Elon Musk, SpaceX still hope for Starship hover test this week

CNET | 7/16/2019 | Amanda Kooser
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The SpaceX Starship "hopper" prototype has a big test set for Tuesday.

Ever since SpaceX founder Elon Musk unveiled the shiny Starship prototype, space fans have been aching for it to take off in a blaze of glory. We're getting closer. The current Starship prototype, a "hopper" vehicle built for short test flights, is ready for hovering.

Musk - Twitter - Week - Share - Schedule

Musk took to Twitter last week to share the schedule. "Raptor engine mounted on Starhopper. Aiming for hover test Tuesday," he tweeted using the nickname for the Starship "hopper" prototype. Tuesday, July 16 is also the 50th anniversary of NASA's launch of the Apollo 11, which carried humans to the surface of the moon in 1969.

Raptor engine mounted on Starhopper. Aiming for hover test Tues.

July - Day - Starhopper - Hover - Test

As it turned out, July 16 will not also be remembered as the day for Starhopper's first hover test. Musk tweeted an update on Tuesday, "Won't be today, hopefully tomorrow."

The hopper is under development at a SpaceX facility in Boca Chica Village, Texas. A previous test in April involved Starship trying out a tiny liftoff with a single Raptor engine providing the power.

Time - Starhopper - Feet - Meters - Ground

This time, Starhopper will aim to reach over 65 feet (20 meters) off the ground and move a little sideways, Musk tweeted. Musk said a livestream of the event would be available.

If the hover test is successful, it will put SpaceX on the path to a much more ambitious goal of reaching 12 miles (20 kilometers) within a few months.

Musk - Testing - Plans - Presentation

Musk must be feeling confident about the testing. He already announced plans for a presentation...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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