SpaceX Starhopper Starship Prototype Engine Completes First Test With Flying Colors

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"Starhopper completed tethered hop".

The test occurred at 8.56pm EDT (12.56am GMT April 4) and lasted less than a minute. Before its stainless steel Starship could take to the skies, however, its test version needs to make a few hops first. The video featured above was captured by Spadre.com, a website for the South Padre Surf Company on South Padre Island across from SpaceX's facility.

While details about the Starhopper test have been kept under wraps, anticipation has remained high in recent weeks as SpaceX outfitted the prototype with three of the company's new Raptor methane-liquid oxygen engines.

The Raptor engine has been tested by itself back in February and now, the Starhopper only features one, which will not take the spacecraft very high.

Starhopper marked the first time it ignited its engine, which will be most possibly followed by short hop flights in upcoming months.

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United States manufacturer of advanced rockets and spacecrafts, SpaceX has test-fired the onboard engine Raptor of its next-generation spacecraft the Starship's hopper version for the first time. The site posted another look at the hop from outside the road blocks around the facility. A suborbital hop would require all three engines. The Starship is SpaceX's very big passenger spacecraft that the private American aerospace manufacturer is building to send people to Mars and the Moon.

SpaceX initially built the prototype with a nose cone, extending its height to 128ft (39m), however the cone was blown off by powerful winds. Musk later said that the nosecone was unnecessary for continued testing of the prototype.

Starship is the spacecraft SpaceX wants to use for a variety of purposes, from colonising Mars to conduct internal trips around the Earth.

The engine that will go into the ship, the Raptor, is homegrown by SpaceX.

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