Elon Musk SpaceX Is Building Mars Test Hopper And Is Expected To Launch On April

The Boring Company unveils first test tunnel of their transporation system in Hawthorne, California
Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk speaks at the unveiling event by "The Boring Company" for the test tunnel of a proposed underground transportation network across Los Angeles County, in Hawthorne, California, U.S. December 18, 2018. (Photo: Robyn Beck/Pool via REUTERS)

SpaceX is building a test hopper vehicle a prototype of the Mars spaceship called the Starship.

Elon Musk took the space world by surprise this weekend when he unwrapped a very special Christmas present through his tweet revealing that a Starship replica is now under construction in Boca Chica, Texas launch site. He ignited the excitement even more by the anticipation of the project completion and launch by early spring of 2019, March or April.

The statement is contrary to the declaration made by Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and COO and Elon Musk that the test hopper will be done by the end of 2019. Followers are looking at the flow of finances amounting to half a billion dollar as one main factor for the hastening of the project completion.

Musk and Shotwell describe the creation of hops such as the test hopper as the big leap on the Big Falcon Rocket creation. Big Falcon Rocket or BFR is a system aiming to bring 150 cargo tons and 100 humans to Mars.

The test hopper, a Starship replica has a 9m / 30ft full body diameter while the real Starship is at 180 feet tall and 30 feet wide with a rocket booster standing 219 feet. The launching of the test hopper will signal the full technical presentation of the Starship.

The Engadget describes the test hopper April launch as one like in the early days of Falcon 9. It is described as the SpaceX suborbital test program at a short distance. 

The test hopper parts continue to arrive at the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, giving the residents a chance to have a view and photo of how the test hopper parts look like and partly see how they are being assembled in the launch site.

SpaceX, on the other hand, broke a world record in 2018 as it launched the most commercial rockets in a year, with Zuma, GovSat-1/SES-16, Falcon Heavy, and Starman/Tesla, Paz and Tintin A/B, CRS-16 and the awaited GPS IIIA-01 to name a few. SpaceX launched 20 commercial rockets for 2018 with the last one launched in December.

However, SpaceX failed to reach the goal of launching more rockets than any country as China successfully launched 35 Long March orbital rockets this year, The Business Insider hinted.

Followers remain hopeful that the SpaceX test hopper launch on April will be a breakthrough and may pave the way for the ignition of the momentum of the test program.

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