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HomeTechnologyGadgetsThis Week in Spaceflight: SpaceX Starship Static Fire Test, ISS Spacewalk, and...

This Week in Spaceflight: SpaceX Starship Static Fire Test, ISS Spacewalk, and More

SpaceX eliminated the Starship higher stage from the booster final week in preparation for a 33-Raptor static hearth take a look at.
Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX continues to launch its Falcon 9 rocket at a frenetic tempo, because the calendar flips over to February this week. Excitingly, the corporate might carry out its first full static hearth take a look at of the large Starship, by which all 33 Raptor engines will concurrently roar to life.

SpaceX ought to dominate the information this week, which is par for the course today, however other spaceflight happenings may even seize our consideration, together with an essential spacewalk exterior the International Space Station and Russia’s first rocket launch of 2023.

A potential static hearth take a look at of Starship rocket

Signs level to a static hearth take a look at of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket this week, and it might occur as early as Monday. Following a successful wet dress rehearsal final week, by which the rocket was loaded with greater than 10 million kilos of propellant, SpaceX removed the higher stage spacecraft in preparation for the static take a look at, by which all 33 Raptor engines on the primary stage booster will probably be engaged.

It’s not a on condition that Starship will emerge unscathed from the take a look at, as each Raptor can exert nearly 510,000 pounds of thrust. Scheduled road closures—a informstory signal of impending rocket engine assessments—close to SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, are set for Monday by means of to Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to eight:00 p.m. CT. We’ll be following intently to trace any potential motion on this entrance. Should the static hearth take a look at go effectively, SpaceX will face one last hurdle earlier than the rocket’s first orbital flight: a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Marking 20 years for the reason that Columbia Space Shuttle catastrophe

All seven crew members of Space Shuttle Columbia were killed during the accident.

All seven crew members of Space Shuttle Columbia had been killed in the course of the accident.
Photo: NASA

Wednesday, February 1 will mark 20 years for the reason that Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated because it reentered Earth’s environment over Texas, ensuing within the deaths of all seven astronauts on board. NASA paid tribute to its fallen astronauts on January 26 with a Day of Remembrance, however we’re anticipating appreciable media protection and different tributes this week to commemorate this darkish day in spaceflight historical past.

A scheduled spacewalk exterior the ISS

NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata will enterprise exterior the orbital outpost on Thursday, February 2.

NASA astronaut Nicole Mann during her first spacewalk on January 20, 2023.

NASA astronaut Nicole Mann throughout her first spacewalk on January 20, 2023.
Photo: NASA

During the scheduled six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, the duo will proceed with upgrades to the ISS’s power-producing system, together with the ultimate set up of a modification package situated on the starboard truss construction. NASA says this work will set the stage for a deliberate photo voltaic array deployment. Thursday’s spacewalk is slated to start at 8:15 a.m. ET, with NASA TV protection starting at 6:45 a.m. ET.

Russia’s first launch of 2023

The Russian house company will attempt to launch a Proton M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday, February 5, based on Russian state media outlet TASS. The rocket, scheduled to carry off at 4:12 a.m. ET, is slated to ship the fourth Elektro-L satellite tv for pc to orbit, Next Spaceflight reports. Once in geostationary orbit, the Elektro-L climate satellite tv for pc will seize seen mild and infrared pictures of Earth. Also on board is the GGAK-E instrument, which is designed to check photo voltaic radiation, Next Spaceflight says.

Four extra launches of Falcon 9

SpaceX is hoping to launch 49 Starlink satellites and D-Orbit’s ION SCV009 Eclectic Elena satellite tv for pc provider Monday, after a scrub on Sunday. As common, a Falcon 9 will carry out the deed, with launched scheduled from from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base at 11:34 a.m. ET.

Timelapse of Falcon 9 launch on December 16, 2022.

Timelapse of Falcon 9 launch on December 16, 2022.
Photo: SpaceX

We’re additionally wanting ahead to a pair of Florida Falcon 9 launches this week, with SpaceX scheduled to launch the reusable rocket on Wednesday, February 1, and Sunday, February 5. The first of the 2 will launch from Kennedy Space Center and try and ship a batch of Starlinks to low Earth orbit, whereas the second, launching from SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral, will carry the Amazonas Nexus satellite to orbit. Built by Thales Alenia Space, Amazonas Nexus will allow excessive throughput entry to clients by “delivering high capacity mobility services to the air and maritime transport sectors, among others,” according to the Spanish-operated HISPASAT Group.

More: Falcon 9 Rocket Sets New Payload Weight Record During SpaceX Starlink Launch



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