Elon Musk unveils spaceship for private round-trips to moon and Mars

Elon Musk unveils spaceship for private round-trips to moon and Mars
By: USA Posted On: September 28, 2019 View: 17

Elon Musk unveils spaceship for private round-trips to moon and Mars

Elon Musk has said his new spaceship could make space travel as common as flying - and hopes to create a city on the moon and Mars.

The billionaire SpaceX boss unveiled his newest craft, Starship, and its launch vehicle called Super Heavy at the company's facility in Texas.

He told a crowd of space fans gathered at the site that he believes the spaceship could act like a plane does - landing and taking off without being damaged.

Elon Musk told an audience of space fans about the new Starship spacecraft
Image: Musk said he wants to make space travel as common as flying

Starship is designed to carry a crew and cargo "to the moon, Mars or anywhere else in the solar system" and land back on Earth perpendicularly instead of horizontally, Musk said.

Its inaugural lift off is set for about one or two months and will reach 65,000ft before landing back on Earth.

"We need to make space travel like air travel," Musk said.

"Any other mode of transport is reusable so the critical breakthrough is a rapidly reusable orbital rocket - this is the holy grail of space."

More from Elon Musk

Starship is 50 metres tall
Image: Starship is due to launch within weeks, Musk said

Musk, SpaceX's chief engineer and CEO, said using a rocket again is "only barely possible" due to Earth's gravity - but is "not impossible".

He told the crowd of space fans that he wanted "a world where we're exploring other worlds".

Musk said his company has learned how to dock on Mars and wants to establish a city there, and also on the moon.

Mr Musk said he wanted to build a city on the moon, giving this image as a prototype
Image: Elon Musk says he wanted to build a city on the moon, giving this image as a prototype

"It will be very exciting to have a base on the moon, even if it's just a science city," he said.

"Then we can go to other places in the solar system, like Saturn. But we need to focus on the fastest path to a self-sustaining city on Mars.

SpaceX's Elon Musk gives an update on the company's Mars rocket Starship in Boca Chica, Texas U.S. September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare
Image: Musk said making spaceships reusable was the 'holy grail of space'

"As far as we know, we're the only life we know about. If there were aliens, I'm pretty sure I'd know.

"I think we should really do our best to become a multi-planet species, and we should do it now."

A crowd gathers before SpaceX's Elon Musk gives an update on the company's Mars rocket Starship in Boca Chica, Texas U.S. September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare
Image: Starship is 50 metres in length and weighs 120 tonnes

Revealing details of the new Starship, Mr Musk said it is 50 metres in length, weighs 120 tonnes and will have six engines, three which move around and three fixed vacuum engines.

"In space geek terms, this is a really great number," he added.

Musk said the spaceship is made of steel which has a high melting point and is resilient to the elements - essential to keeping it in tact when landing back on Earth.

Starship will be able to take passengers to the moon, Mars, and anywhere in our solar system, Mr Musk said
Image: Musk said his company has learned how to dock on Mars

"On Mars, you can cut it and meld it, no problem," he added.

"I'm in love with steel - had to say it," he joked.

Musk said Saturday marked the 11th anniversary of a SpaceX rocket reaching orbit for the first time, and said if that had not succeeded that would have been the end of the company.

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