Profile image
Story Views
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

SpaceX settles on Friday for Starhopper’s next flight test milestone, FAA permitting

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published Notices-to-Airmen (NOTAMs) for SpaceX’s next Starhopper flight milestone, a 200m (650 ft) hop now scheduled no earlier than Friday, August 16th.

During this upcoming test, the unusual Starship testbed and prototype will likely spend at least 30-60 seconds in the air, propelled by a lone Raptor engine producing up to ~200 tons (440,000 lbf) of thrust. Starhopper will then attempt to land a hundred or so feet east of its spartan launch mount on a dedicated landing pad. If successfully completed, CEO Elon Musk believes that either or both of SpaceX’s Mk1 and Mk2 Starship prototypes will be ready to begin their own series of more ambitious flight tests as early as September or October.

On July 25th, Starhopper lifted off – untethered – for the first time ever on its second try, following a scrubbed July 24th launch attempt and an otherwise successful July 16th static fire test that engulfed Starhopper in an impressive fireball.

Aside from starting a minor brush fire that burned a few acres surrounding the Boca Chica launch facilities, Starhopper’s untethered flight debut was by all appearances an unqualified success. SpaceX’s sixth full-scale Raptor (SN06) performed nominally over the ~20-second flight and Starhopper was quickly returned to its launch pad just a few days later, at which point technicians began working to reattach the rocket’s quick-disconnect (QD) umbilicals.

A bit more than a week after that, SpaceX performed several hours of tests with Starhopper on August 9th, culminating in an apparent wet dress rehearsal (WDR) in which the low-fidelity Starship prototype was loaded with liquid oxygen and methane propellant, a helium pressurant, and nitrogen for its maneuvering thrusters. Following Starhopper’s inaugural flight, the seemingly successful WDR served as a critical verification that the vehicle remains a structurally sound and functional pressure vessel and tested all the systems it will need for its next flight trial.

NASASpaceflight user bocachicagal captured this excellent footage of Starhopper’s August 9th WDR.

On the same day, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that SpaceX was effectively waiting – hardware ready – for the FAA to approve Starhopper’s 200m flight plan and/or arrange an updated experimental permit for the suborbital launch vehicle. Starhopper’s current FAA permit allows for unlimited flight tests but limits the altitude of those tests to 25m (80 ft) above ground level (AGL).

By all appearances, the fact that the FAA has published NOTAMs from August 16th through 19th for Starhopper’s 200m flight arguably indicates that the regulatory agency has also permitted SpaceX to fly the experimental vehicle. On the other hand, no such updated vehicle or flight permit has been published on the FAA’s website and US bureaucratic institutions are not exactly known for rational and logical processes. Just three days away from the opening of the window, it looks like we’ll find out in the next few days if SpaceX has everything it needs to attempt Starhopper’s next major flight test.

Check out Teslarati’s newsletters for prompt updates, on-the-ground perspectives, and unique glimpses of SpaceX’s rocket launch and recovery processes.

The post SpaceX settles on Friday for Starhopper’s next flight test milestone, FAA permitting appeared first on TESLARATI.


Support BeforeitsNews by trying our natural health products! Join our affiliate program
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at

Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets"  with  Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know!

APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver!  Destroys Viruses, Bacteria, Pathogens with Oxygen plus Silver!Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!  
Organic Hemp Extract (CBD) - Full Spectrum high CBD (3300mg) hemp extract eases stiff joints, relieves stress and more!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

FINAL WARNING!   Diseases are EXPLODING!  Watch this Video about APeX and You'll THROW AWAY Your Colloidal Silver!   APeX destroys Viruses, Bacteria and other Pathogens with the power of Oxygen PLUS Silver!  Nobody else has a product like THIS!   See why the inventor hasn't been sick in 16 years and why you'll never hear about it on the FAKE NEWS!  Get some now and tell your friends about it too so we can reach more people!  

APeX Interview - Superior to Colloidal Silver from Lee Canady on Vimeo.

Learn about APeX Here and Get the 50 Page Report in PDF format.   Call us at 888-809-8385 to order by phone.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.