SpaceX’s first full-size stainless-steel Starship test vehicle stands remarkable 50 meters tall and wider than the cabin of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. If Elon Musk has his way, it can fly to an altitude of 65,000 feet before the end of the year.
Pictures were taken Saturday to show the Starship shining in the Texas sun earlier than Elon Musk held the stage at Boca Chica city, to present an update on SpaceX’s programs for a gigantic next-generation rocket also spacecraft designed to carry cargo and crews to Earth orbit, the moon, Mars and different destinations within the solar system.
The vehicle measures 30 feet wide and features movable fins and canards to offer aerodynamic stability in flight. Not visible in these pictures are three methane-fueled Raptor engines, which sit inside an aft skirt and might generate greater than 1.3 million pounds of thrust on full throttle.
Future Starship vehicles will possess six Raptor engines and can be mounted on the top of SpaceX’s Super Heavy booster use for missions into Earth orbit and beyond earth. The whole stack will stand around 387 feet (118 meters) tall.
As much as 37 Raptor engines will power the Super Heavy booster, producing more than 16 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, based on SpaceX.
The Starship and Super Heavy shall be reusable, SpaceX says, and capable of vertical takeoffs and landings.