Over the weekend, Elon Musk shared some photos of their first Starship prototype at SpaceX’s testing facility. This is after a successful static fire test a couple of weeks ago. These photos give us a first glimpse of the most powerful rocket known to man as well as the future of interplanetary civilizations.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-theme=”dark”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Installing Starship booster engines for first orbital flight <a href=”https://t.co/yhqrNFBclh”>pic.twitter.com/yhqrNFBclh</a></p>— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) <a href=”https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1422006989576622089?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>August 2, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
One of the photos shows the 230 ft Superheavy booster. Along with Starship, the launch vehicle will be 400 ft tall. A forklift also carries one of the 29 raptor engines which, according to Inverse, will give a half a million pounds of thrust. The photo also shows Elon Musk standing in the front holding his son, X Æ A-Xii.
This next photo shows all the 29 raptor engines in place for launch.
Raptors on Super Heavy pic.twitter.com/jJy1vftHNB
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 2, 2021
Another photo shows the construction of the launch table and the tower that will hold Starship before launch. The launch table itself weighs 370 tons. The tower was built at an earlier time. What is left now, according to Musk, is if the table is even and if it will fit the boosters. This will be revealed on Tuesday.
Starbase is moving at Warp 9 pic.twitter.com/p8F5Qqfl8T
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 31, 2021
Now, here is some background into this revolutionary vehicle. A filing to the FCC detailed Starship’s orbital mission back in May. Starship will be stacked on its Superheavy booster, the booster will then separate from Starship after launch, and land 20 miles off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. After reaching orbit, Starship will splash down north of Kauai. The reusable rocket was first revealed in 2017. It will be able to hold 100 people at once and can be used to carry satellites. But the main goal for Starship is to send a crewed mission to Mars. This will enable them to eventually create the first city on Mars by 2050.
As far as the launch date goes, The Independent claims that the expected launch date for Starship is said to be this month. At the rate SpaceX is going, it seems like there will be a launch any day now, so space enthusiasts will have to keep their eyes and ears open.