SpaceX’s test flight of Starhopper successfully completed in Texas

SpaceX’s test flight of Starhopper successfully completed in Texas

It was initially supposed to take off from the company's Texas launch facility on Monday evening, performing what is expected to be the last of its test flights before the company begins testing larger versions of Starship.

Elon Musk has tweeted that he was embarrassed by the aborted flight attempt by Starhopper, the experimental rocket ship his company SpaceX is using as a prototype for its Mars-bound vehicle Starship. Residents were warned that a malfunction during the test flight could trigger an overpressure event strong enough to blow out windows in nearby homes.

Tuesday's one-minute test, which took place at Boca Chica in Texas, was the second hop for the vehicle after a modest 18m jump in July.

The Starhopper was powered by a single Raptor engine, the same engine SpaceX is developing for the use on its Starship, which is meant to serve as a reusable upper stage atop the company's Super Heavy rocket.

The launch happened after a similar effort for Monday was scrubbed at the last moment - with just 0.8 seconds left before the prototype was scheduled to fire - due to a problem with an ignition wire. In fact, two SpaceX teams are now building bigger and more robust prototypes that are more similar to Starship, an eight stories tall re-usable 42-engine giant rocket built for traveling throughout our solar system.

The test was Starhopper's second and highest hop. According to Musk, they could be flown on suborbital tests as early as this fall, and orbital flights perhaps next year-though given the company's checkered track record with schedules, it's best to treat those predictions cautiously. Musk has said this will be the final test flight for this particular prototype, and that it will be converted into a test stand for Starship's Raptor engines.

More news: Almanac calls for a ‘Polar Coaster’ this winter
More news: Popeyes manager considers taking new chicken sandwich off menu over lines, accidents
More news: New golf ball will help you to make the putt every time

However, Mr Musk hinted at a new design update when he tweeted on August 4 about revising the "pros and cons" of each design decision.

In July, SpaceX ran its first untethered hop, which is created to test the operation of the Raptor engine SpaceX is developing for Starship, along with other subsystems for use in the production Starship.

Perhaps an analogy can be found in SpaceX's Grasshopper test program.

"Both sites will make many Starships".

In previous presentations from the past few years, Musk has outlined his plans to use his next-generation heavy launcher (also previously known as BFR or Big Falcon Rocket) to help build a colony on Mars, send a group of artists on a trip around the moon and even provide transcontinental travel on Earth.

Finishing a profitable mission to the moon would additionally mark an incremental step in Musk's different imaginative and prescient of touring to Mars.

Related Articles