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Science
11 Jan 2019

#Starship: Elon Musk unveils SpaceX's 'super-heavy' spaceship

Musk shares first look of SpaceX 'Starship'

SpaceX has developed a humongous 'super-heavy' rocket called 'Starship'.

The shiny vehicle stands tall at the company's Texas launch site and was revealed by Elon Musk on January 10.

And, this is just the first avatar of Starship; SpaceX plans to test this vehicle and advance its capabilities (and size) for ultimate missions to the Moon and Mars.

Here's more.

In context

Musk shares first look of SpaceX 'Starship'
Starship is an insanely massive three-finned craft

Design

Starship is an insanely massive three-finned craft

Just yesterday, Elon Musk shared an image showcasing a fully-assembled three-finned version of Starship.

The exact size of the vehicle has not been confirmed, but the image shared by Musk and video from Twitter user Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo depict the true scale of this monster.

Musk's image even shows how tiny we humans look in front of this spaceship.

Here is Starship's first official photo

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Launch plans

What are the plans with Starship?

SpaceX plans to colonize Mars, and for that (and other missions), the company has been developing Starship.

However, this is not the rocket that will head to the Red Planet.

This is just the first version, which will be used in short 'hopper' flights - a suborbital flight test designed to check the vehicle's vertical lift-off and landing capabilities.

Then, the bigger avatar of Starship will be prepped

Final goal

Then, the bigger avatar of Starship will be prepped

SpaceX will advance the vehicle and develop its final version for orbital flights and missions to the Moon and Mars.

Musk said it will be much bigger than this one and will have "thicker skins (won't wrinkle) & a smoothly curving nose section."

Notably, the final vehicle will use 31 methane-powered Raptor engines to produce a thrust of 11 million pounds at lift-off.

Mission timelines

So, when this rocket will fly on first real mission?

There's no fixed date (all depends on development), but SpaceX has already confirmed a couple of missions.

First, it is the Mars trip. In 2022, two unmanned versions of Starship will take cargo to the Red Planet, followed by manned missions in 2024.

And then, it is a tourist trip around the moon, which is slated to happen sometime around 2023.

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Most asked questions

How will SpaceX colonize Mars?

Who is going on Moon trip?

Will SpaceX build habitat on Moon too?

Will SpaceX retire Falcon 9?

More questions

How will SpaceX colonize Mars?

Asked on 11-01-2019 by Hansika Mistry

Answered by NewsBytes

The company will send two manned and two unmanned starships with supplies. The people on the manned craft will use the supplies to build habitats on the planet. They use their rockets to stay during the construction period.

Who is going on Moon trip?

Asked on 11-01-2019 by Vibhore Patil

Answered by NewsBytes

SpaceX is sending Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on a round trip to the Moon.

Will SpaceX build habitat on Moon too?

Asked on 11-01-2019 by Tejas Kadam

Answered by NewsBytes

As of now, there's no word on building a habitat on Moon.

Will SpaceX retire Falcon 9?

Asked on 11-01-2019 by Anika Chattopadhyay

Answered by NewsBytes

Yes. Once Starship is ready to use, SpaceX will retire all of its other products.

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