The aim is to have the Starship and Super Heavy ready for passengers by the mid-2020s, in order to carry Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and an entourage of artists around the moon ... and set the stage for Mars trips.
Before it will ever even tip its cone into space though, the spacecraft still has to go through a long series of rigorous tests that include igniting the engines attached to the bottom and testing out the new SpaceX Raptor.
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The Raptor engine has been tested by itself back in February and now, the Starhopper only features one, which will not take the spacecraft very high. It was also tethered, or connected to ground equipment, for the duration of the test. "Suborbital flights with three".
Starhopper is a prototype of Starship, meant to be the upper stage of SpaceX's next-generation, fully reusable launch vehicle. The more technical term would be a tethered hop, as the rocket barely rises a few inches off terra firma. The Starhopper is made of stainless steel and is roughly 60 feet tall-it was originally more than twice that size, but a nosecone mounted on the craft blew over and suffered extreme damage in January 2019 amid high winds.
SpaceX will apply the insights gained during the test program to the design and construction of the honest-to-goodness Starship and its Super Heavy booster.
SpaceX plans to attach three Raptors to the Starhopper so that it could do higher hops.