Watch SpaceX Test A Fully Stacked Starship Rocket For The First Time

It appears that SpaceX has begun testing a fully stacked Starship rocket for the first time ever.

It is the largest rocket ever built with 119 meters (~390 ft) tall. With its 29 Raptor V1 engines, the fully assembled Ship 20 and Booster 4 (B4) stack would have likely weighed around 4000-5000 tons (9-11M lb.) and been able to produce around 5400 tons (11.9M lbf) of thrust at liftoff.

The test included a flammable propellant replaced with a similarly cold (cryogenic) fluid that’s similar enough to subject a rocket to similar thermal and mechanical stresses. For Ship 20 and Booster 4’s combined debut, Super Heavy was filled maybe 10-20% and Starship around 25-50% of the way with either liquid nitrogen (LN2) or a combination of LN2 and liquid oxygen (LOx).

Ship 20 completed several static fire tests and other tests on earth before this trial.

To fully fuel a Starship for an orbital launch, around 1200 tons (~2.65M lb) of propellant (or LN2 for a cryoproof) – equivalent to the weight of more than two entire Falcon 9 rockets – must be pumped around 85 meters (~275 ft) up Starbase’s integration tower.

This first test is a giant leap towards more advancement. The company will keep conducting such tests with Booster 4 and Ship 20 over the next week or two.

SpaceX stacks the tallest rocket in history - Rocket Rundown

It can include increasing the tank pressures or potentially culminating in a partial wet dress rehearsal with methane and oxygen propellant in place of liquid nitrogen. More to the point, it would be uncharacteristically risky behavior from SpaceX to perform the very first static fire of a new prototype with an already proven Starship sitting on top of it

However, a chance of it happening still stands. SpaceX has opportunities for additional testing on March 17th, 18th, 21st, and 22nd.

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