Before proposing the powerful rocket Starship who will possibly take astronauts to Mars is the prototype Starhopper which serves as a test bed for the next-generation engine Raptor, instead of the Merlin engines on Falcon 9 launchers.
Attempts to get the water tower craft off the ground in recent weeks had failed but the July 25th attempt was finally good. Starhopper left the ground to rise to twenty meters and move laterally before landing.
Drone cam pic.twitter.com/gVdMrMgUZq
– e ^ ?? (@Elonmusk) July 26, 2019
The prototype thus realizes first "free" flight, having already risen slightly from the ground during previous tests. The two previous attempts could not be completed, with the appearance of suspicious flames that did not damage the device, allowing the continuation of the program.
The next steps will be to reach ever higher altitudes and check the ability to control the trajectory and return to the mainland. The Starship final rocket will carry several dozens of Raptor engines and will have to carry up to 100 people, with the supposed ability to reach the planet Mars.