Science • Space

SpaceX Starship "hops" expected in coming weeks, launch debut still on track for 2020

SpaceX Starship "hops" expected in coming weeks, launch debut still on track for 2020
Starship | First test vehicle Credit: SpaceX (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

SpaceX's Starship is undergoing extremely fast-paced development in South Texas, Boca Chica Beach where the 5th, 6th and 7th prototypes are currently being assembled, some of them about to be ready for testing.

On Friday, May 29th the 4th Starship prototype had just successfully completed a static fire test, when liquid methane was being spotted leaking in huge quantities. Shortly thereafter the liquid methane ignited and detonated the Serial Number 4 build of Starship, with steel debris being propelled all around the development and testing area.

In an interview by Spiegel, Hans Koenigsmann, VP of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX and veteran employee of 18 years stated among other things, that despite the latest deveopments he expects the first test flights of 150 m altitude hops to happen in the coming weeks. Moreover, he stated that with the tests going according to plans, Starship is still predicted to debut its orbital launch by the end of 2020.

While Starship SN4 performed an "Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly" as SpaceX employees and fanatics often call a rocket exploding beyond repair, the next prototype in line SN5 is effectively complete and ready for testing.

Per Koenigsmann, the first Starship 150m flight could debut by the end of June 2020.

I am a 19 yo student passionate about the development of Electric Vehicles and Space Exploration. I am set on exploring and providing non-biased news on EV manufacturers and innovative space related companies such as SpaceX, RocketLab and Blue origin and I aim to contribute to making content on a broader selection of topics available to the readers of Pendect. Its pretty crowded down here, we may need some more space!
Card reviewed by: @ericof