Starship is coming closer to its orbital maiden flight.
SpaceX has begun shipping its upgraded Raptor V2 engines to Starbase as it prepares for Starship''s first orbital launch.
On his newly-accredited social media platform, Twitter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk showed off an image of the engines. The image shows approximately 15 engines who have arrived at Starbase, where they will be fitted to SpaceX''s Moon and Mars-bound Starship.
Raptor 2 rocket engines at Starbase, each producing over half a million pounds (230 tons) of force pic.twitter.com/9ixxXceG3
Musk said the "first Starship orbital flight will be with Raptor 2 engines, as they are more powerful [and] reliable. 230 ton or 500k lb thrust at sea level.
"We''ll have 39 flightworthy engines built by next month, then another month to take advantage, so hopefully May for an orbital flight test."
Raptor V2 is a software upgrade that offers faster reliability at a fraction of the price.
Raptor V2 was designed to reduce production expenses and time, resulting in a redesign of almost every piece in the engine being more compact and easy to build. Musk recently said V2 is "much more reliable" and powerful. By contrast, the V1.5 engines used on Starships SN8-11 and SN15 produced around185 tons (410,000 lbf).
This week, SpaceX and NASA have sent another crewed deployment to the International Space Station as part of the Crew-4 mission. Today, the company is hoping to launch another 53 Starlink satellites into orbit. Musk recently stated that therevenue from the company''s Starlink internet satellite service would help its organization develop its fully reusableStarship after recently increased the price for the service citing inflation.