SpaceX begins installing Raptor engines on first Super Heavy booster | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

SpaceX begins installing Raptor engines on first Super Heavy booster

SpaceX has installed a Raptor engine on a Super Heavy booster prototype for the first time, defying expectations and setting the rocket up for two major tests as early as this week.

On Thursday, July 8th, SpaceX briefly filled Super Heavy Booster 3’s (B3) propellant tanks with benign nitrogen gas. The vehicle seemingly came to life for the first time that morning when it was spotted using its tank vents – a generally incontrovertible sign that the complex mechanical system that is a rocket is functional. Later that day, the public highway and beach adjacent to SpaceX’s launch site were briefly closed for what was expected to be an ambient pressure and/or cryogenic proof test.

Booster 3 never got to the cryogenic proof test – easily confirmed thanks to the frost that forms on most rockets’ exteriors as main tanks are filled with extremely cold liquid nitrogen. No such frost formed, no major venting occurred, and the road was only closed for the first two hours of a six-hour test window.

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