SpaceX attempting another Starship hop today


Capitalism in space: Engineers at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas are today preparing the sixth Starship prototype for its first 150 meter hop, the second hop of a Starship prototype overall.

The launch window is anytime between 8 am and 8 pm (Central). I have embedded the livesteam below the fold if you wish to watch. Based on previous attempts, they will try for a morning launch before noon, and if there are issues they will recycle and try again in the afternoon.

6 comments

  • V-Man

    Success!

    That’s two different prototype doing a 150m hop almost perfectly (they still land a bit crooked). 20km jump next?

  • Diane Wilson

    I believe the 20km hop is planned for SN8, so probably not soon. (For anyone not following closely, SN7 was a pressure test vehicle, and SN7.1 is being prepped for a pressure test with the new steel alloy. These are test-to-destruction tank-only tests, not launchable prototypes.)

    I do expect SN5 to do another 150m hop before then. Elon said that he wanted to do more 150m hops to clean up the launch process, probably to minimize cleanup at the pad and also recycle faster for re-use. I think he said something about less than a day cycle time, but that might be a bit optimistic.

  • Diane Wilson

    This hop looked very clean – no flying debris, no ground fires. Liftoff seemed slower than SN5, which might be a throttle test, and might not.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Correct me if I am wrong, but this is going to have to get good enough to hop. land, and then hop again, yes?

    That must be the goal if one of the mission sets is to set down and return from the Moon and Mars.

  • Diane Wilson: There was a ground fire. See the image in my post reporting the flight.

  • Edward

    sippin_bourbon,
    You wrote: “i>Correct me if I am wrong, but this is going to have to get good enough to hop. land, and then hop again, yes? That must be the goal if one of the mission sets is to set down and return from the Moon and Mars.”

    Yes, an eventual goal, but no, not an immediate goal. My expectation is that they will start working on double hops after they are comfortable that they have the first hop working well. Just as it is more important to get Starship able to land before Superheavy can loft it into orbit, it is more important to get Super Heavy launching before it becomes necessary to relaunch after a landing. Boca Chica could be very busy next year.

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