We will not have to wait much longer for our next update on SpaceX's spaceship, which Starship calls Mars colonization.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk had promised to announce the latest changes to the Starship design after the vehicle's dull test-flight prototype, known as Starhopper had completed its first unbound jump.
This milestone occurred last week at the SpaceX plant in South Texas in Boca Chica. So the update will be available soon – probably in mid-August, Musk said over the weekend.
: SpaceX's Spaceship and Super Heavy Mars Rocket in Pictures
"Now that Hopper has flown, Starship is likely to be updated in two weeks," wrote the billionaire entrepreneur on Twitter [1
In September 2016, Musk designed a detailed spacecraft design for the first time during a lecture at the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Mexico (although he had previously somewhat vaguely discussed a "Mars Colonial Transporter" architecture)). At that time, the reusable 100-passenger vehicle and the huge booster, with which it is to be launched from the earth, called the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).
Musk summarized SpaceX's latest thoughts on Mars colonization at the next IAC meeting in London in September 2017. He then told us that ITS had become BFR, short for "Big Falcon Rocket". (Technically, the booster was BFR and the spaceship BFS, short for "Big Falcon Spaceship." Most people, however, called the whole system only BFR.)
Another update was released in September 2018 Musk shared with us that the duo of spaceships and rockets at launch would have a height of 118 meters – about 11% more than previously thought. He revealed, among other things, that the FSO will have two large "operated" fins near its stern to assist the vehicle in a safe landing, as it navigates through the planet's atmosphere. A runway behind it is also being stylized to look like one of these structures, he added, giving the BFS the three-bladed look of the rocket that the cartoon character Tim and Struppi had flown in 1954 in Explorers on the Moon.
Two months later Musk announced another name change: BFS was now Starship and BFR was supposed to be Super Heavy.
As planned, Starship will use six next-generation Raptor engines from SpaceX, and 35 of them will be powered by Super Heavy, with two more Raptors if needed. But things could change; We'll have to wait and see what Musk says in the upcoming design update.
SpaceX sees Starship and Super Heavy eventually do all of the company's spaceflight tasks, from launching satellites, to transporting people to and from the Moon and Mars to completion, super-fast "point-to-point" passenger rides around the Earth. As a result, SpaceX plans to phase out its other space hardware – its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, the newer, more powerful Falcon Heavy, and the cargo and crew version of its dragon capsule.
SpaceX wants to launch satellites with Starship and Super Heavy as early as 2021 . The first mission with crew to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and a handful of artists on a voyage around the moon is scheduled for 2023.
Starhopper, who wears a single Raptor, has now left the ground three times. In addition to last week's flight, which Musk said was about 20 meters high, the vehicle made two short test hops in early April, both of which were stuck to the ground for safety reasons.