SpaceX Starhopper

SpaceX Starship prototypes are subjected to several tests on the launch stand before flight. These include the ambient-temperature pressure test, cryogenic proof test and static fire of the engines.

The low‑altitude, low‑velocity Starship hopper or “Starhopper” was used for initial integrated testing of the Raptor engine from March to August 2019. Originally thought by onlookers at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site to be the initial construction of a large water tower, the stainless steel vehicle was built by welders and construction workers in more of a shipyard form of construction than traditional aerospace manufacturing.