The first full-scale Starship prototype for SpaceX has finally completed its cryogenic pressure test! What exactly does that mean and what's up next? We're talking about that today.
The big headline for the past couple of weeks has been the SpaceX Starhopper, because it finally completed it's big hop! If you're just coming up to speed, the Starhopper is the first step in the development of SpaceX's much larger Starship and Super Heavy rockets. You may have previously heard this referred to as the BFR or the Big Falcon Rocket. Prior to the most recent flight, the FAA had granted SpaceX the ability to complete unlimited flights tests to an altitude up to 25m and they have utilized that flight permit to perform 3 flight tests so far. Two of them were pretty small, just a couple of centimeters off the ground and one was a little bit larger at 59 ft or 18m. For the past couple of weeks, we've been waiting for SpaceX to complete the much larger 200m test, although the waiting dragged on while SpaceX and the FAA tried to come to an agreement on what the safety parameters would be so that the FAA could issue SpaceX a safety approval.
SpaceX is almost ready to send it's Starhopper prototype rocket to it's highest altitude yet at 200m. This will prepare SpaceX for future Starship flights which is their much larger prototype development vehicle that is going to take people to the Moon and Mars.