The Starhopper prototype from SpaceX could take off for its first unbound floating test tonight when it tries to rise 20 meters above the surface
- SpaceX can test its Starhopper vessel tonight in a float test, local reports say
- The ship would float 20 meters above the ground and 20 meters sideways
- This would be the first unbound test of the vessel that wants to go to Mars
SpaceX & # 39; s Starhopper could undergo a major test tonight in which the ship floats briefly off the ground for the first time.
The test was announced on Twitter earlier this month by CEO of the space company, Elon Musk, but for unknown reasons the short hop was delayed.
In contrast to previous tests, the gigantic ship will not be tied to the ground, but will instead attempt to rise 20 meters – and 20 meters sideways – into the air and then nestle safely back onto the launch pad.
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The test is said to be the very first unbound cableway of the spaceship and will launch the ship 20 meters above the ground. The prototype can be seen earlier this year on the Boca Chia site
Last week the vessel conducted a static fire test, which is required prior to the actual hop.
NASA reports that Starhopper has released methane again during the static fire, but the vessel has not been damaged and the inspections pave the way for more serious tests.
Two other tests from the company pulled Starhopper just a few centimeters from the launch platform.
According to Musk, the Raptor engines used to lift the vessel off the ground are & # 39; dangerous chuggy & # 39; when they are fired below 40 percent, so that the rockets are fired at 50 percent power.
Starhopper is the test vehicle for SpaceX's ultimate goal to develop a slimmer vessel, called the Starship, which Musk hopes will eventually take human passengers into space on a number of missions.
Among them, Musk hopes that the Starship, formerly known as BFR, Big Falcon Rocket or the Big F *** ing Rocket, will be at the center of the first manned mission to Mars.
The first manned Red Planet mission for the rocket and the 100-passenger Starship could come as early as the mid-2020s if development and testing went well, Musk said.
Musk hopes Starhopper will eventually pave the way for a craft called Starship (shown above) intended to bring people to Mars
Missions can even include tourist trips to the moon by 2024, according to the CEO.
Completing a successful mission to the moon would mean an incremental step in Musk & # 39; s other vision of traveling to Mars.
Given that the upcoming test is successful, Musk says the Starhopper will try to increase its vertical range by performing a tied hover about 20 miles above the ground. According to him, that phase could be tested in the coming months.
SpaceX recently completed one of its most impressive tests to date with the launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket – a reusable rocket that the company hopes will one day launch and land safely – into space to deliver military satellites.
The ship missed its landing after returning from space, but with the help of a large boat equipped with a net, the company was able to successfully capture one of the two rocket barrels in an unprecedented feat.
Most rocket components are lost forever after their launch, either burning, crashing or falling into the ocean and never being recovered, making SpaceX's reusable rockets a new approach to space exploration.
WHAT IS ELON MUSK & # 39; S & # 39; BFR & # 39 ;?
The BFR (Big F *** ing Rocket), now known as Starship, will complete all missions and is smaller than the one that Musk announced in 2016.
The CEO of SpaceX said the rocket would make its first trip to the red planet in 2022, with freight only, followed by a manned mission in 2024 and claimed that other SpaceX products were cannibalized & # 39; would be to pay for it.
The rocket would be partially reusable and could fly directly from Earth to Mars.
Once built, Musk believes the rocket could be used for traveling on Earth – saying that passengers could get anywhere within an hour.
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