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Booster 9 Completes Spin Prime Ahead of Critical 33 Engine Static Fire Test

After successfully completing a "Chill and Spin" of its raptor engines, B9 readies for a static fire test as soon as this weekend.

  • More details coming soon...
Drew B.

Drew B.

Fri Aug 04 2023Written by Drew B.

Down in South Texas at SpaceX's highly watched Starbase launch site, Booster 9, the booster for the Second Integrated Flight Test, completed a "flight like chill and spin" of its 33 raptor engines on Friday. This test, expected to be the final test before the 33-engine static fire, was a vital test to verify the health of each raptor on B9. 

What is a "Chill and Spin?"

A "Chill and Spin", more commonly referred to as a "spin prime" test involves spinning up the turbopumps on an engine. In the case of SpaceX, this test involves the tanking of LOX (Liquid Oxygen) and CH4 (Methane) into either a ship or booster. Usually, these tests are easy to predict based on the amount of propellants loaded, and if an overpressure notice to local residents is present or not. After tanking is complete, the vehicle will spin up its respective amount of engines in the same ignition sequence it will follow in a static fire. This allows SpaceX to gather as much data as possible on the engine's behavior and the overall start sequence without actually igniting anything.

What's Next?

Next up for Booster 9 will be as previously mentioned, a static fire of its 33 engines, which could come as soon as this Sunday in a window that ranges from 8 AM-8 PM Central time. If this test is completed without issue, SpaceX could be a matter of weeks away from its Second Integrated Flight Test, pending full stack readiness with Ship 25, which has completed its respective solo testing campaign and is awaiting rollback to the production site for final flight outfitting. Another factor that needs to be watched closely toward the next flight is the completion of the Flight 1 mishap investigation, and a renewal of the launch license, without this, the stack cannot launch. Either way, activity at Starbase seems to only be getting more intense with each passing day as SpaceX gears up for Integrated Flight Test 2!

Stay tuned to TLP for additional updates on the road to IFT-2!