SpaceX has fired up its newest Starship prototype for the first time.

The SN9 vehicle’s three engines lit up for about one second today (Jan. 6) at 5:07 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) during a static-fire test at SpaceX’s South Texas facilities, near the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica.

Static fires, in which rocket engines blaze while a vehicle remains anchored to the ground, are a routine preflight checkout. And SN9 (“Serial No. 9”) will indeed get off the ground soon, if all goes according to plan: SpaceX is prepping the vehicle for a test flight that’s expected to be similar to the epic one made last month by its predecessor.

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SpaceX's SN9 Starship prototype conducts its first static-fire test, on Jan. 6, 2021, in this footage captured by SPadre.com

SpaceX’s SN9 Starship prototype conducts its first static-fire test, on Jan. 6, 2021, in this footage captured by SPadre.com (Image credit: SPadre.com)

On Dec. 9, SN8 — which was powered by three of SpaceX’s next-generation Raptor engines, as SN9 is —  performed the Starship program’s first-ever high-altitude hop, soaring about 7.8 miles (12.5 kilometers) into the South Texas skies. (Three previous single-engine prototypes have flown as well, but they all reached a maximum altitude of about 500 feet, or 150 meters.)