(BusinessInsider) BROWNSVILLE, Texas — With a deafening roar that rattled windows, SpaceX — the rocket company founded by Elon Musk — fired up its new Mars rocket-ship prototype for the first time Wednesday.
The roughly 60-foot-tall stainless-steel rocket ship, called the "Starhopper" (previously the "Test Hopper"), is a basic prototype of a much larger vehicle called Starship. When completed, perhaps in the early 2020s, the two-stage launcher may stand perhaps 400 feet tall and be capable of landing its nearly 200-foot-tall spaceship on Mars.
The Starhopper prototype gave a full-throated yet brief one-second roar of its sole Raptor engine at 7:57 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, based on Business Insider's eyewitness account.
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