SpaceX has tested all six engines on its Starship S20, the spacecraft that will soon set off on its first ever orbital test.
It is the first time that a prototype Starship has fired all six of its engines, and in theory means that it would be ready to fly into orbit and back down again – as SpaceX soon hopes to do.
The “static fire” test saw S20 fire all of those engines while staying on the ground.
Starship is SpaceX’s big hope for travelling deeper into space, built with a view to one day travelling to Mars and elsewhere in the solar system.
But first Elon Musk’s private space company must successfully test the spacecraft on the ground and in orbit.
The latest of those tests was the firing of all six Raptor engines that are built onto the bottom of the S20.
That successfully happened on Friday, Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter.
Good static fire with all six engines!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2021
S20 will be expected to conduct a small “hop” – seeing it lift off the ground and then come back down again – alongside a number of tests, before it is ready to fly into orbit as part of a full test.
Mr Musk has indicated that test could happen as soon as this month.
The orbital flight will see it carried up on board a massive Super Heavy rocket, which SpaceX will then try and catch ready to be re-used. The Starship itself will fly over Earth on a 90-minute journey, before landing off the coast of Hawaii.