SpaceX Starhopper and Launchpad Will Likely Be Ready for Late March Tests
The SpaceX StarHopper is the first prototype that will test three Raptor engine. It will fly a series of hops that could start as early as the end of this month. It is cleared to fly as high as 5000 meters.
SpaceX is recovering from high winds blowing over the top half of the Starhopper. The top half is an empty stainless steel nosecone shell. It only took a few weeks to build the original Starhopper nosecone.
The Starship is the new name for what was called the Big Falcon Spaceship. It is the upper stage of what was the BFR. It will have seven Raptor engines and it could reach orbit as early as 2020.
Here is a picture of the bottom half of the Starhopper taken by Alex Dominguez. He is the State Representative for Texas House District 37.
— Austin Barnard (@austinbarnard45) February 14, 2019
… another closeup of some of the plumbing going in for Hopper’s South #TEXAS test pad area. Hard to believe all this would have been 20 ft under dirt three months ago. #SpaceX pic.twitter.com/1ZUeefjkv9
— Cowboy Dan (@CowboyDanPaasch) February 14, 2019
The Starhopper tests will look similar to Grasshopper and Falcon 9 Reusable rocket tests that were performed several years ago.
Sources- Twitter, Youtube, Austin Barnard, Cowboy Dan, Alex Dominguez, SpaceX
Written By Brian Wang. Nextbigfuture.com