’s Boca Chica plant in Texas to Starship’s first orbital launch site, the company officially closed the only highway leading to the ramp and nearby beach. At 4:30 p.m., when the CDT (UTC-5) came into contact with humid air steel, the first major test of the integrated Starship amplifier continued, with cryogenic vapor clouds pouring out of the Super Heavy B3’s push (rear) dome. It is cooled around –330 ° F (–200 ° C).
Booster 3 has completed its cryo testing, which included some very impressive venting.
Next up, a Static Fire test!
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) July 12, 2021
Although technically known as a cryogenic-resistant test, the first big problem with the Booster 3 seemed more like a basic pressure test. Surprisingly, in the two-hour run, the small amount of frost that forms outside the Super Heavy’s ~ 65m (~ 215 ft) long fuel tanks – a clear sign of “cryoprobes” – suggests that SpaceX has probably chosen a more cautious approach. To the first cryo proof of Booster 3.
In short, the Booster 3 was packed with more than 3,000 tons of liquid nitrogen that tanks could easily carry, and perhaps several hundred tons of liquid nitrogen, which is part of the total power that SpaceX’s suborbital release area could provide. Crews have been working day and night for months to equip Starship’s first orbital launch site with enough push tanks to launch at least one or two consecutive orbits – about 10,000 tons (~ 22M lb) – but the emerging tank farm is only partially operational. . This left SpaceX with a ground test and suborbital Starship launch rigs capable of storing about 1,200 tons of engine.
— Mary (@BocaChicaGal) July 13, 2021
Given that the suborbital cushion can both store and distribute non-guaranteed liquid nitrogen in the main liquid oxygen and methane tanks, SpaceX is able to fill approximately 30-40% of the usable volume of the Super Heavy B3. Frost lines are not always a sign of a guaranteed fill level, but if they are close, SpaceX probably filled the Booster 3’s tanks by only 5-10% during the rocket’s initial cryo-seal.
Based on the high, visible ventilation that occurs throughout the process, it is likely that Super Heavy’s initial cryo evidence was more focused on pressure tests with a small taste of true heat shock, loads, and overall mechanical stress. It is loaded with thousands of tons of thrust and produces thousands of tons of thrust with dozens of Raptor engines.
After testing on July 12, the next steps for the Super Heavy B3 could be a static firing test with one or more additional cryo-proofs or an unknown number of Raptor engines installed. The Amplifier completed Monday’s Raptor test drive with the most engines ever tested on three engines. SpaceX has not updated the backup test windows scheduled for CDT from 22:00 on July 13, 14 and 15, and any of them can be used for additional cryo-conduction or static firing testing.
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News credit@ TeslaRati