SpaceX has overcome a major barrier that is leading it closer to the Starship system's first orbital test. The company has successfully completed a static fire trial of the Booster 7, its current prototype, one month after an earlier attempt went wrong. Once again, SpaceX used the Booster 7 for this test, but it only fired a single Raptor engine on the orbital launch pad, igniting it for a few seconds so researchers could get up close and personal with how well it's working.
The Booster 7 is powered by 33 Raptor version 2 engines that are designed to provide it with the lift it needs to launch both the first stage and its upper stage companion, the Starship spacecraft. On the launch pad, during a previous static fire test attempt, one of the boosters caught fire. "Going forward," CEO Elon Musk tweeted after that incident, " SpaceX won't do a spin start test with all 33 engines at once."
SpaceX tested Booster 7 in addition to conducting a static fire test on two of the six Raptor engines on Starship 24. That's the current prototype for the system's upper stage, and it will fly into space for the system's first orbital flight test. It's still uncertain when SpaceX plans to put the Starship into space for the first time, but it will almost certainly require more testing before then, including static firing more of its Raptors.