Tech & Science: First test of SpaceX Starship 'hopper' now set for next week - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & ScienceFirst test of SpaceX Starship 'hopper' now set for next week

08:15  24 march  2019
08:15  24 march  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Elon Musk shows off SpaceX's dazzling Raptor rocket engine

Elon Musk shows off SpaceX's dazzling Raptor rocket engine The Raptor engine is designed to power Starship to our lunar neighbor and beyond.

The flight- test version of SpaceX 's Starship vehicle could be ready to take its first short 'hopping' excursion in a matter of weeks , company founder The first of these hopper engines will probably be test -fired next month, he added. (The engines that power SpaceX 's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket are

SpaceX Starship Hopper Test Vehicle fell over and sustained damage in south Texas, thanks to high winds in the area, in spacex image upper part of the Starship can be seen lying sideways on the ground. The damage from the mishap will take a few weeks to repair, according to CEO Elon Musk.

After a week of anticipation, it now looks more likely that we'll soon see a mini prototype of Elon Musk's Mars rocket fired up for the first time.

SpaceX plans to test a small, single engine "hopper" version of its Starship rocket at the company's test launch site at the southernmost tip of Texas. There were reports from nearby South Padre Island that the test was going to happen last week, and a webcam set up by SPadre.com has been livestreaming a shot of the company's Boca Chica launch pad for days now.

SpaceX test-fire of Mars spaceship's flight engine is milestone for its engine development

SpaceX test-fire of Mars spaceship's flight engine is milestone for its engine development In the latest sign of SpaceX's continuing progress on its Mars spaceship program, Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company has test-fired the Starship's Raptor flight engine for the first time. 

" Starship test -flight rocket just finished assembly at the @ SpaceX Texas launch site. This is an actual picture, not a rendering," Musk said via Twitter. Musk said earlier this week that SpaceX aims to start such trial runs, which will take place at the Texas site near Brownsville, in the next four to eight weeks .

Elon Musk tweeted SpaceX Starship hopper flight tests could start with in next few weeks . Musk hopes hopper flight tests could start early in February The resources required for now postponed Crew Dragon mission have been redirected in to Starship , with hopper flight tests starting in earnest.

So far, the only interesting activity from the feed has been the occasional venting of gases from the clearly visible craft. A Cameron County official told the Brownsville Herald that roads were closed Thursday and Friday so SpaceX could do "tank tests" on the prototype.

But on Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction for the area around the launch pad, effective from Monday through Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time each day. Though the airspace closure applies from the ground level up to 1,000 feet of altitude, Musk said on Twitter that the Starship prototype "will lift off, but only barely."

First test of SpaceX Starship 'hopper' now set for next week © Elon Musk

Elon Musk's photo of the actual Starship prototype looks very close to this rendered version he shared in a tweet on Jan. 5. The render shows a smoother skin, which highlights the retro sci-fi look of the design.

Elon Musk shows off fiery SpaceX Starship heatshield test

Elon Musk shows off fiery SpaceX Starship heatshield test Feeling hot, hot, hot.

SpaceX started testing of the flight version of the Raptor engine at its McGregor, Texas, engine test site in Musk said then that the first Starship hopper flight would likely be in four to eight weeks . Starship is intended to be the reusable upper stage for the company’s next -generation launch system

SpaceX could begin initial tests of a prototype of the company’s next -generation Starship vehicle as soon as this week , Elon Musk says. Musk said then that the first Starship hopper flight would likely be in four to eight weeks . Original plans called for the hopper to have a large nose cone, like that on

So if the hopper does get some thrust beneath it in the coming days, it's likely to be just enough to let it hover rather than really fly.

After these initial short "hop" tests, Musk says, suborbital flights of Starship will use three of its Raptor engines. All this is building toward a planned flight around the moon already booked by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. Eventually, Musk hopes his Starships will move as many as a million of us to a city on Mars.

But first, we start with baby steps, er... hops.

Originally published March 20.

Updates, March 21 and 22: Adds new test timeframes.

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