After teasing a sneak peek on Twitter earlier this month, Elon Musk has finally unveiled the SpaceX Starship prototype in Boca Chica Village, Texas. Standing at 164 feet tall, the ship weighs a whopping 200 tonnes, and is mainly constructed from stainless steel, a material which is both cheaper and has great thermal properties. “Stainless steel is by far the best design decision we have made,” Musk has been quoted to say. “… Steel is easy to weld, and weather resistant… Honestly, I’m in love with steel.” With its chromed finish, the Starship looks almost from an ’80s sci-fi movie.
As for launch dates, SpaceX says that the Starship will carry out an unmanned test flight within one to two months, flying 12 miles up into the sky and then returning to the ground completely intact. Musk further claims that the Starship — coupled with a Super Heavy booster stage that pushes the vehicle’s height to 387 feet — can carry up to 220,000 pounds and be ready for takeoff within six months, and that it will eventually be able to carry colonists to Mars.
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11 years ago today, we launched our first successful mission. To date, we’ve completed 78 launches and have developed the world’s only operational reusable orbital class rockets and spacecraft—capable of launching to space, returning to Earth, and flying again pic.twitter.com/5L0q9PJ90P
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 29, 2019