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2nd STARHOPPER HOVER TEST, Aug 21, 2019?, Boca Chica, TX

Update, Aug 16:  The Twitter account for San Padre Isle, near Boca Chica, tweeted today that local authorities have now issued road closure notices for Aug 21, 22 and 23, suggesting those are the new dates for when the test may take place.

Update, Aug 15:  Musk tweeted that the FAA wants additional hazard analysis and the test will be “soon.”

Update, Aug 13:  NOTAMs have been issued for Aug 16-18.

Original Entry: SpaceX is getting ready to conduct a second test of its Starhopper vehicle, which is part of the development of its Starship vehicle that is designed to take people and cargo to the Moon and Mars. Starship will be launched using SpaceX’s Super Heavy rocket, which also is under development.

The date is tentative.

Starhopper is a test vehicle that uses one Raptor engine to lift briefly off the ground, move horizontally, and land (“hop”).  It moved 20 meters during its first test on July 25.  The goal is 200 meters for the 2nd test.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted on August 9 that the test will be “no sooner than a week” as the company is “Working approvals with FAA.”  FAA must post Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) to clear the airspace above the test site in Boca Chica, TX when tests are underway.  Other FAA approvals also may be necessary.  The FAA regulates and facilitates the commercial space launch industry.

SpaceX does not provide much information about these tests.  One can keep up to date on Twitter by following Mary (@BocaChicaGal), a resident of the Boca Chica area who keeps close track of what is happening at the test site and posts videos; Chris Bergin and Chris Gephardt at NASASpaceflight.com (@NASASpaceflight and @ChrisG_NSF) who also post detailed stories on their website (which is not affiliated with NASA); and Tim Dodd, Everyday Astronaut (@ErdayAstronaut).

Details

Start:
August 21 @ 8:00 am
End:
August 23 @ 11:00 pm