SpaceX’s Starhopper Prototype Completes First Free-Flying Test Hop


first_imgStay on target ESA Satellite Avoids Potential Collision With SpaceX Starlink CraftSpaceX’s Starhopper Aces Final Test Flight in Texas The Starhopper, SpaceX’s prototype for its future Starship spacecraft, just passed its first untethered test hop on July 25.Late Thursday night, the Starhopper completed its first free-flying “leap” at SpaceX’s South Texas-based facility, Space.com reported. At the site, Starhopper lit up its single Raptor engine and met the test’s main objective, which was to conduct a straight hop 65 feet up and down without complications.Drone cam pic.twitter.com/gVdMrMgUZq— e^ (@elonmusk) July 26, 2019SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was also thrilled that the Starhopper, which looks like a water tower, took its first untethered flight.Starhopper flight successful. Water towers *can* fly haha!!— e^ (@elonmusk) July 26, 2019“Starhopper flight successful, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter. “Water towers *can* fly haha!!”Engine cam pic.twitter.com/3cWHU50353— e^ (@elonmusk) July 26, 2019On Wednesday, the Starhopper had to abort its first hover test attempt due to a technical glitch. Seconds before the procedure started, the spacecraft started spewing flames and smoke, and eventually, shut down. Even though this was disappointing, Thursday’s attempt went much better, and now, according to a tweet from Musk, SpaceX is targeting for a “656-foot hop in a week or two.”The Starhopper is an important first step for the Starship, a 100-passenger spacecraft that aims to ferry humans to Mars in the future. Unlike other carriers, the Starship vehicle will be reusable, which could help lower the cost of traveling to the Red Planet in upcoming years.More on Geek.com:SpaceX’s Starhopper Prototype Stops Untethered Hop Test SpaceX’s Starhopper Survives Rigorous Static-Fire Test in TexasSpaceX’s Starhopper Spacecraft Is Ready for a Major Hover Testlast_img

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