SpaceX news: Elon Musk tweets first look at Starship Rocket with fins ahead of test
Elon Musk yesterday posted more photographs of the SpaceX Starship Mk1.Mk1 is of two competing prototypes for a spacecraft the cavalier South African billionaire hopes will one day fly to humans to Mars.Mr Musk captioned the photo with: “Adding the rear moving fins to Starship Mk1 in Boca Chica, Texas.”
This marks the second time Elon Musk has leaked SpaceX Starship media in the past week.
And photo is the debut glimpse of the Starship rocket with its fins attached.A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing earlier this month revealed SpaceX is preparing to begin the next testing phase for its Starship.The FCC request saw the Elon Musk-owned SpaceX request permission to fly Starship more than 12 miles into space and then return the spacecraft to the same spot.READ MORE: The bizarre plan SpaceX CEO has to 'NUKE Mars'
The feat would mark a significant step for SpaceX, which recently completed a successful series of tests on Starship prototype, Starhopper.This offers a new insight into just how quickly the SpaceX is building the vehicle.Elon Musk has previously alluded to an event later this month.This could act as the unveiling of the craft and foreshadow a test launch in October.READ MORE: How ‘inspiring' Apollo 11 motivated Elon Musk to create SpaceX
SpaceX employees in Texas have been hard at work building the first iteration of the craft, the MK1, while a competing team in Florida is also in the midst of building a similar MK2 rocket with a different design and specs.FCC filings indicate that the company will be looking to conduct the launch out of its site in Boca Chica Texas.This is where SpaceX was recently granted permission to expand its facility in anticipation of future launches.SpaceX aims to build on a series of successful tests from Starhopper.The latest of these saw the craft hover more than 328ft (100m) in the air before safely return to the launch platform.READ MORE: Watch spectacular video of Falcon Heavy fairing's Earth re-entry
SpaceX hopes its style of reusable rocket will mark a major breakthrough in aerospace technology, allowing the exploration of space to be cheaper and more sustainable.Ultimately, Musk hopes that the company's Starship could help humans reach Mars for the first time.And Elon Musk has set an optimistic timeline for when the experimental craft might be able to do so.He claims the first manned Mars mission for the rocket and 100-passenger Starship could come as early as the mid-2020s if development and testing goes to plan.Additional missions may even include tourists trips to the moon by 2024.