SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced plans to release an update on the company’s next-generation Starship rocket next Thursday night, The Verge reported. Details after Musk last updated the craft in 2019.
Starship is a large new deep space rocket that SpaceX has been developing for the past few years at the company’s test facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The fully reusable rocket is designed to launch on a giant booster called a “Super Heavy” to carry people and cargo to far-flung destinations like the moon and eventually Mars. So far, SpaceX has conducted several high-altitude test flights with the rocket prototype, but has yet to launch a Starship prototype into orbit. The company is currently awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to launch the Starship into orbit from Boca Chica.
Since 2016, Musk has been regularly presenting his plans to build a giant rocket to send people into deep space and, one day, Mars. Those plans are sure to change over time, and the rocket at the heart of this effort has gone through various design changes and iterations. The vehicle has also gone by many different names, from the BFR to the Mars Colonization Transporter to the eventual Starship. In Musk’s last update in September 2019, the CEO gave a speech in front of Boca Chica standing in front of a full prototype of Starship. Musk’s tweet about the new presentation said it would take place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. ET, but gave no other details about the event.
While Starship has long been a priority for Musk, NASA also has a vested interest in the rocket. In 2021, the space agency awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to develop Starship, the lander that will carry NASA astronauts to the lunar surface.