SpaceX Test-Fires 'Starhopper' Starship Prototype, Creates Big Fireball

Space.com | 7/17/2019 | Amy Thompson
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As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest achievements — putting people on the moon — SpaceX is busy preparing for its next giant leap: sending humans to Mars.

The test, which lasted approximately 5 seconds, seemed to be successful, although bright orange flames engulfed the vehicle after its single Raptor engine fired. A video by the Everyday Astronaut's Tim Dodd shows the brilliant fireball in slow motion.

Crews - Power - Starhopper - Test - Fire

Crews were able to detank and power down Starhopper following the test fire. And on Wednesday morning (July 17), onlookers confirmed that the squat-looking silver prototype appeared unscathed.

While there appears to be no visible damage to the craft's reflective skin, delicate electronics and other systems could tell a different story. Wednesday morning, crews were spotted underneath the hopper, surveying the area.

Views - Starship - Watchers - Twitter

Here's some views by Starship watchers on Twitter.

Starhopper is designed to pave the way for Starship, a 100-passenger vehicle that SpaceX hopes will one day take humans and cargo to destinations far beyond low-Earth orbit.

Version - Starhopper - Raptor - Engine - Development

This first version of Starhopper is powered by a single Raptor engine, which is still in development. The next-generation engine is fueled by a combination of liquid methane and liquid oxygen and packs about twice the punch of the Merlin...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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