SpaceX Starship Completed Heat Shields Tests

Elon Musk shows off fiery SpaceX Starship heatshield test

The notice informed the residents that SpaceX will start the tests -according to the copies that were distributed on social media- "as soon as the week of March 18th, 2019".

SpaceX's Starhopper, a prototype of the company's Starship, in Texas ahead of testing.

SpaceX is in the early stages of developing the Starship rocket.

Test Hopper can't launch into space, but it will trial crucial hardware and ideas that SpaceX needs to create a full-scale Starship (formerly called Big Falcon Rocket). On the other hand, given just how shoestring the budget of this beast likely is and how rapidly SpaceX managed to go from an empty dirt lot to a hop-test-ready, 30ft/9m-diameter Starship prototype, it's equally likely that the company - particularly CEO Elon Musk - will accept the increased risk of catastrophic vehicle failures to keep the development program as agile as possible. Now set to occur between 10am and 4pm local time (8am - 2pm Pacific, 15:00-21:00 UTC), that test debut will likely see Starhopper topped to the brim with liquid methane and oxygen propellant for the first time, potentially transitioning into the first BFR-integrated Raptor static fir test. The Starship may eventually be able to carry 100 people and 150 tons of cargo at a time on its journey to Mars.

There are "always many issues integrating engine & stage", Musk warned on Twitter.

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Although it appeared SpaceX was facing a setback when the top half of Starship blew over due to heavy wind in Texas, Musk said SpaceX "decided to skip building a new nosecone for Hopper".

"Don't need it", Musk said of the nose cone.

Some sources noted that the Raptor rocket engine, which will be used by the SpaceX Starship, has been seen in Boca Chica, Texas, a location where Elon Musk's company is now testing numerous components which will be used in the future.

On Sunday, Elon Musk posted a video of a Starship heat shield test, which was captioned with, "Testing Starship heat shield hex tiles".

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