Starhopper

The stars are the limit:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/starhopper-aces-test-sets-up-full-scale-prototype-flights-this-year/

On Tuesday evening, in South Texas, SpaceX launched its Starhopper test vehicle for the second time. During this test, it flew much higher than last month, nearly straight up to 150 meters. Then, under the power of a single Raptor engine, the vehicle smoothly moved laterally for about 100 meters before a controlled descent and touchdown in the center of a landing pad.

From a technical standpoint, the test was impressive, demonstrating the thrust and vector control of the new Raptor engine. This was the first time a large rocket engine burning liquid-methane propellant made a significant flight, and it appeared to be mostly, if not entirely, successful. SpaceX engineers can take confidence from this test as they move into finishing their builds of Starship orbital prototypes in Texas and Florida later this year.

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3 comments for “Starhopper

  1. August 28, 2019 at 18:47

    Very impressive. Looks like something from the fifties.

  2. ivan
    August 28, 2019 at 19:51

    The problem is that they are still using the ‘exploding totem pole’ idea from the 40s. It would be much better if they went with the British Skylon space plane and its air breathing/rocket fuel engines. At least that way if anything went wrong it could glide back to earth, rockets do have a tendency to go BOOM when something goes wrong.

  3. Mark Matis
    August 28, 2019 at 20:30

    I would merely point out once again that Mr. Musk is merely the reincarnation of P.T. Barnum, but with more money and less ethics.

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