First SpaceX Starship Hopper tests this week?


Week Three: Ninth Anniversary Fund-Raising Drive for Behind the Black
 

It is now the third week in my annual anniversary fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black.


Please consider donating. I am trying to avoid advertising on this website, but will be forced to add it if I do not get enough support from my readers. You can give a one-time contribution, from $5 to $100, or a regular subscription for as little as $2 per month. Your support will be deeply appreciated, and will allow me to continue to report on science and culture freely.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Capitalism in space: According to this news story on Sunday, SpaceX could attempt its first Starship Hopper tests this week.

A sheriff hand-delivered road closure notices to residents on Friday, according to a local resident. The document warned locals that SpaceX will “conduct testing” as soon as Monday, March 18.

The article also cites a flurry of tweets about the hopper that Elon Musk made on Sunday. Unfortunately, Musk’s tweets do not say anything about tests this week.

Regardless, it appears that SpaceX might actually be close to beating the schedule it announced for these tests back in November, when Musk said they were aiming for tests in June. If so, this would be a remarkable achievement, one that is almost unheard of in the aerospace launch industry.

Share

2 comments

  • geoffc

    The news out of the tweets was really good though.

    First hop (probably barely lifting) is going to be with the single Raptor they installed over the weekend. (If they test, 2-5 days after installing the engine, that is a VERY good sign. NASA would need 6 months to test before willing to fire it up).

    The two cylinders under construction at the original site (Hopper was trucked to a launch area, freeing up construction space) are for the next Hopper build, called Suborbital (But since everything that gets off the ground is suborbital, what does that mean?).

    And they will launch and build from Boca Chica and the Cape.

    And details on heat shielding.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Actually, the additional barrel sections now under construction at Boca Chica are not for a second StarHopper. From a Musk tweet two days ago:

    “We decided to skip building a new nosecone for Hopper. Don’t need it. What you see being built is the orbital Starship vehicle.”

    In late 2018 Musk said he expected the first Starship to complete construction by mid-year. Looks as though that project may be ahead of schedule.

    Imagine all the heads that would explode if Musk – gasp! – finished something ahead of schedule!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *