SpaceX conducts 3 successful rocket tests in single day in South Texas


SpaceX successfully conducted multiple tests of its raptor engines on its Starship prototype on Jan. 13, 2021. The prototype is similar to this spacecraft, seen sitting on the SpaceX launch pad in South Texas near Boca Chica Beach on Nov. 30, 2020. (Border Report File Photo/Sandra Sanchez)

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — SpaceX on Wednesday successfully conducted three tests of its Starship rocket engines on the same day — the first time SpaceX has done multiple tests on a single day in South Texas.

The static fire tests of its SN9 rockets were conducted within hours. The last test occurred at 3:35 p.m. CST on Wednesday, just one hour and 45 minutes after the second test. The first two tests were spaced out about two hours apart earlier in the day.

All three tests were successful and come as SpaceX prepares to conduct another launch in the next few days of its mammoth Starship prototype from its South Texas launch facility near Boca Chica Beach.

Cameron County officials have announced that Highway 4 and Boca Chica Beach will be closed to traffic on Thursday when a possible launch of the Starship could occur. If not, the county also has secured the beach and road to remain closed Jan. 18-20.

A few minutes after the last test on Wednesday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted his elation of the successful static fire tests, each of which included a quick firing of the Starship prototype’s three massive Raptor engines all at once.

“All three static fires completed & no RUDs!” Musk wrote.

RUD stands for rapid unscheduled disassembly and is a term coined by Musk who doesn’t like to say explosion or boom when tests don’t go as planned.

Wednesday’s tests were a significant improvement over the company’s record of static fire tests conducted in 2020. On May 29, an SN4 prototype exploded at the facility during a static fire test, which was caught on camera by Border Report. Recent scheduled static fire tests also were canceled and scratched at the last minute due to various technical issues.

On Dec. 9, SpaceX launched its 16-story-tall Starship SN8 and flew it on its first high-altitude test flight. However, the spaceship exploded upon landing

Musk one day hopes to fly the Starship to Mars.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at

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