SpaceX’s Test Flight of Starhopper Spacecraft Aborted After Technical Glitch


Private space firm SpaceX scheduled a test of its Starhopper rocket test ship for Monday around 5 PM EDT. The Starhopper's first test flight, which only went up to about 20 meters (65 feet), took place on July 25 and started a brush fire.

Space X has successfully completed its second untethered test flight for Starhopper - the prototype that will eventually become the company's Mars-bound flagship spacecraft, Starship.

While this will be the last test flight for Starhopper it is incredibly significant and will pave the way for the next round of tests with the Starship prototypes now being constructed. SpaceX is now building Mk1 at Boca Chica and Mk2 in Florida.

SpaceX tests its rocket motors at its facility in McGregor west of Waco.

"It nearly looked like a cartoon or something", nearby resident Cheryl Stevens told Reuters just after Starhopper's flight.

"SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy Rocket are created to deliver satellites to Earth orbit and beyond, at a lower marginal cost per launch than our current Falcon vehicles", the company says on its website.

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The test flight that was to be streamed live had the company later on writing "Standing down for today". The craft - a test vehicle for the Raptor engine that will be included in more sophisticated prototypes - was meant to fly about 500 feet in the air Tuesday.

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.

If Musk's vision comes to fruition on his current timetable, Starship's first Mars landing could happen in the mid-2020s. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, tweeted a photo of Starhopper's launch and captioned: "Congrats SpaceX team!" We just hope the new test becomes successful as the success of projects like this would see a new dawn in the inter-planetary travel for humans.

Eddie Treviño, the local county judge, told CNN Business there was a "huge, huge sense of excitement" about the SpaceX Starhopper project. Musk has stated that the company will instead press ahead to flights of prototypes of Starship, designed ultimately to be the reusable upper stage flown on top of a large booster called Super Heavy. Both rockets will look more like the promised sci-fi Starship, but they might not have the full complement of Raptor engines.

From this outlook, Starhopper's two flights ought to be viewed as ventures toward a vehicle with conceivably progressive capacities, including landing and taking off propulsively from far off universes including the Moon and Mars.

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