update: The silhouette now has a page in Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hughmann_for_scale.svg

The images below are from a NASA Spaceflight forum post and can be seen in @bolsachicagal's twitter and also in this NASASpaceFlight tweet.

Question: What does this silhouette of a bipedal individual designate? Is it related to these SpaceX-related markings or this SpaceX StarGrasshopper-related character?

enter image description here

above: cropped and zoomed from below; below: from a NASA Spaceflight forum post and can be seen in @bolsachical's twitter Click for full size

SpaceX Hopper @bolsachicagal SpaceX Hopper @bolsachicagal

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Only a guess, in this picture the silhouette seems to be the same size as the guys below. So this drawing may be a way to feel the scale of the prototype. $\endgroup$
    – user19132
    Jul 28, 2019 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ @qqjkztd I like it! This guy was also approximately "life-size", so two 1x scale human proxies on two different hoppers... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 28, 2019 at 9:40
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Clearly, it’s a kill marking. 😉 $\endgroup$ Jul 28, 2019 at 13:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just had to trace it..commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hughmann_for_scale.svg $\endgroup$
    – Ohsin
    Aug 28, 2019 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Ohsin that's excellent! I've added a link above and here as well. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 28, 2019 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


SpaceX has a history of using dummies/models/mannequins on the test vehicles.

Grasshopper, the Falcon 9 landing test vehicle had a cowboy mannequin strapped on for test flights. But the bulked up landing legs, had room to mount a dummie. Starhopper less so, and has a more powerful engine (when running with 1 and 3 are coming).

The Tesla Roadster launched on the first Falcon Heavy flight had a mannequin in a spacesuit (Starman) in the drivers seat.

(Cheese wheel on the first Dragon as a further joke, etc).

This is just a continuation of the man in the loop testing they have been doing.

  • $\begingroup$ How is a picture on the hull ''man in the loop testing'? $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2019 at 11:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Right, but the point I was trying to make is they have a history of this sort of thing. Just one in more in a chain of silly things they have done for fun. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Jul 29, 2019 at 12:03
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    $\begingroup$ also I don't understand the last sentence, if it's a space joke can you help me with context? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 29, 2019 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ Less space jokes as much as geeks jokes. HHGG in glove box, towel, Don't panic are all jokes, not space per se. Cheese wheel is a Python joke. Man in the loop is a joke I made about there is a man (iquin) involved in testing. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Jul 29, 2019 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea of "human for scale" that was mentioned in the comments. Seems reasonable. $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 15:31

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