"Well, the second time it will certainly work out!". Probably this is exactly what Elon Musk was thinking when a few seconds remained on the timer before the launch of Starhopper, the prototype of the Starship spaceship. The first launch was canceled on August 26, 1 second before the start, but the second time the device successfully took off and sat down smoothly after a short flight, about which Musk happily announced on his Twitter.
Second Flight Starhopper
During a vertical test flightStarhopper successfully climbed to a height of 150 meters, and then gently landed on the ground. Despite the fact that SpaceX wanted to fly to a height of 200 meters, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued permission to “jump” no higher than 150 meters.
By tradition, the flight took place in Boca Chica in Texas. It lasted about one minute.
At first, the ship could barely take off, othan we wrote in our channel in Yandex.Zen. And the first major test of Starhopper passed recently - in July this year. Then the ship rose to a height of only 20 meters, but this was already a great progress: before that, there were constantly some problems with the device. So, before the first launch, it caught fire right during the tests. A week before that incident, a similar incident occurred, only then the fire was even more widespread.
See also - SpaceX's prototype spacecraft caught fire again during trials
Literally, the name Starhopper translates as “Jumper to the Stars”, and the device itself really looks more like a barrel rather than a spaceship. Although wait, isn't that Pepelats?
Why Starhopper explodes
In fact, even a climb of 150 meters isA huge achievement for SpaceX and Elon Mask. Previously, the company could not solve the problem with fuel leaks, which is why its experimental devices exploded before the start. This spring, for a similar reason, the Crew Dragon spaceship exploded, which the company intends to use for manned flights to Earth’s orbit. A little later, SpaceX engineers identified the cause and, perhaps, Starhopper already fixed the problem for this test.
See also - Why the American spaceship Crew Dragon actually exploded
When Starhopper will fly into space
Starhopper prototype should form the basisa huge starship starship, equipped with 6 Raptor engines. For him, they are also going to develop the first stage Super Heavy, which will be equipped with 35 Raptor engines. With the help of it, the device will be put into Earth orbit.
"Once Starship landed right in the sandsMars, ”- so Elon Musk himself answers this question. However, before a full-fledged SpaceX flight, at least two tests must be carried out: vertical flight to a height of 500 meters and 5,000 meters. In the future, Musk intends to use the Starship to deliver people and cargo to the moon and to Mars. Another option for using the ship is as a transport in terrestrial atmosphere. In this case, according to the statements, a flight, for example, from Moscow to New York will take about 30-60 minutes.