As soon as Monday afternoon, SpaceX may try a second flight for its Starship prototype, called "Starhopper." The water tower-like resilient vehicle will aim for a controlled flight 1
A month ago Starhopper made its first undetected flight, lifting about 20 meters. Although the smoke from the car's sole Raptor engine covers most of this test flight from a standpoint, it came out successfully and confirmed the company's ability to control the Raptor engine in flight.
This weekend, Cameron County officials notified residents in the village of Boca Chica, near the test site, the company plans to conduct a flight test from 4:00 pm to 4:15 pm CT Monday and "there is a risk of vehicle malfunction SpaceX in flight to create an overpressure event that can break windows. " The Brownsville Herald reported that residents were advised to go outside during the test, which would be signaled 10 minutes in advance of the siren for their safety. In its latest endorsement, the Federal Aviation Administration forced SpaceX to purchase $ 100 million in liability insurance.
Although SpaceX does not foresee the loss of the Starhopper vehicle, which is 20 meters high, this will be the last flight of the vehicle. This fall, the company hopes to launch flying suborbital tests of larger Starship prototypes that are similar in size to the actual vehicle that will be released into space.
Following the 150-meter Starhopper test, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he would provide an update on the Starship development during a presentation at Boca Chica. He has not set a firm date for the presentation, but said it is likely to happen in mid-September.
In recent months, separate teams of SpaceX engineers in Boca Chica, as well as in Cocoa, Florida, have been working on full-size prototypes – Starship Mk 1 and Mk 2, respectively. These vehicles will initially fly, at least, with the three Raptor engine kit. The full-scale Starship, which will launch into space on a rocket called "Super Heavy", is scheduled to have six engines; it will be able to land and take off from distant worlds, including the moon and Mars.
Using two different teams of engineers, SpaceX follows a fast iterative technology development process for an unprecedented spacecraft. it is unclear how long it will take to fix everything, including the difficult process of re-entering the earth's atmosphere without burning the vehicle, but Starship's orbital flights may appear as early as next year.
The next step, however, is a much more modest hop a few hundred feet above the Texas beach. The live stream listing for the potential test on Monday was curated by SpaceX's subreddit. Hopefully the company won't break any windows.