'Mars is looking real': SpaceX's Starship prototype SN5 aces key 'hop' towards interplanetary travel
The stainless-steel craft lifted itself into the air, and travelled sideways in a brief, uncrewed flight before sticking its landing as planned.
SpaceX intends for the Starship to make an uncrewed test flight to an altitude of roughly 500 ft, or 150 meters, soon.
The US Space Command chief visited SpaceX’s Starlink factory in Washington but didn't elaborate on the Pentagon’s plans.
The latest iteration of the Starship Mars spacecraft was revealed to a crowd of space enthusiasts and reporters at SpaceX's Boca Chica facility.
Starship is expected to take off for the first time in about one or two months.
The Mars rocket completed a seemingly-successful low-altitude test of its next-generation Raptor engine.
Back in 2015, Elon Musk had suggested a fast way of making Mars habitable was to drop nukes on its poles
If followed through, Musk's dream of a permanent Mars settlement could be the most expensive construction project ever undertaken.
The Starhopper moved one hop closer to its futuristic, intergalactic potential by passing this test.
For now, the hopper is still in its first phase of testing, with orbital tests still months away.
Musk has only shared Starship's design & features in bits & pieces, still to unveil the rocket in full detail.
The heat shield doubles as added strength...something that hasn't been done before: Musk.
The first test flights of the Starship prototype — suborbital "hops" — could come as early as March or April.
The shape & build of the future Mars hopper bears resemblance to a rocket from a 1950s Tintin comic.