SpaceX’s experimental rocket ship Starhopper lifted off successfully on Thursday night. The Mars rocket prototype flew above the surface without the help of any tethers. The test flight took place after months of primary tests from the company’s facility in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. The “hop test”, as the company likes to call its experimental flight, was meant to lift the spacecraft at an height of 65 feet from the ground. The spacecraft was supposed to be safely landed back to the ground. The CEO of the company Elon Musk deemed the test flight a success. He said that the spacecraft will go through another hop test within a week which will see it flying up to 650 feet.
Musk verified the success of the spacecraft in a tweet saying “Starhopper flight successful. Water towers *can* fly haha!!” Musk also posted videos which had footage of the test hop. Musk jested about the design of the spacecraft that is similar to that of a water tower. The spacecraft’s previous hop test had to be aborted a day before due to an anomaly with the fuel of the vehicle. The fuel was reportedly too cold for the vehicle to reach the ideal pressure level.
The Starship rocket meant for advanced space exploration is currently on of the main endeavors of the company. The launch system will be used to transport heavy satellites into the orbit with the help of a highly powerful rocket booster. The rocket booster is expected to have as many as 31 Raptor engines. The current prototype has only one. The spacecraft is aiming on taking as many as 100 people in flights across the solar system. The spacecraft is also intended to be used to take astronauts on the surface of Mars.