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SpaceX fires off Starship SN11's Raptor engines ahead of rocket's first high altitude flight TODAY – Daily Mail

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SpaceX fires off Starship SN11’s Raptor engines for a static test ahead of rocket’s first high altitude flight TODAY – but will this one survive the landing?

  • SpaceX’s latest prototype has completed a successful static fire test
  • Starship SN11’s Raptor engine ignited early Friday morning for a few seconds
  • The firm wanted to ensure a new engine met all the launch criteria
  • With the successful static fire test, SpaceX is now reading SN11 for its first flight
  • The rocket will soar six miles into the sky and collected data during the flight
  • However, all three previous prototypes have exploded following the flight 

SpaceX is gearing up to launch its fourth Starship prototype, following a successful Raptor static fire test that send a burst of flames from the base of Serial Number 11 (SN11), signaling it is ready to soar.

The pre-check test ensured a new engine that replaced a failed unit is ‘healthy’ for the voyage – the original engine was swapped for a new unit Wednesday.

The county judge of Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX’s testing facility is located, approved road closures around the beach and Highway 4 for March 26 from 8:30 ET until 8:30pm ET for the potential first high-altitude flight of SN11.

‘If members of the public would like to view the flight, please so at a safe distance and away from Boca China Beach,’ County Judge Eddie Treviño wrote in a road closure release.

SpaceX’s agenda is to send SN11 six miles into the air, hover over the earth and then turn on its side for the infamous ‘belly flop’ before re-orientating for landing.

This will be the Elon Musk-owned firm’s fourth Starship to take the journey, but those who tune into a livestream may wonder if it will suffer the same fate of its predecessors – the three previous rockets ended the mission in a ball of flames.

SpaceX is gearing up to launch its fourth Starship prototype, following a successful Raptor static fire test that send a burst of flames from the base of Serial Number 11 (SN11), signaling it is ready to soar.

The Raptor engine test kicked off early morning Friday with a goal of ensure the new unit was up and running.

Around 1am ET on March 24, SpaceX quietly rolled in Raptor SN64 to the launch pad to replace another that had failed previous testing.

Although the firm has not announced what caused the engine to fail, it is suggest that a several-day launch delay following a successful first static fire test Monday.

However, the latest static fire test appeared to be go as plan and now SN11 is patiently waiting on the launch pad for its first trip off the ground.

The county judge of Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX’s testing facility is located, approved road closures around the beach and Highway 4 for March 26 from 8:30 ET until 8:30pm ET for the potential first high-altitude flight of SN11

The county judge of Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX’s testing facility is located, approved road closures around the beach and Highway 4 for March 26 from 8:30 ET until 8:30pm ET for the potential first high-altitude flight of SN11

The Raptor engine test kicked off early morning Friday with a goal of ensure the new unit was up and running. Around 1am ET on March 24, SpaceX quietly rolled in Raptor SN64 to the launch pad to replace another that had failed previous testing

The Starship is constructed of stainless steel, which stands 160 feet tall, and is fitted with a nose cone and flaps at the side.

Each rocket that has launch was tasked with collecting data throughout the flight to better improve the next.

However, all three that previously flew have exploded following the descent back to Earth.

The Starship is constructed of stainless steel, which stands 160 feet tall, and is fitted with a nose cone and flaps at the side

The Starship is constructed of stainless steel, which stands 160 feet tall, and is fitted with a nose cone and flaps at the side

SN8 took to the skies on December 10 – marking the first high altitude attempt of a Starship prototype.

The rocket hit all the marks including shutting down its Raptor engines, reaching an altitude of 7.8 miles and performing the belly flop.

The only thing it was unable to perfect was the landing, but Musk said previously that the rocket was unlikely to land safely.

The moment the rocket touched down, it ignited in flames and left nothing behind but its nose cone.

Then came the next prototype, SN9, which SpaceX had high hopes of landing when it attempted its high altitude test flight in February.

SN8 took to the skies on December 10 – marking the first high altitude attempt of a Starship prototype. The only thing it was unable to perfect was the landing, but Musk said previously that the rocket was unlikely to land safely – it exploded upon impact

Then came the next prototype, SN9, which SpaceX had high hopes of landing when it attempted its high altitude test flight in February - but this prototype exploded as well

Then came the next prototype, SN9, which SpaceX had high hopes of landing when it attempted its high altitude test flight in February – but this prototype exploded as well

This time the rocket was unable to maneuver into the vertical position before landing on the launch pad, hindering its ability to stick the landing

This time the rocket was unable to maneuver into the vertical position before landing on the launch pad, hindering its ability to stick the landing

This time the rocket was unable to maneuver into the vertical position before landing on the launch pad, hindering its ability to stick the landing.

It landed with a deafening crash, and exploded into bright orange flames and a dust cloud, but the fire did not spread.

However, it was SN10 that shocked the world.

The massive rocket exploded roughly 10 minutes after landing on the launch pad following its first high, with some suspecting a methane leak was to blame.

The failure occurred after SpaceX declared it a success, as SN10 flew, flipped and landed without crashing and burning like the previous prototypes SN8 and SN9 – CEO Elon Musk praised the rocket in a tweet for ‘landing in one piece.’

‘Third time’s a charm, as the saying goes,’ SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker said during SpaceX’s livestream on March 3.

‘We’ve had a successful soft touchdown on the landing pad that’s capping a beautiful test flight of Starship 10.’

Some sources speculate the landing legs attached to the base did not deploy, which sent the rocket toppling over, and crushed pipes holding methane.

The force of the explosion was enough to send the body of the large rocket – which was slightly tilted to one side after landing – into the air, which caused it to flip and land on the ground on its side.

However, it was SN10 that shocked the world. The massive rocket exploded roughly 10 minutes after landing on the launch pad following its first high, with some suspecting a methane leak was to blame

However, it was SN10 that shocked the world. The massive rocket exploded roughly 10 minutes after landing on the launch pad following its first high, with some suspecting a methane leak was to blame

An object that could be a methane tank was seen lying on the Boca Chica landing area after the fire and smoke from the massive explosion had cleared.

However, SN10 was able to complete its mission of gathering data on controlling the rocket during re-entry and many called the launch a success rather than another Starship failure.

In the past year alone SpaceX has completed two low-altitude flight tests with SN5 and SN6 and over 16,000 seconds of run time during ground engine starts.

Musk recently an ambitious plan to get humans on Mars by 2023 – 10 years before NASA aims to land astronauts on the Red Planet.

And Starship rockets are key players in turning that dream into a reality.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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