SpaceX has designs on revolutionising extraterrestrial travel to accelerate the exploration of the solar system. But that also requires that SpaceX finish the development of its Super Heavy booster that will carry the Starship on its back.
The SpaceX founder wrote: "Starhopper completed tethered hop".
While details about the Starhopper test have been kept under wraps, anticipation has remained high in recent weeks as SpaceX outfitted the prototype with three of the company's new Raptor methane-liquid oxygen engines.More news: Record-breaking Mohamed Salah ends drought to help fire Liverpool top
The test occurred at 8:56 p.m. EDT (0056 April 4 GMT) and lasted less than a minute, according to one of several video feeds watching the company's launch site. The test was a tethered hop that let the engine do a "static fire" while connected to the ground so engineering teams could monitor it.
Musk's declaration that Starhopper hit the end of its tether indicates the second hop was likely higher than the first.
The orbital Starship version of the rocket is targeting flights in 2020.More news: The HPV Vaccine Is Already Dramatically Lowering Rates Of Cervical Disease
The round-topped rocket is meant to serve as a testbed for SpaceX's interplanetary-class Starship, just as earlier testbeds known as the Grasshopper and the F9R Dev blazed a trail for SpaceX's self-landing Falcon 9 rocket boosters.
SpaceX's Starship hopper originally had a nose, which is now not on the prototype.
Elon Musk has previously stated the nose cone is unnecessary the initial test hops. In its now planned configuration, the Super Heavy would use its 31 Raptor engines to send the refuelable Starship on transcontinental point-to-point trips between earthly spaceports, on orbital missions to deploy bunches of satellites, and on journeys beyond Earth orbit.More news: Trump on Barbara Bush: 'Look What I Did to Her Sons'