Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Home Lead Story SpaceX Test-Launches Early Prototype of Company's Mars Rocket Rattling Nerves of People...

SpaceX Test-Launches Early Prototype of Company’s Mars Rocket Rattling Nerves of People Living Near Texas Site

The prototype, dubbed Starhopper, slowly rose about 500 feet(152m) off its launch pad in Brownsville, Texas

SpaceX test-launched an early prototype of the company’s Mars rocket on Tuesday, rattling the nerves of people living near the Texas site and clearing another key hurdle in billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s interplanetary ambitions.

The prototype, dubbed Starhopper, slowly rose about 500 feet(152m) off its launch pad in Brownsville, Texas, and propelled itself some 650 feet (198m) eastward onto an adjacent landing platform, completing a seemingly successful low-altitude test of SpaceX’s next-generation Raptor engine.

The Raptor is designed to power Musk’s forthcoming heavy-lift Starship rocket, a reusable two-stage booster taller than the Statue of Liberty that is expected to play a central role in Musk’s interplanetary space travel objectives, including missions to Mars.

The prototype “hopper” vehicle, resembling a chrome water tower with four landing legs, was originally slated for its test liftoff on Monday. But a “rather embarrassing” wiring issue with the single Raptor engine halted the countdown less than a second before ignition, Musk, the SpaceX founder and chief executive, said on Twitter.

SpaceX, Mars, Rocket
SpaceX test-launched an early prototype of the company’s Mars rocket on Tuesday, rattling the nerves of people living near the Texas site and clearing another key hurdle. Pixabay

About a dozen people living in the adjacent village of Boca Chica, just over a mile from the test site, had been urged in advance by local authorities to vacate their homes as a precaution at the sound of police sirens that blared minutes before launch.

“It almost looked like a cartoon or something,” nearby resident Cheryl Stevens told Reuters just after Starhopper’s flight. “After all the buildup, it was kind of nice to actually see it happen.”

The notices, circulated by sheriff’s deputies three days in advance, warned of a possible “overpressure event” that could shatter windows and endanger anyone remaining inside their homes in the event of an explosive malfunction.

Maria Pointer, another resident, set up cameras and invited photographers to her home. She said excitement surrounding the launch reminded her of “feeling like you’re going on a Ferris wheel.”

Also Read- Jimmy Gait Receives Test Results, Laments About Being Misdiagnosed By Kenyan Medics

Other residents bemoaned SpaceX’s presence on the Texas coast, frustrated with road closures and confusing public notices worrisome to those unaccustomed to the trials of spaceflight experimentation.

“It’s kind of like a double-edged sword,” said resident Terry Heaton, adding that access to the nearby beach was blocked off every time SpaceX attempted an engine test.

The next step for Raptor will be to carry out additional ground-based firings of the engine bolted to a stationary test stand, Musk said. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

18,993FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,780FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Amazon Prime Video Releases User Profile Feature Globally

After first making it available for users in India and Africa, Amazon Prime Video has finally started rolling out the user profile feature globally...

Hiring Activity in India Increases 33% in June: Naukri.com

In a silver lining amid the growing Covid-19 cases, the hiring activity in India saw 33 per cent improvement in June compared to May,...

Ideal Partner Preferences of People Don’t Reflect Personal Insights: Study

Do you know what kind of an ideal partner you seek in life? Perhaps a funny, attractive or down-to-earth one, but a new study...

Realists Enjoy Greater Long-Term Wellbeing than Optimists: Study

Positive thinking has long been extolled as the route to happiness, but a new study shows that realists enjoy a greater sense of long-term...

New Gmail Update in iPad to Support Split View Multitasking

Google has updated its Gmail app for iPad to add long-awaited Split View multitasking support. With the Split View feature, one will be able to...

Men, Younger Adults Less Physically Active During Lockdown: Researchers

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the researchers have found that men and younger adults have been less physically active during the Covid-19 lockdown. For the findings,...

Indian Lives Do Not Matter – Violent Incitement Against Indians

By Dr Kumar Mahabir On her Facebook page, well-known ruling People’s National Movement’s (PNM’s) political activist, Juliet Davy, of Trinidad and Tobago, created and shared...

Pakistan Stops Construction of Hindu Temple At Islamabad

By Alisha Late June, news circulated that Islamabad was all set to build its first Hindu temple to promote interfaith harmony in Pakistan. Pakistan’s government...

Recent Comments