S paceX is almost ready to begin testing the BFR, whose underdeveloped rocket is used to support a manned mission to Mars. The company has been working to complete its test site in Boca Chica, Texas, where the rocket will "hop test" hundreds of kilometers before embarking on a course for the Red Planet. A representative confirmed on Friday that the company has now received the last large floor tank system.
The rocket is an important part of SpaceX's plans for the future, including a manned mission to Mars in 2024 and a manned mission around the Moon in 2023. SpaceX claims construction of the Texas facility is progressing faster than expected over 300,000 cubic yards of locally procured soil. Singer Pitt, the company's communications specialist, said to KRGV: "The ongoing construction of our launch pad in South Texas is making good progress, and SpaceX has now received the last large ground system tank needed to support initial test flights of the Big Falcon Spaceship.
See more: Elon Musk Details Timeline for SpaceX BFR sending people to the Moon and beyond
The "Hop Tests" are the first step to these missions. CEO Elon Musk described the plan as "fly out, turn around, accelerate hard and hot to test the heat shield because we want a high-usable heat shield that can absorb the heat from interplanetary entry velocities." If you are successful, the company will switch to high-speed, high-speed flights as early as 2020. These tests will take place alongside the tests of the booster. The company will then complete a series of test flights before sending people to a BFR. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who plans to take a group of artists around the moon on the BFR, may be one of the first non-test passengers.
The Texas institution is gradually taking shape. In July local news reported that SpaceX had received a 95,000 gallon liquid oxygen tank capable of holding about 20 tankers. The company also produced a 600 kilowatt solar array and two ground station antennas, the latter of which can be used to track manned Dragon missions to the International Space Station.
Musk can post more details about these tests when he visits the SpaceX sub-document over the next week or so to answer fan questions.
Until then, the company has produced a series of visualizations about what future Mars bases might look like.