As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest achievements — putting people on the moon — SpaceX is busy preparing for its next giant leap: sending humans to Mars.
To that end, the California-based aerospace company conducted a static-fire testof Starhopper, a prototype of its Mars-colonizing Starship vehicle, late Tuesday (July 16) in South Texas ahead of a planned test flight of the craft. (SpaceX performs such engine firings before all of its launches, to ensure that the relevant systems are ready to fly.)
The test, which lasted approximately 5 seconds, seemed to be successful, although bright orange flames engulfed the vehicle after its single Raptor engine fired. A video by the Everyday Astronaut’s Tim Dodd shows the brilliant fireball in slow motion.
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