(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
#Starship: Elon Musk unveils SpaceX's 'super-heavy' spaceship
11 Jan 2019
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.
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.
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
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.
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.