SpaceX has successful test of Starship before planned March launch

BOCA CHICA, Texas: In a major step towards sending its giant Starship spacecraft into orbit, SpaceX completed an engine-firing test at the rocket’s launch pad in south Texas last week.

During the test, 31 of the 33 first-stage booster engines ignited simultaneously for about 10 seconds. The team turned off one engine before sending the firing command, and another engine shut down, "but still enough engines to reach orbit!" SpaceX’s Elon Musk said on Twitter.

According to Musk, if the test analyses and remaining preparations continue as planned, Starship’s first orbital test flight could occur in March.

During the test, the booster remained anchored to the pad, and there were no signs of damage to the launch tower.

In several years, NASA will use Starship to ferry astronauts to the surface of the moon, linking up with its Orion capsule in lunar orbit, and Musk also wants to use the Starship to send people to Mars.

Measuring 394 feet high, Starship is the largest and most powerful rocket ever built, capable of generating 17 million pounds of liftoff thrust.