SpaceX is heading towards a test for its Starship prototype which will take place at 6 pm ET on Monday, the space agency’s founder Elon Musk announced.
The Starship’s prototype has been dubbed ‘Starhooper,’ and it looks similar to a water tower. The vehicle will be tested as it will make a controlled flight before landing safely at SpaceX’s test site located in South Texas.
Starhooper has performed its first untied flight about 20 meters above the ground, a month ago. The test came off successfully and certified the company’s capacity to control the vehicle’s single Raptor engine in flight.
Cameron County officials informed residents of Boca Chica Village this weekend, which is close to the test site, that the company intends to perform a flight test from 4 pm to 4.15pm CT on Monday, and that there is a risk the windows will break in case the vehicle will malfunction during the test. The residents were cautioned to step outside during the test, which would be announced 10 minutes beforehand by a siren.
This flight will be the vehicle’s last, as this fall, SpaceX intends to begin suborbital tests of bigger Starship prototypes that have similar measurements to the vehicle that will be sent to space.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said that after the 150-meter Starhooper verification, he would deliver updates on the development of Starship during a brief in Boca Chica. The date for the presentation has not been decided yet, but Musk said it would most likely happen sometime in September.
By utilizing two different teams of engineers, SpaceX is going through a rapid process of technology development for the innovative spacecraft. It is not clear yet how long it will take to make everything work correctly, also how the arduous process of re-entering Earth’s atmosphere without setting the spacecraft in fire will proceed, but orbital tests of Starship could take place this year.