Known as Starhopper, the prototype rocket is an early version of the company's Starshiptarship, with an enormous booster called "Super Heavy", is being built to achieve founder Elon Musk's dream of transporting up to 100 people to destinations including the moon and Mars. Discussing the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon, Musk stated that the mission was: "probably the most inspiring thing in history". It certainly inspired me. The company recently released a report on what caused that failure.
Musk is thinking bigger, and perhaps faster: "Well, this is gonna sound pretty insane ... with an un-crewed vehicle, I believe we could land on the moon in two years", he told Kluger. "I would say four years at the outside". "Like, internally, we would aim for two years, and then reality might be four".
The fireball that enveloped SpaceX's Starhopper immediately following an engine static fire test at the Boca Chica launch site Tuesday night, though spectacular, did not harm the stainless-steel-clad prototype, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. We are not sure why the craft caught on fire so suddenly, or if it was severe in terms of the damage.
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In an interview to be broadcast on "CBS Sunday Morning" July 21, Musk talks with contributor Jeffrey Kluger, the co-author of "Apollo 13", about the future of space exploration.
This craft looks like an actual, big toy, but it is a rocket, and it was supposed to hover at 20 meters - this was supposed to be one step above the short tethered flights that it has already accomplished.