SpaceX Has Successfully Tested Its Massive Fuel Tank For The ITSBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
SpaceX was able to successfully test its massive fuel tank. This is the prototype for the one which will be used for its Mars spacecraft.
Space.com reported that the company towed the full-size carbon fiber tank out to sea on a barge. The test was done to check how the tank performed under pressure. SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk noted that this was the largest such vessel ever produced.
"Successfully tested the prototype Mars tank last week," SpaceX posted on Twitter. "Hit both of our pressure targets - next up will be full cryo[genic] testing."
It was revealed that the massive fuel tank is a vital component of the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). This is the reusable rocket and spaceship that SpaceX is developing, with the intent of bringing people to and from Mars.
The tanks will be housing propellant for the Raptor engines, powering both rocket and spaceship. The Raptor is also still being developed. It is believed to be powered by methane and liquid oxygen, which will both be produced on Mars by SpaceX.
According to Slash Gear, this is encouraging news for the company and its plans to perform an unmanned Mars trip as early as 2018. This mission will serve as a test flight for the ITS.
It was added that Elon Musk and SpaceX aims to send humans to Mars as early as 2024. The publication noted that the successful test is a good stepping stone to stay on schedule.
Recently, SpaceX has filed an application to launch 4,425 satellites. SpaceX submitted the petition to the Federal Communications Commission. "The system is designed to provide a wide range of broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and professional users worldwide," SpaceX's FCC application read.
Each satellite has been found to weigh about 850 pounds, about 386 kilograms. The satellites will also be about as big as a MINI Cooper car. They will be orbiting the Earth at altitudes ranging from 715 miles, about 1,150 kilometers, to 790 miles, about 1,275 kilometers.