SpaceX expects to attempt Starship 150m hop test

BOCA CHICA – SpaceX workers continue to work around the clock at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility, a site dedicated to developing SpaceX’s ambitious Starship vehicle, the second stage of a two-stage rocket system, collectively called, “Starship.”

On Monday, SpaceX attempt a 150 hop test of a full-scale prototype called Serial Number 5, or SN5. However, at T-0, there was an automatic abort. Musk tweeted to @NASASpaceflight, “Scrubbed for the day. A Raptor turbopump spin start valve didn’t open, triggering an automatic abort. We’ll figure out why & retry tomorrow.”

Tuesday will be SpaceX’s next expected attempt.

For now, workers continue to build and test Starship prototypes. The Starship is a spacecraft designed for long-term spaceflight. According to SpaceX, it would carry cargo and 100 passengers, launching atop SpaceX’s Super Heavy rocket to the moon and Mars. SpaceX is actively iterating and testing the spacecraft vehicle, one which many said resembles a water tower. The SN5 prototype has passed previous major tests, including a static fire which, after several attempts, successfully completed Thursday, giving the green light for the next major test, the 150m hop.

Sometime Tuesday, this Boca Chica community expects to see the Starship vehicle “hop” for the very first time. It is a highly anticipated 150-meter hop, which several local villagers and homeowners have been keeping an eye on. If successful, a successful SN5 Starship prototype hop would be a landmark first for SpaceX.

This activity has been the talk of the village and surrounding communities.

“It’ll be the second time anything with (this) space program actually launches. Whether it’s just a few feet, a few kilometers -- it’s history in the making,” said Juan De La Garza, a local photographer who has dedicated his time to document all the developments at the Boca Chica SpaceX facility.

He is one of many local residents who have turned to video or photography to document the happenings at the launch site and facility.

In August of 2019, SpaceX successfully did this same test with a mini version of Starship called “Starhopper.” Then the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, tweeted “Water towers can fly!”