If you enjoyed seeing SpaceX’s Starship prototype hop 20 meters (65 feet) into the air last month, then you’re in for a treat when it shoots for a new 200-meter (650-feet) goal. The launch attempt could happen as soon as Friday, Aug. 16. The shiny stainless-steel prototype is powered by a single Raptor engine and is nicknamed “Starhopper.” It’s designed make short “hops” to test takeoffs and landings. SpaceX is also working on two separate Starship orbital prototypes that will aim to reach Earth orbit. Starship is SpaceX’s next-generation spacecraft. It’s meant to service Earth orbit, but also travel around the moon and even land on the moon or Mars one day. It’s a key part of founder Elon Musk’s vision of making our species interplanetary. On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a flight-restriction notice for Starhopper’s Texas test site for Aug. 16-19 at certain times. This falls in line with Elon Musk saying on Twitter the hop would hopefully happen this weekend. The first potential hop window opens at noon PT on Friday. As for witnessing the hop live online for yourself, you have a few possible options. SpaceX itself broadcast a hop attempt that didn’t get off the ground in late July. Keep on eye on the SpaceX Twitter account for a possible webcast link. Tim Dodd, the space specialist and YouTube educator known as Everyday Astronaut, will be stationed nearby to keep an eye on things. Follow his YouTube page for a live feed and smart commentary. Spadre.com… [Read full story]
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