SpaceX’s massive new spacecraft successfully test-fired its rocket engine for the first time Wednesday.
The “hopper” version of the Starship rocket — dubbed Starhopper — did not leave the ground, but its powerful Raptor engine fired briefly while tethered to the ground at the SpaceX facility in south Texas.
“Starhopper completed tethered hop. All systems green,” SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday evening.
Starhopper completed tethered hop. All systems green. https://t.co/0m5Bm5slD2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
The reusable Starship rocket, which has angular tail fins like something out of a comic book, can carry up to 100 people and is intended for missions to the moon, and later, Mars — and back.
More tethered and suborbital tests are expected to be carried out this year, and Musk has said the Starship could take its first orbital flight in 2020.