SpaceX Starhopper test: Elon Musk's Starship prototype aborts launch

Hop, hop... nope.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
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Shortly after T-0, SpaceX aborted the Starhopper test.


SpaceX had two launches planned for Wednesday, but unfortunately neither got off the ground. The first, a resupply mission to the ISS aboard a Falcon 9, was delayed due to inclement weather. The second, a test of the Starship prototype, was aborted shortly after its scheduled launch. According to SpaceX's livestream, the "team is assessing next test attempt opportunity."

"It appears as though we have had an abort on today's test. As you can see, the vehicle did not lift off today," explained Kate Tice, a certification engineer narrating the stream. "This is a development program. Today was a test flight designed to test the boundaries of the vehicle."

As the live webcast hit T-0, an ignition sequence appeared to begin, blowing fire and smoke from the Starhopper's single Raptor engine. Within three seconds, the test was aborted and began venting.

The hopper was set to lift 20 meters (65 feet) off the ground from Boca Chica, Texas, Wednesday, but with the abort remained steady on the ground. As the sun set, SpaceX announced it was switching the livestream off. The minor setback means we'll have to wait a little longer for the first hop of the prototype and CNET will have you covered, should you want to tune in.

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