In Brief

You Can Watch SpaceX's Starship Hopper Tests Live Via a South Texas Surf School

SpaceX's first tests of its prototype Starship may start soon  —  and you can watch them live online, courtesy of a South Texas surf school.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that tests of the Starship Hopper, which uses a single one of the company's Raptor engines, could begin as early as this week, and members of Boca Chica Village, near the SpaceX testing site east of Brownsville, Texas, also got notifications warning of potential tests this week. Eddie Treviño, a judge in Cameron County, told the Brownsville Herald yesterday (March 21) that SpaceX performed several fueling tests.

A livestreamed video of the test site, with the Starship Hopper in view, is currently available on, the website for a surf school on South Padre Island across from the test facility. The cameras are about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from SpaceX's facility. 

Related: SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy Mars Rocket in Pictures

According to Texas Public Radio, South Padre Surf Company began its livestream in late January. This test will likely not show much; the spacecraft remains tethered to the ground and will only barely lift off, Musk has said on Twitter.

After these static-fire tests it will be time for suborbital tests, Gene Gore, owner and operator of South Padre Surf Company told Texas Public Radio. "That's when things are gonna get really interesting," he said.

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Sarah Lewin
Associate Editor

Sarah Lewin started writing for in June of 2015 as a Staff Writer and became Associate Editor in 2019 . Her work has been featured by Scientific American, IEEE Spectrum, Quanta Magazine, Wired, The Scientist, Science Friday and WGBH's Inside NOVA. Sarah has an MA from NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and an AB in mathematics from Brown University. When not writing, reading or thinking about space, Sarah enjoys musical theatre and mathematical papercraft. She is currently Assistant News Editor at Scientific American. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahExplains.