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SpaceX Postpones Starhopper's Next Major Flight Test - Geek

Date published: 2019-08-21
Originally published: Here. Excerpt below.


SpaceX’s shiny Starhopper will have to wait a little longer to take its biggest flight test: According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the prototype’s major “hop” was postponed because the company was awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
SpaceX was aiming to complete the test, which would require the Starhopper to reach an altitude of roughly 650 feet, at its facility in Boca Chica, Texas, last weekend, Space.com reported. However, on Aug. 15, Musk tweeted that he had a “good discussion” with the head of FAA Space and that the Starhopper “should be clear to fly soon.”
Good conversation with head of FAA Space. Need a bit more hazard analysis & should be clear to fly soon.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 15, 2019
Musk didn’t disclose a specific date for the Starhopper’s next flight test, however, Boca Chica Beach and State Highway 4 will be temporarily closed on Aug. 21 from 2 p.m. CDT to 12 a.m. CDT for SpaceX events, said a Cameron County press release. Alternative dates were also provided for the temporary closures, including Aug. 22 and Aug. 23.
Drone cam pic.twitter.com/gVdMrMgUZq
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 26, 2019
On July 25, SpaceX’s Starhopper completed its first untethered hop test at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility. During the test, the Starhopper fired up its single Raptor engine and completed a straight hop 65 feet up and down without technical problems. Previously, the prototype made two short tethered leaps in April before this major step.
Just left Starship Texas build site. Very proud of progress SpaceX team has made! Pics are of 9m dome rotation & Starship airframe behind windbreak. pic.twitter.com/1cmOzkPlkn
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2019
SpaceX is also building two orbital Starship prototypes, Mk1 and Mk2. Unlike the Starhopper, Mk1 and Mk2 will have a different design and layout and feature at least three Raptor engines that are designed to reach orbit. Musk is expected to provide another Starship prototype design update on Aug. 24.
Once all testing is completed, the company’s Starship and Super Heavy rocket could be ready to go to space as early as 2021.
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— NUS Trivia | tech news (@NusTrivia) August 21, 2019