On Tuesday, a sub-scale Starship spacecraft called hopper was launched by SpaceX. The launch was done on a brief up and down test flight which was unpiloted and took place at the test facility of the company called Boca Chica in Texas.
A dramatic demonstration of the technology is intended to pave the way for a new, powerful heavy lift booster and in future eventually crew- carrying spacecraft which is interplanetary.
A technical glitch took place last-second, which made the test run a day late. On 6:02 pm, the powerful methane fueled Raptor engine of the Starhooper thunderously came into life and pushed the test vehicle into the blue sky on top of a jet of a flame and exhaust cloud.
The spacecraft which is of an interestingly similar shape to a spaceship from Star Wars movies appeared to reach the 492 foot which was the altitude limit that has been approved and even moved sideways and then touched down on the landing pad which was nearby. The one-minute flight was the second untethered test of the rocked following the jumping to an altitude of close to 65 feet. SpaceX’s testing is only intended for a reusable two-stage vehicle
A sub-scale version of the propulsion system of Starship, the hopper is the first to utilize the Raptor engine which is designed by SpaceX and burns the cryogenic methane with the liquid oxygen.
The company feels the system will eventually be replacing the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets of the company as well as the crew dragon and cargo capsules which are used for the delivery of supplies and then astronauts to the space stations.
Elon Musk who is the founder of SpaceX said that the goal of the company is to initiate an initial cargo mission to the planet mars in 2022.