- SpaceX’s prototype rocket Starhopper aborted its test flight Monday with less than a second left on the countdown.
- CEO Elon Musk tweeted that there had been a wiring problem with the engine’s igniters and that the flight would take place Tuesday instead.
- Responding to a tweet from a tech blogger, Musk said the mistake was “embarrassing.”
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Elon Musk has tweeted that he was embarrassed by the aborted flight attempt by Starhopper, the experimental rocket ship his company SpaceX is using as a prototype for its Mars-bound vehicle Starship.
Starhopper was supposed to embark on a flight 150 meters, or 492 feet, into the air before landing back on its launchpad in South Texas on Monday.
The flight was aborted less than one second left before takeoff, however. Musk later tweeted that the igniters that spark the rocket’s engine had a wiring issue and that the rocket would try taking off again Tuesday.
Following this, the tech blogger Pranay Pathole said it was odd that “relatively simple circuits” like the igniters could be miswired. “Very strange that there are no sensors that could check on whether the igniters were working,” Pathole added. “Yes, rather embarrassing tbh,” Musk replied, using the abbreviation for “to be honest.”
Yes, rather embarrassing tbh
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 27, 2019
Starhopper, which stands about 60 feet tall, has been affectionately dubbed a “water tower” by Musk because of its stubby appearance. It completed its first untethered flight test in July, when it flew for roughly 10 seconds. This next test flight will be its last, according to Musk, with Starhopper expected to be stripped and its parts reused.
Starhopper is a stepping stone for SpaceX to test out its technology so it can one day build its Starship rocket, which Musk has said will be able to transport 100 people and 150 tons of cargo to Mars.
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