Elon Musk unveils first full Starship prototype
SpaceX has unveiled the first full Starship prototype, as well as Elon Musk's interplanetary endgame.
BOCA CHICA, TEXAS — Elon Musk has mighty big plans for SpaceX's Starship spacecraft that he says will "make life as we know interplanetary.
Space.com reports that during an annual update in Boca Chica, Texas, Elon Musk displayed the 160-foot tall Starship MK1, the first full-size Starship prototype, which contains three methane-fueled Raptor engines.
The final Starship vehicle will be mounted atop the Super Heavy booster. The entire stack will be 387 feet tall and contain six Raptor engines, with space for up to 37.
According to Musk, this new version will be able to carry up to 100 people to destinations in space like the Moon or Mars, or around Earth.
Instead of carbon fiber, the Starship spacecraft will be made of 301 stainless steel, which gets stronger as the temperature drops.
The material's higher melting point also makes the vehicle more resilient during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.
According to Space.com, the Starship rocket will be the same one to launch Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezwa and others on a lunar tourism mission in the 2020s."
Musk plans to launch the MK1 on an uncrewed 20-kilometer test flight in the next month or so. MK2 is already under construction at the company's Cape Canaveral facility, while building plans MK3 and MK4 will be underway shortly after.
The short-term goal, according to Musk, is to reach orbit in less than six months. The long-term goal, as we all know, is Mars.
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