As SpaceX and Elon Musk prepare for next week's tests of its prototype Starship suborbital vehicle -- which is currently sitting on a launch pad at SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas, facility -- new aerial images of the majestic hopper have just been published ahead of its suborbital hop tests.
As Space reports, Musk recently suggested that test flights of his company's "hopper," which will utilize just one Raptor engine to power it, will "hopefully" be taking place at some point this coming week after its engine has been fully integrated. This engine, along with the rocket itself, rolled into SpaceX's Texas facility last week.
In preparation for the Starship hopper's upcoming test flights, those who live in the housing subdivision of Boca Chica Village were first alerted that SpaceX could begin their tests "as soon as the week of March 18, 2019," and a flyer noted that a "safety zone" perimeter would be employed when the tests occurred.
"During those tests, SpaceX will establish a safety zone perimeter in coordination with local law enforcement. Signage will be in place prior to testing to alert the community of any temporary closures of Highway 4 and Boca Chica Beach."
"Hopefully. Always many issues integrating engine & stage. First hops will lift off, but only barely," he wrote on Twitter.
However, as the stunning new aerial shots were captured of the Starship hopper as it prepared for its very first hops, bad weather created delays for SpaceX, which postponed its inaugural liftoff.