This is a video of SpaceX’s successful hop of a prototype Starship rocket 450-meters from one pad to another in southern Texas. “It looks like a skinny, naked R2-D2.” It sure does. *gets up to go find another chair further away* That’s exactly what it looks like.
The prototype that flew today is still a far cry from Starship’s final form. Only one Raptor engine, mounted on the base of the vehicle, carried it into the air, whereas the final version of Starship is designed to host six main Raptor engines. Starship will also sport a nosecone at its top, while this prototype had a weighted block on its head to simulate mass.
Today’s flight, often referred to as “hop,” is meant to test out controlled takeoff and landing of the vehicle. Starship is designed to do propulsive landings on other worlds, using its onboard engines to gently lower itself down to the surface of the Moon or perhaps Mars one day. It’s a technique similar to how SpaceX lands its Falcon 9 rockets after flight. This short hop showed that vehicle similar in size and shape to Starship could launch and then land back down again, at least from a low altitude.
Damn, it’s final form is going to have SIX of the engines this one had? Now that’s *putting on cool guy shades* some serious firepower. Maybe not as much as I come with naturally, but *produces two index finger and thumb guns, starts shooting wildly* pew pew pew pew! “Careful now, you don’t want to accidentally shoot yourself again.” Haha, it took the doctor forever to find that bullet. “Because it was invisible!” *winks* You know, you and I — we really were cut from the same cloth. “Underwear.” A lacy bra!