SpaceX Tests Starhopper Rocket Prototype

Jeff Brody

SpaceX has conducted a test flight of its single-engine Starhopper, a prototype of the company’s future six-engine Starship passenger spacecraft, CNET reported Tuesday.

The demonstration took place at SpaceX facility near Brownsville, Texas, and saw Starhopper climb more than 490 feet in under a minute before descending for a controlled landing. Some observers noticed that the prototype appeared to lose some parts during the test, which was rescheduled to Tuesday after an issue with the igniters prevented the prototype’s Monday launch.

Starhopper is modeled after Starship, a passenger space vehicle that will be equipped with a Super Heavy rocket and six to seven engines. Starship is intended for Earth-Moon commercial flights and Mars colonization, and is currently under development.

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