- Maria Pointer (Boca Chica Maria)
- SpaceX has built a stainless steel rocket at the launch point near Boca Chica Beach on the southern tip of Texas.
- "Test Hopper" is SpaceX founder Elon Musk, the first spacecraft to have the first capability of a spacecraft, a launch system that hopes to use it to send people to Mars.
- According to a source close to Boca Chica Beach, road closures hand-delivered by sheriffs were made known to residents on Friday. This document warns locals that SpaceX will soon be "conducting a test" on Monday, March 18.
- SpaceX has previously reported that test hoppers will be "tied up during initial testing" and "hops" such as short hoists and landing can not be seen "offsite".
- A resident reported that he did not receive a notice. He also promised SpaceX a schedule for the launch, but has not yet provided it.
SpaceX is founded by Elon Musk, and astronauts led by Gwynne Shotwell are trying to launch the first prototype rocket to send people to Mars, according to a document reviewed by Business Insider.
SpaceX will soon be able to launch a "Test Hopper" prototype on Monday, following a notice in the mailbox of some residents near Boca Chica Beach on the southern tip of Texas.
In 2014, SpaceX started building Falcast 9 and Falcon Heavy launch bases in Boca Chica. But Musk said early in 2018 that Boca Chica will concentrate on a new Mars vehicle called the Starship.
On March 8, SpaceX crawled into the launch pad of Boca Chica at the bottom of the polished test hopper. After a while, engineers attached a truck-sized raptor rocket engine under the vehicle, the newest and most powerful new equipment developed by SpaceX.
Test Hopper can not launch into space, but SpaceX tests critical hardware and ideas needed to build a full-fledged Starship (formerly Big Falcon Rocket).
- © Kimi Talvitie
When fully realized, the Starship stands about 400 feet high, is completely reusable, and can use the "bleed" standby reentry system. Once Musk's "aspirant" dreams come true, the spacecraft can orbit into 2020, burn its first crew on the moon in 2023, and launch the first people to Mars in 2024. Ultimately, spacecraft can burn up to 100 people. Carries 150 tons of cargo at a time on a red planet.
Read more: Life in the Bubble: How to fight hunger, loneliness, and radiation in Mars
But first SpaceX needs to prove the basic concept of Starship work with Test Hopper.
According to company representatives and some notice to Boca Chica residents, SpaceX will soon launch Test Hopper's first integrated rocket engine on Monday and soon begin launching a "hop" test.
Why is the important "Test Hopper" coming soon?
- Copyright Jaime Almaguer
The test hopper can not fly around the earth orbit. It is a relatively rough and squatting machine, only about 60 feet tall. The rocket spacecraft is designed to fly in short "hops" of no more than about 16,400 feet in the air, according to the Federal Communications Commission application.
Musk said that in January the company used a higher orbit version "Around June"And it The rocket ship "Thicker skin (no wrinkles) and smoothly curved nose" was called. However, the time limit is uncertain because the test winder's nosecone was damaged in February when the Texas wind blew. Musk said it would take several weeks to repair Nosecone on the day of the incident.
Whether Nosecone or not, SpaceX is running the fastest test firing of Test Hopper on the beach homing launcher.
"SpaceX will perform a checkout of the newly installed ground system and perform a short static static fire test in the future." A SpaceX spokesperson spoke to Business Insider via email last week.
"Static fire" activates the rocket engine to determine if it is working, but it is pressed to lift it from the ground if the car is on (test hopper in this case). These tests allow engineers to find and fix problems before attempting a full-fledged release.
"This prototype is designed to perform a sub-orbital flight powered by the SpaceX Raptor engine, but it will be tethered during initial testing and hops will not be visible offsite," the company official added. "SpaceX will establish a safe zone boundary in conjunction with local implementation and will alert the community before testing."
According to local sheriffs, people familiar with the situation have given warnings to the residents about the test before the weekend.
The notice that Business Insider took was as follows:
"Notification of Boca Chica Village Residents"
"SpaceX plans to conduct tests on the company site near Boca Chica Beach in Cameron County, Texas, on Sunday, March 18, 2019. During these tests, SpaceX works with local law enforcement agencies to establish safety zone boundaries. Install the signs before testing to warn the community of the temporary closure of Interstate 4 and Boca Chica Beach.
"Boca Chica Village residents can use the house during the test."
The printed notice also includes the following text, which is provided with the reproduced label Google Maps below:
"[T]A temporary checkpoint will be installed on Expressway 4. People who provide proof of residency between two checkpoints can pass through smooth checkpoints. Access beyond strict check-points is not allowed during temporary closure periods. "
- Google Maps; Business insider
& # 39; We must be polite & # 39;
The hard checkpoint is located about 1.5 miles west of SpaceX's launch pad, as does the house east of Boca Chica Village.
In comparison, Florida's Kennedy Space Center allows visitors to launch at more than three miles away from the most famous launchers.
Read more: I saw the Falcon Heavy rocket thunder of SpaceX for the first time into outer space.
One resident living in Boca Chica village told Business Insider that the sheriff did not inform the house. The resident said the SpaceX representative had previously promised to provide a launch date but has not done so yet. "We deserve it in SpaceX," the locals said.
Even a judge in Cameron County, Eddie Treviño, seemed unaware of the nature and timing of the SpaceX test plan when road closures were approved on Thursday.
Treviño says, "It's exciting and we know that we will continue to approach the first test," said the Brownsville Herald. "We are excited to do our best."
SpaceX did not immediately respond to Business Insider's questions about the size and potential hazards of safety boundaries due to the static hazards of Hopper and Hopper. The company submitted the required environmental impact statement in May 2014, which discussed launch risks and safety precautions, but did not mention testing programs similar to Test Hopper or large-scale Mars vehicle launches.
But Musk has at least been teasing that possibility for years.
"The first person to start on another planet will leave this area," he said in a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2014.