Did you see that? No, this is not the new Star Wars trailer where R2D2 just got new rocket enhancements to fly over the desert Tatooine. This is Elon musk’s new Starhopper rocket prototype, which took flight on Tuesday at the SpaceX’s South Texas site. It soared 150 meters above ground level, and this reusable, futuristic rocket came back down with a relatively easy landing.
What will those rockets be used for? You guessed it. Elon never forgot his promise to send people to Mars, and Starhoppers are the next-generation rockets that will be able to carry us to the wilderness of the Cosmos.
Of course, in order to fly to Mars, Raptor engines like the one in this Starhopper are critical. These engines work on methane, which is abundant on the surface of Mars. Why carry our fuel when we can take another fuel from Mars and make an engine for it? That sweet golden ticket is what SpaceX is after. Fortunately, Starhopper’s single Raptor engine finally worked.
The only problem is its challenging development. For instance, Starhopper was scheduled to skyrocket on Monday, but the engine did not start. However, Tuesday marks a milestone for SpaceX. “Congrats SpaceX team!!” tweeted Elon Musk right after the successful flight. This almost one-minute flight is by far the biggest and the last. It is time for SpaceX move our civilization closer to the Red Planet! Enough prototypes for 2019. SpaceX plans to build full Starship rockets to soar the skies, and hopefully, it will be successful in 2020.