(RTTNews) - SpaceX's next-generation rocket made its second and final test flight on Tuesday from the company's Boca Chica test facility in Texas.
The second test flight of Starhopper - the prototype of a reusable space vehicle for SpaceX's ambitious Starship project was its highest and longest flight yet. The launch was initially scheduled for Monday, but was canceled just before lift-off and rescheduled for the next day.
The vehicle is propelled by SpaceX's Raptor engine, which is powered by liquid oxygen and cryogenic liquid methane.
On Tuesday, the one-minute flight, referred to as a "hop" test, proved the vehicle's ability to take off and land in a controlled manner. The vehicle reportedly appeared to reach its approved altitude limit of 150 meters, moved sideways and slowly descended to touchdown on a nearby landing pad.
In the initial test in July, Starhopper rose just 20 meters and then landed safely without having to be tethered to the ground. However, the launch also resulted in a brush fire that eventually spread across almost 100 acres.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by billionaire Elon Musk, who is also the chief executive of luxury electric car maker Tesla Inc.
The hardware being tested by SpaceX on Starhopper is intended to be used for the fully reusable two-stage vehicle featuring a powerful first stage rocket booster called the Super Heavy Rocket, and the second stage Starship.
The Starship will be powered by six Raptor engines and will be used to send crew and cargo to deep space destinations like the Moon and Mars.
Two starship orbital prototypes are currently being built by competing teams in South Texas and Florida. They are planned to be used for high-altitude, high-velocity testing.
In June, had SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket, the world's most powerful lift vehicle, carrying two dozen satellites for the U.S. Air Force's Space Test Program-2, or STP-2.
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