Image Credit: SpaceX / Elon Musk
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has provided a sneak peak of the firm’s prototype interplanetary Starship spacecraft.
Development of the next-generation space vehicle, which it is hoped will one day carry astronauts to Mars, appears to be further along than expected as evidenced by a photograph posted up on Musk’s Twitter feed on Christmas Eve showing the spacecraft well under construction.
Starship has undergone several name changes since it was first announced, having previously transitioned from Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) to Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).
The photograph (see below), which shows the nose cone sitting next to some parked trucks, offers a glimpse of not only its size, but also its stainless steel construction.
According to Musk, steel will perform better than lighter carbon fiber material at high temperatures.
He also revealed that testing of the new ship could begin within mere months, although the initial flights will likely see the spacecraft simply fly straight up and back down.
Still, with the way things are going, Starship may be flying to Mars sooner than you might think.
Stainless Steel Starship pic.twitter.com/rRoiEKKrYc
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 24, 2018