In February, the Raptor rocket engine,intended for the SpaceX Starship, successfully passed fire tests. The company moves on and, according to Ilona Mask, in the coming days the ship will make its first test jump with one engine, and then three-engine suborbital flights will follow. Also, the founder of SpaceX showed a video from a test of the protective coating, which will not allow the ship to burn in the atmosphere when returning to Earth.
The heat shield will be located on only one.side of the ship and be a cover made of hexagonal tiles. The choice of engineers fell on this form, because the joints formed between the plates do not leave direct paths for the heated atmosphere gases. To protect the hottest areas, a transpiration cooling method will be used, where methane and water will evaporate through 10 micron holes on the back side of the coating and thereby cool the outside.
Testing Starship heatshield hex tiles pic.twitter.com/PycE9VthxQ
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2019</ p>
It is reported that the coating successfully passedtesting at temperatures above 1300 degrees Celsius is enough to survive a return to Earth. It is noteworthy that the ship will be ready for re-flight immediately after landing, and will not require re-repair.
Transpiratory cooling will be added wherever we see the destruction of the shield. The ship will be ready for flight again immediately after landing.
Ilon Musk, founder of SpaceX
Areas subject to particularly high temperatureswill be revealed during the next test. Most likely, it is scheduled for this week, because the road near the SpaceX territory in the Dominican city of Boca Chica has been blocked since March 18.
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