SpaceX to Put Reusable Upper-Stage Rocket Through Hover Test

Jeff Brody

SpaceX is set to demonstrate a prototype of its Starship reusable launch vehicle during a low-altitude flight test after the company completed installation of an engine into the second-stage rocket, SpaceNews reported Friday.

The Starhopper test vehicle is built to reach an altitude of 20 meters in upward and sideways position prior to its landing to the surface during the demonstration to test a newly-installed Raptor engine technology

Starship is being developed to operate with the Super Heavy rocket as a two-stage vehicle the company envisions providing transportation services to low-Earth orbit, Mars and the moon.

Elon Musk, founder and CEO at SpaceX, said the company intends to expand the rocket’s mileage by 12.4 miles in the coming months through a second prototype rocket. He added that Starship could carry up to 125 metric tons and may hold up to 40 metric tons during a geostationary transfer orbit.

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