Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX's Newest Mars-Colonizing Spacecraft

Elon Musk presents Starship to the world					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner			@MikeWehner					September 30th 2019 at 5:06 PM					 Share Tweet

Elon Musk presents Starship to the world Mike Wehner @MikeWehner September 30th 2019 at 5:06 PM Share Tweet

In the coming one or two months, Starship Mk1 will have its first test flight to a sub-orbital altitude of about 65,000 feet (19,812 meters), and then Starship Mk2 will have a similar test, according to Musk.

On Saturday night (Sept. 28th), Elon Musk delivered an update about SpaceX's next generation rocket, called Starship.

"The critical breakthrough that's needed for us to become a spacefaring civilization is to make space travel like air travel", Musk said on Saturday.

Musk said: "Production version will be a lot more polished than this prototype, but still fun to see".

"Consciousness could be a terribly rare and precious factor, and we should take whatever steps we can to preserve the light of consciousness", Musk said.

SpaceX wants to use it to colonize Mars, and is designing the rocket to make multiple trips to space a day. It's a vehicle that Musk has delineated as a "strange" cross between a rocket booster, a crew capsule, and a skydiver.

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Musk's ambitious timeline to reach orbit may not play out as he hopes.

The goal now, Musk said, is to get the larger Starship, a vehicle that could carry people, to achieve the same feat. Not only is Starship 160 feet tall, but when stacked on the first stage rocket that's going to take it into orbit, the entire system skyrockets (ever so much pun intended) to 383 feet tall. The Starship/Super Heavy combo will dethrone the NASA Saturn V rocket that carried Apollo astronauts to the moon as the largest and most powerful rocket ever made.

"This is basically the holy grail of space", Musk said, standing between a towering, newly assembled Starship rocket and Falcon 1 - the company's first vehicle whose debut orbital mission was celebrated by SpaceX 11 years ago.

Elon Musk shared a short video inside of the Starship's massive cargo bay that has a capacity of over 220,000 pounds. "It will look totally nuts to see that thing land".

On top of being monumentally tall, Starship will also be monumentally heavy. The rocket plans on taking off during the 2020s with the Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and some other important people. This new Starship is meant to go much, much higher. Displaying a conceptual picture of Starship heading towards Saturn, Musk reminded his viewers that Mars is only a starting of his interplanetary residing dream. "I think we could potentially see people flying next year", he said.

But this time past year, the site of his speech was just a mound of dirt, and now it's sprouted a suborbital vehicle the company says will fly in just a few weeks.

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