SpaceX's Starhopper rocket ship prototype sits on a launch pad in south Texas in July 2019.

  • SpaceX completed a successful test flight of its Starhopper prototype vehicle on Thursday night.
  • Elon Musk tweeted two videos of the 20-second flight from a camera mounted just above the vehicle's engine, and another from a drone.
  • Musk tweeted Starhopper would attempt another "hop" in about a week or two - when he said it would travel 200 meters.
  • Visit Business Insider South Africa's homepage for more stories.

SpaceX on Thursday managed to successfully test fly the prototype for its Starship rocket, which CEO Elon Musk says will one day take passengers to Mars.

The vehicle, called Starhopper, is nearly 20 metres tall and almost 10 metres wide. It attempted a flight on Wednesday night, but had to abruptly end the test after ignition.

Thursday's test was more successful, with Starhopper taking off and hovering for roughly 20 seconds, traveling about 20 meters.

The flight represents an important milestone, and Musk celebrated by sharing videos of the launch on Twitter.

While videos taken by locals showed the flight at a distance, Musk's first video was from a camera mounted on the vehicle itself, just above the engines. It shows the spaceship taking off, moving, and landing.

Later, Musk posted another video of the launch - this time from a drone camera. It provides a clearer view of the Starhopper leaving the ground, engulfed in smoke.

Replying to someone on Twitter, Musk said Starhopper would attempt a 200 meter hop in "a week or two."

Starhopper is an early test prototype for Starship, a much larger vehicle designed to land on the moon and Mars. Starship's current design puts it at 120-metre-tall, and Musk has said it will be able to ferry 100 people plus 100 tonnes of cargo to Mars.

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