Starhopper from SpaceX has successfully completed its test flight that took place around 5 p.m. CT on August 27. The 150-meter test lasted for under a minute and was a huge success.
The test didn’t happen without its plot twists though. A day before the final test flight, the launch was canceled just before lift-off and Elon Musk tweeted about rescheduling the final launch of Starhopper for the next night. The original launch from Boca Chica, Texas, was actually abandoned at T-minus 0.8 seconds as per the livestream of SpaceX.
The first flew back on July 26 and stayed in the air for about 20 meters for fifteen seconds before coming back to the ground. For its final test, Starhopper was slated to achieve a height of 150 meters. Starhopper will not be able to see space but the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, is hopeful that its successor known as Starship will be able to transport up to 100 people along with 150 tons of cargo to places such as Mars or Moon.
Starhopper was propelled by SpaceX’s Raptor engine that is powered by cryogenic liquid methane and liquid oxygen. It will be utilized in the Starship and Super Heavy rockets eventually. The ride for Starhopper has not been smooth so far. The early test flights were canceled or delayed mere seconds before launch. In fact, the flight window that was scheduled for August 16 initially for this final test was also delayed after the Federal Aviation Association questioned launch safety.
The Brownsville Herald had reported that the residents in the area were provided with a warning for vacating their homes before the launch took place. In fact, the officials of Cameron County’s Office of Emergency Management were worried that the blast might end up shattering windows. As per Elon Musk’s tweet, this final test flight was the last flight of Starhopper. SpaceX will be focusing on the next prototype in the Big Falcon Rocket system now while the retired hopper will be utilized as a vertical stand for future Raptor tests.