It was a lot of expansion for a little bit of flame; however, a single engine mock-up of the rocket Elon Musk dreams of, which would take passengers to the Red planet i.e. Mars one day, has been lit up for the first time. After weeks of wait and airspace shut down over the SpaceX test facility in Boca Chica, Texas, Musk committed that the “Hopper” version of his Starship (previously known as “BFR”) finished a “tethered hop” on Wednesday evening.
SpaceX has used supposed hopper prototypes in the past to test the rockets. Basically, they’re not strong versions and they don’t travel all the way to space and then come back down for a landing. For this case, a “shackled hop” is really the same as a static or hold-down fire test that is a standard system before most launches take place.
Compelling, SpaceX was also presumed to carry a static fire test for its Falcon Heavy rocket at Kennedy Space Center in Florida Wednesday. However, that test has been deferred once again and is now set to take place on Thursday, before a planned launch on Sunday. It would be the first commercial start for Falcon Heavy and the first they have seen of the powerful rocket since its presentation launch last year that sent Musk’s red Tesla toward Mars.
The launch of the Starship prototype’s Raptor engine was the first to be started up at the company’s Texas launch pad. It seems Texas would be the home for Starship’s progress for the time being after a deal to construct the big rockets at the Port of Los Angeles fell through. SpaceX needs to move Starship from this first test to mission-ready in less than four years.