Spaceflight Corp., SpaceX, tested the engines of its Starship vehicle prototype at its test center in Boca Chica, Texas on Wednesday in a "fire-fighting" configuration that secured the probe to the ground.
SpaceX calls the prototype in question "Starhopper" and aims to test various technologies that the company plans to use in a future theoretical spacecraft, called Starship, which will travel in space (according to CEO Elon Musk, The Moon and Mars, specifically). While the vessel alone will carry 100 people and will require the use of a first-stage "Super Heavy" rocket, the Starhopper is a smaller version for atmospheric testing of Raptor engines running on methane and oxygen. liquids, and can not fly higher than normal. 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) in the air, according to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission. The test took place around 8:56 pm ET, according to Space.com, and then Musk tweeted that the test was successful.
Space.com wrote in its commentary, based on earlier comments from Musk, that "the test was probably using an engine and was not very high." The Starhopper is stainless steel and is approximately 60 feet tall. , but a nostril mounted on the craft was overturned and suffered extreme damage in January 2019 in conditions of high winds. Musk later said that the nose was useless for continuing to test the prototype.
Before the test, SpaceX distributed leaflets to locals, warning that special control points would be configured during the test to maintain a security perimeter. According to Business Insider, some residents of the village of Boca Chica have complained of road closures, in particular their "frequency, extended hours and increased security, designed to keep gawkers out". one resident told the site that Highway 4 was closed every day for a week; each closure would last about eight hours.
According to Le Verge, SpaceX plans to build both the Starship and Super Heavy spacecraft at the Boca Chica and Cape Canaveral facilities, and Musk said he was working on regulatory approval for any launches. He announced the date of the first test flight of Stars flight in 2020. Although this schedule is unrealistic, he has already sold a space on the spacecraft to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
This is not the only recent event that SpaceX has recently defined: in March 2019, its Crew Dragon capsule completed a demonstration of NASA's Crew Commercial program. She spent several days in space and automatically docked at the International Space Station.[The Verge/Space.com]