Elon Musk shares new images of prototype 'Starship'
The prototype will be used in suborbital vertical take-off and landing tests, also known as suborbital "hops"
BOCA CHICA VILLAGE, TEXAS — Elon Musk has revealed images on his Twitter account of a prototype space vehicle, the Starship.
Last December he revealed that the Starship would be made of stainless steel instead of carbon fiber. The spacecraft is designed for space travel, space station missions, and lunar expeditions.
Last Thursday SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared new images of the Starship.
According to the images shared on Musk's Twitter account last Thursday, the Starship prototype, called Starship Hopper, has a shiny steel finish with a nine-meter tank diameter. Musk also mentioned that the prototype will be used in suborbital vertical take-off and landing tests, also known as suborbital "hops".
The first orbital prototype is scheduled to be finished by June this year. The orbital version of the Starship will be launched with a giant rocket called the Super Heavy Rocket and will have the capacity to carry up to 100 passengers. Musk said this version will have "thicker skins that will not wrinkle and a smoothly curving nose section."
The final version of the Starship and Super heavy Rocket will also carry out long-distance travel around Earth. According to SpaceX, it will take them only 25 minutes to travel from Los Angeles to New York and less than 40 minutes to complete a flight from London to Hong Kong. Flights on those routes last 5 and a half hours and almost twelve hours respectively.
SpaceX hopes to launch a manned mission to Mars as soon as 2024. Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, is the company's first private customer. According to The Verge, Maezawa made a down payment to buy all the seats for the ship's first ride. He plans to invite artists from different fields in hopes to inspire them to create original art once they are back from the epic journey.
Space.com, Twitter, SpaceX, The Verge
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