Elon Musk signed up for Twitter this weekend to deliver fans of his rocket company SpaceX a real sleigh of presents in time for Christmas.
Musk was waiting for SpaceX's 21st (and record-breaking) rocket launch on Saturday, when he revealed that the construction of a prototype Mars ship called Starship is now starting at the company's Texas launch site.
In addition, the first round of experimental launches of the so-called "test funnel", which Musk had designated as early in the spring, could have been completed.
Musk and Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO, both said that short, non-orbiting launches or "hops" of such a spaceship prototype are a crucial step in building the Big Falcon Rocket or BFR: a a colossal two-stage system that transports 1
Both SpaceX executives recently said short jumps would not start until the end of 2019. A little ingenuity and an influx of half a billion dollars have helped accelerate this timetable.
The spaceship is said to be about 30 feet wide and 180 feet high, and to sit on a rocket amplifier about 219 feet high, which Musk is now calling Very Heavy.
"I will make a complete technical presentation of Starship after the test vehicle we build in Texas flies, so hopefully in March / April," he tweeted on Saturday .
"This test funnel has a full body diameter of 9 meters / 30 feet, just not the full height, Super Heavy will have full height and diameter," added Musk indicating that SpaceX does not build becomes Squat version of Super Heavy – and jumps straight to the start of a full-scale booster.
Musk added that the construction of test funnel segments is under way at SpaceX's temporary new rocket factory in the Port of Los Angeles.
Read More : Elon Musk expands his SpaceX empire – this is where the rocket factory's main locations and what they do
In Boca Chica, Texas, the company has developed a launch pad for BFR the locals already photographed how parts of the test container arrive on site and assembled.
The image below is an illustration that simulates the latest photos of Test Hopper parts with Starship illustrations.
SpaceX did not immediately answer Business Insider's questions about the Starship Test Trial's startup schedule and other details.
The news from the test bunker was not the only thing Musk revealed on Saturday.
On the way to the first mars landings in 2025?
Musk began to disseminate information about the activities of SpaceX in a discussion of metallurgy or properties and science of metals for the BFR.
Materials are critical to the success or failure of spacecraft because they have to withstand enormous temperature fluctuations, pressure changes and extreme vibrations. This is especially true for Starship, which is set to orbit around the Earth, needs a multi-month trip to Mars, lands on the surface of the red planet and starts home again.
Musk presented in September a "final repetition" of the BFR. At the same time, he announced that his company would launch Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the Moon in 2023. The described design Musk was rich in carbon fiber composite components.
But in November, Musk had overwhelmed that statement, saying radical design changes would come; He even renamed the two main parts of the BFR system. (Starship used to be called "Big Falcon Spaceship" and Super Heavy the "Big Falcon Booster".) In December, Teslarati reported that SpaceX was working with NASA to develop a new kind of Starship Heat Shield.
And on Saturday, Musk revealed that SpaceX developed a special stainless steel alloy for its BFR system.
It is not certain that SpaceX will now meet its ambitious schedule for Mars launch due to these changes. But on October 31, Musk said he hopes to bring the first humans to the surface of Mars in six years with the BFR system.
"We're still striving for 2024," Musk said during an interview with journalist Kara Swisher for the podcast Recode Decode.