Today, the main stars for the private spaceSpaceX's companies are its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. They are used by the company for the output of satellites, as well as for the delivery of cargo to the International Space Station. However, SpaceX is not going to be limited to these missiles and is developing a completely new launch system. With its help, the company is going to implement much more ambitious projects. Nothing less - send people to the Moon and Mars. Now the company is testing a prototype of this spacecraft. The first two failed. The prototype caught fire. However, during the last test, SpaceX still managed to tear the prototype off the ground.
Tests of the prototype ship Starship - layout ofstainless steel called Starhopper - held at the SpaceX test site in Boca Chica (Texas) late Thursday evening. Literally a day after the last unsuccessful attempt.
On the new and successful test through his Twitter page, the SpaceX head Ilon Musk said, joking:
Starhopper test was successful. Even water towers can fly.
The fact is that visually Starhopper really looks more like a three-legged water tower than a rocket or a spacecraft.
During the test, the engine did not workmore than 20 seconds, but that was enough for the Starhopper to rise to the planned 20 meters. This time the company did not broadcast the event directly, however, a large number of people gathered around the test site who tried to capture rare footage from different angles.
In the video above, the rise of the apparatus itself begins attime at 4:40:27. To see something on it through the thick smoke is almost impossible. However, there are reports that the prototype took off, made a lateral movement and gently landed at the planned landing point.
Later, Ilon Musk himself shared the recording from the camera,located next to the engine unit. In addition, he published a video of the engine at the time of launch, shot using a flying drone. And it’s already clear that Starhopper made the climb.
Drone cam pic.twitter.com/gVdMrMgUZq
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The tasks of the device Starhopper
Starhopper prototype is not designed to fly inspace. SpaceX is developing it as a platform for testing various technologies that will be used in a full-fledged Starship spacecraft. His company is going to use it for flights to the Moon and Mars.
See also: SpaceX wants to use Starship as a passenger vehicle on Earth
According to Mask, the new test Starhopper can take place in a week or two. This time, the company will try to launch an experimental device to a height of 200 meters.
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