Starship is the next-generation spacecraft thatto the moon and that Musk hopes will land the first people on the red planet. He said on Twitter last week that he will present an update on the vehicle’s development this Thursday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. PT (8 p.m. CT) from the company’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
This will be the first such update we’ve seen from Musk on Starship in almost two and a half years. In that time, SpaceX launched and crash-landed a handful of prototypes beforeand touchdown (without then blowing up) last May.
Next, the company plans to send Starship on its first orbital flight as soon as the Federal Aviation Administration completes a lengthy environmental review and issues a launch license. The FAA expects the review to be done by the end of this month, but the deadline has been pushed back once already.
This first orbital flight will also be the first time we see the Starship vehicle flying atop the massive Super Heavy booster, which we have yet to see in action. The plan is for the pair to launch from Starbase and then, after doing the major lifting, Super Heavy will separate and return for a landing on a specialized rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, Starship will continueand eventually make a soft splashdown off the coast of Hawaii.
“Starship aspires to be the first fully reusable orbital launch vehicle, the holy grail of rocketry,” Musk tweeted. “This is the critical breakthrough needed to make life multiplanetary.”
Presumably Musk will share some more details about this mission, some engineering updates and perhaps a few surprises on Thursday. In addition to using Starship for exploratory missions beyond Earth, Musk has also said it is critical for the company to begin launching itsusing Starship as well.
SpaceX is expected to livestream the event, and we’ll embed the video feed here so you can follow along live Thursday.