On Saturday night, the SpaceX founder Elon Musk brought media representatives together at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas to show off the new spacecraft called ‘Starship Mark 1.’ The company hopes that this new gleaming, bullet-shaped rocket will one day carry crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars or any other point of the solar system.
This SpaceX’s next-generation rocket is one of two identical rockets being assembled by SpaceX. The other rocket, Mark 2, is located at the SpaceX facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where the company does most of its launches. Musk said that the first flight of the Mark 1 Starship would occur in one to two months. It will launch from Texas on a suborbital trajectory, first reaching altitudes of 12 miles but eventually extending test flights of future versions into orbit.
In the next step, an attempt will be made to reach orbit in less than six months. However, the first tests will be without people on board.
The crowd attended the presentation of Musk on a stage in front of the great ship, which had a stainless steel exterior. In its final form, the MK 1 will be powered by 37 Raptor engines, which provide twice as much thrust as the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket engines. The orbital version of the MK 1 will be powered by six Raptor engines, but the Mark 1 prototype will complete its first suborbital flights with only three engines.
The Starship is over 160 feet tall and weighs about 1,400 tons when loaded with fuel. It will be able to transport up to 100 people in a long flight and carry about 100 tons of payload.
In the Starship Super Heavy version, it will be more powerful and heavier than the NASA Saturn V rocket, which delivered the Apollo astronauts to the moon. According to Musk, Super Heavy will provide twice as much thrust than Saturn V. Like other SpaceX rockets, the Starship Mk1 will be able to land on Earth after flying in space, reported Wired.
If everything goes according to the plan, MK 1 will launch satellites in 2021, and Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is going to finance a trip on it around the moon in 2023.