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Massive SpaceX test rocket shines in Boca Chica, Texas



On Saturday night, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a presentation in Boca Chica, Texas, about the development of his company's next-generation rocket called Starship. The star ship is designed to fly hundreds of passengers to destinations in deep space such as the moon and Mars. Flashed by a giant prototype of the vehicle, Musk has promised that Starship can take off in orbit as soon as six months and carry its first passengers sometime next year.

"This thing will take off, fly up to 65,000 feet – about 20 kilometers – and come back and land in about a month or two," Musk said, referring to the stainless steel prototype behind it. The giant test article stood next to the SpaceX Falcon 1

rocket, the first vehicle the company put into orbit. The staging was symbolic, especially after the presentation happened on the anniversary of SpaceX's first flight in orbit with Falcon 1.

The test rocket in Boca Chica towers over 165 feet (50 ft) meters) and has three of SpaceX's next-generation Raptor engines attached to its base. Its purpose is to test the launch and landing capabilities that the Starship end-vehicle will need to be a reusable system. The prototype will use its engines to fly at high altitude and then descend backwards, performing what is known as propulsion landing, the same technique SpaceX uses to land its currently operating rockets.

SpaceX still has a lot of work to do to make this thing fly in such a short time span. The Starship prototype has an impressive view of the earth. It will be an even bigger spectacle when it finally comes out into the sky.


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