The SpaceX Starhopper to attempt its biggest ever, hop test this weekend. Starhopper is an early test prototype of SpaceX’s Starship reusable space rocket. When built, Starship will be the most powerful rocket and could carry up to 100 tons of cargo or 100 passengers to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the test craft will attempt to reach an altitude of 650 feet. A Twitter users Reagan Beck asked Elon Musk, “Starhopper 200m on Aug 16-18? ;)” to which he replied “Just spoke with FAA, so hopefully yes,” Musk responded.
SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy launch craft (BFR) will feature 41 Raptor engines. 35 Raptor engines will act as a first stage to get the rocket past the Earth’s atmosphere. A further six — the Starship itself — will bring it into orbit and through space to faraway places including the Moon and maybe Mars.
If the test gets completed on time and everything goes well, Starship and Super Heavy could be ready to fly as early as 2021. While the first few missions are expected to launch commercial communications satellites, the manned mission could soon follow after that.