Madrid, 15 Sep. (Europe Press) –
SpaceX has successfully validated the performance of one of its Raptor space engines in the conditions required for the lunar lander. A manned spaceship developed in collaboration with NASA.
(Human Landing System) HLS-Starship It will be used during the Artemis III and Artemis IV missions to land American astronauts near the Moon’s south pole.
Starship HLS will be powered by two variants of the company’s Raptor engines: One is optimized to operate at atmospheric pressure at sea level and the other is optimized to operate in space or non-atmospheric vacuum.
Last month, SpaceX demonstrated the performance of a vacuum-optimized Raptor with a test that successfully confirmed that it could launch the engine in extreme cold conditions resulting from extended time in space. NASA said.
One challenge that sets Artemis missions apart from those in low Earth orbit is the landers They can remain in space for long periods of time without operating engines. Hardware temperatures drop below what they would experience on a very short trip into Earth orbit.
One of the first testing milestones SpaceX completed under its Artemis III contract in November 2021 was an engine test to demonstrate the Raptor’s capabilities. To carry out a critical landing phase on the moon.
In a 281-second test firing, Starship HLS showed the powered landing section of the Raptor mission as it left its orbit from the lunar surface and began its descent toward the lunar surface. The test had two objectives: to show the Raptor’s ability to change the engine’s power level over time, known as the acceleration profile; And the engine will run during the entire duration of the running down phase.
SpaceX’s Raptor engines will be put to the test during the second combined flight test of the Elon Musk-led company’s Starship and SuperHeavy.