The Big Launcher Starship has still not made its first orbital flight, and it is not the fault of SpaceX to multiply checks and tests of all kinds. Yesterday, SpaceX carried out the static ignition of 11 Raptor engines of the Super Heavy Booster 7. Ignition of the engines took place at SpaceX’s base in Texas, and the impressive footage from this static ignition test hints at what will be like when SpaceX has to test all 33 Raptor engines at once. Just two weeks ago, SpaceX was already performing a static ignition test, with 14 Raptor engines this time.
After this umpteenth ignition of engines, Elon Musk insisted that there were probably only two tests of the same kind left before scheduling the first orbital flight of the Starship. The first Starship rocket in orbit could be composed of a Super Heavy Booster 7 booster and a Ship 24 (Starship prototype measuring 50 meters high and equipped with 6 Raptor engines). Note that the engines of Ship 24 have already been successfully tested on September 8th.
For Elon Musk, there is also undoubtedly a bit of ego in the balance: the Starship must indeed do better than the SLS (Space Launch System) from NASA, which is now the largest rocket to have launched into space (November 16, 2022). Eventually, the Starship should make it possible to transport astronauts and equipment to the Moon, and why not much later to Mars.