BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Elon Musk has announced that the Space X Starhopper will make a 20-meter-high test flight next week barring any further setbacks during the Raptor motor test burns.
Starhopper was scheduled to fly last week but a fire during motor testing caused the test flight to be delayed.
The fire was said to have been caused by a methane leak and when an attempt was made to put out the fire with a fire hose the fire flared.
The fire was extinguished, and the spacecraft was defueled successfully without further anomalies. Subsequent inspection found no major damage to the spacecraft.
Elon Musk tweeted, “Yeah, big advantage of being made of high-strength stainless steel: not bothered by a little heat!” He further tweeted, “Post-test fuel leak, but no major damage.”
On Thursday, July 18, Musk tweeted, “Aiming for hover test next week.” If motor testing is successful and the hover test moves forward the Starhopper will lift off and hover, untethered” at about 66 ft. above the pad, hover over to one side of the pad, then return for a landing on the same pad. Updates to come as more information on the testing is released.
The Starhopper stationed at the SpaceX Boca Chica facility is a smaller prototype of the Starship that is slated to be built to carry up to 100 passengers into space. The Starhopper has 1 Raptor engine whereas the Starship will utilize 6 Raptor engines. All of the spaceship’s in the SpaceX “Star….” fleet are designed to be reuseable.