SpaceX Starhopper Will Fly Suborbital With Three Raptor Engines

Elon says the Spacex Starhopper which has its first untethered flight will fly suborbital when it has three Raptor engines installed. Single engine will have his truck s was p to one mile high. Elon should present the Starhopper and Starship and Super Heavy plans in about two weeks.

26 thoughts on “SpaceX Starhopper Will Fly Suborbital With Three Raptor Engines”

  1. Um, I’m dubious about that. They launched the Pluto mission in 2006, to Ceres in 2007.

    They’re coasting, really.

    I do agree they’ve lost the plot on humans getting to orbit and building launch vehicles. But at least Musk is showing them how it could be done.

  2. The engines are a new design. They use a closed loop for the pumps where fuel and oxidizers that drive the pumps are shunted into the exhaust instead of being vented.

    To build the real rockets he is going to have to build a factory and install expensive equipment. Prototyping is cheaper.

  3. Time is money too (I assume Elon pays his engineers) and the amount of time it takes to shake down a real design can’t be that much greater than doing it with a prototype toy sized rocket.

    I question how new their engines are. They aren’t using a fuel or oxidizer different from their previous engines (not a particularly difficult fuel/oxidizer combination while we are at it) so it’s likely this was just a rescaling effort rather than a full redesign.

  4. Ha ha ha… the spell checking on this site sucks.. so what? Note, I thought Tesla made the cargo to launch, so was that just a one time deal??? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tesla, Space X… ta-may-toes, ta-mah-toes, it’s same guy pulling the levers behind the curtain. Actually, NASA hasn’t flown to the moon before, everything was actually built by contractors dead long ago. TeslaX (a name I coined just for you) builds everything and the experienced people that built the last are alive and well. Therefore if Elon pays them well enough so they can afford to eat then they should be able to remember how to do it again without too much trouble. Note, the whole shebang will blow up a time or two but they’d get to the real problems a lot faster this way.

  5. Yeah, OK, I’ll grant that a jump is indeed (air friction aside) following the orbital path around the common centre of mass.


  6. I find it educational to point out that the Physics is the same. A short human hop on the surface is the end of a long elliptical orbit centered on the center of mass of the Earth. It intersects the fluffed up surface, but is an orbit!
    Of course, we commonly call orbits only those that do not impact the surface of the orbited body, but that separates out the two phenoms into different concepts, which then creates confusion. We do not need more confusion in orbital mechanics!
    edit: Hoppy was under continuous power, thus never in orbit! No freefall.

  7. “Single engine will have his truck s was p to one mile high.”
    Looks like an editor is needed to turn that in to something that makes sense.

  8. They got the idea somehow that the American people don’t really support manned space, so they’re terrified that even one more dead astronaut will result in the whole program being shut down.

  9. They’re still in the business of space exploration, and doing it pretty well. The missions to Pluto and Ceres are recent examples. They’ve just lost their touch with *human* space exploration, and especially building launch vehicles.

  10. They’ve been working on the SLS for how long now? Close to a decade, and apparently now they’re pushing the first attempted launch to 2021.

    NASA’s not really in the business of space exploration much any more. It’s a shame – they used to do great things but I think their management has become afraid to fail.

  11. NASA has had more than five decades to build a rapidly reusable Rocket. The space shuttle was supposed to fly everyday with airline like operations. It did not! Why? One reason was fragile ceramic tiles that took six months to refurbish by hand. Hopefully SpaceX will not repeat history.

  12. The raptor engine is entirely new and never tried before… its more powerful than even the Russian RD-180 and uses methane gas instead of kerosene or hydrogen like conventional rocket engines.

  13. 65 feet is ballistic, so is an basket ball shot.
    ICBM is ballistic and suborbital as they enter space. Artillery is ballistic as it don’t enter space.
    Unlike artilery starhopper will brake before landing ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Came here to say that :). It just depends on what exactly they’re testing with the three engines – I can imagine that a big thing is going to just be the effect of all of that vibration.

  15. The word you’re looking for is spelled “ridiculous”. Also you’re presumably talking about SpaceX, not Tesla. The raptor engines are new tech ofc. Why don’t you ask NASA why they don’t “give it a go” and fly to the Moon tomorrow? After all they’ve done it before

  16. Generally we call any rocket that doesn’t leave the atmosphere a “short range missile”. Once part of the flight is above 100 km, you can call it suborbital

  17. You gotta be trolling. Spacex is the name of the company, not Tesla. No, this is new tech in every nuts and bolts. As Mark Stewart has already mention, you just don’t strap on expensive uncalibrated prototype hardware and hope for the best.

  18. Technically, 65 feet was “sub-orbital”. REALLY sub, as a matter of fact. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    But I know what he means: With 3 engines they should clear the Kรกrmรกn line, and technically enter space.

  19. The engine is new and some of the Starship technology is new. Cheaper to test and refine the engine, the rocket and the computer code the way they are doing it. I would never fault Mush for not been aggressive enough.

  20. I don’t really get it. Tesla knows how land a rocket and their engines are not new tech and have been ground tested. Why don’t they build their blinking “Starship” (a ridiculas name by the way) give it a go?

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