SpaceX outfits Starship, Super Heavy with dozens of Raptor engines

If both of the prototypes, known as Ship 24 and Booster 7, successfully complete impending test campaigns

they might be used to support Starship's initial orbital launch attempt later this year

 Although it is still unclear whether that is a likely outcome, recent development indicates that it won't be long before both prototypes' futures become more apparent.

Super Heavy Booster 7 (B7) made its third voyage to the launch pad on June 23rd following many rounds of proving testing and two trips to and from SpaceX's Starbase

It was already a noteworthy accomplishment to construct, qualify, ship, and mount 33 new Raptor 2 engines on Super Heavy B7, which resulted in the most potent rocket booster ever put together

On July 2nd, SpaceX released a set of images that showcased the nearly finished engine section of Booster 7 and also indicated that all six Raptor engines for Starship S24 had been installed

Ship 24 and Ship 20, the only other Starship prototype with six Raptors fitted, already differ from one another

Most likely intended to support flat sections of insulation and thermal protection that will partially seal off sensitive engine, plumbing

pressure vessel, and avionics components located inside Starship's aft, the most noticeable change is the addition of a metal framework that spans the width of the ship's aft

The additional shielding should lessen the harsh circumstances that the hardware must withstand both during ground testing and possibly even during flight.

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