The first few untethered tests will utilise the vehicle in its current configuration.
After weeks of preparation, the prototype test vehicle for SpaceX's monster spaceship, known as Starhopper, fired up its methane-powered Raptor rocket engine for the first time today and lifted ever so slightly off its Texas launch pad.
According to space.com, Starhopper is a suborbital prototype created to test the concepts and technologies SpaceX will need to build its new 100-person spacecraft, called Starship, and its massive booster, the Super Heavy. They don't travel as far either - in this case, the "tethered hop" Musk mentioned is basically a static test. "SpaceX chose to skip building a new nosecone for Hopper. All systems green", Musk tweeted April 3 after the initial test.
The SpaceX Starhopper is a suborbital prototype created to test the concepts and technologies necessary to construct its new 100-person spacecraft, called Starship, and its massive booster, the Super Heavy. The test, which was under 60 seconds, made the Starship prototype look like a shiny bullet surrounded by a massive circle of fire. However, Musk has revealed that higher altitude testing will require the installation of two additional raptor engines.
In February 2019, Raptor's full-scale version was sacked up for the first time. SpaceX is planning to convert its Boca Chica facility into a commercial launch site. The first stage is now referred to as Super Heavy.
SpaceX has already confirmed its first paying passenger, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who plans to join a group flying to the moon and back - perhaps as early as 2023. SpaceX has not disclosed the exact number of hop tests it will do. Prior to Starship's maiden voyage to space, the company plans to first carry out several hover flights with the Starhopper.