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Either way, Starhopper is nearing the final flight



  View of Starhopper in July.
Enlarge / View of Starhopper in July.

Trevor Mahlmann for Ars.

Already on Monday afternoon SpaceX can try a second flight for its Starship prototype called "Starhopper". The blunt vehicle, which resembles a water tower, will attempt a controlled flight up to 1

50 meters above the ground before landing safely on the SpaceX proving ground in South Texas.

One month ago Starhopper made its first flight without cable. Ascent about 20 meters. Although smoke from the vehicle's only Raptor engine obscured most of the test flight from view, it successfully disbanded and confirmed the company's ability to control the Raptor engine in flight.

Cameron County officials told villagers in the village of Boca Chica this weekend that near the test site, the company plans to run a flight test on Monday from 4:00 pm to 4:15 pm CT. "There is a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during flight will result in overpressure that could damage the window." The Brownsville Herald reported that residents were advised to walk outside for safety reasons during the test signaled by a siren 10 minutes in advance. In its most recent approval, the Federal Aviation Administration has prescribed SpaceX to sign a liability insurance policy of $ 100 million.

While SpaceX does not expect to lose the 20 meter Star Hopper vehicle, this will be the vehicle's last flight. This fall, the company hopes to begin flying suborbital tests of larger Starship prototypes that are similar in dimensions to the actual vehicle that will launch into space Update on Starship's development during a presentation at Boca Chica. He has not set a fixed date for the presentation, but has announced that it is expected to take place in mid-September.

In recent months, various teams of SpaceX engineers in Boca Chica and Cocoa, Florida, have been working on their presentation of prototypes in full size – Starship Mk 1 and Mk 2. These vehicles will initially fly with at least three Raptor engines. The original size ship, which will launch into space with a rocket called "Super Heavy", is said to have six engines. It will be able to land and launch on distant worlds including the Moon and Mars.

Using two different engineering teams, SpaceX follows a rapid, iterative technology development process for the unprecedented spacecraft. It is unclear how long it will take until everything is fine, including the difficult process of re-entering the Earth's atmosphere without burning the vehicle. However, the orbit of Starship could already take place next year.

The next step is a much more modest jump a few hundred feet above a Texas beach. A list of livestreams for the potential test on Monday was created by the SpaceX subreddit. Hopefully the company will not build windows.


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