The American entrepreneur Elon Musk has given a further update on his Starship and Super Heavy missile system.
He plans to use the new vehicles to send people to the moon and Mars and also move them quickly around the earth.
The CEO of SpaceX is building prototypes and plans to fly these in the coming months.
The Mk1 version of his Starship would test at great heights in the next one to two months, he said.
“This is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen,” the entrepreneur told an audience gathered at the Boca Chica, Texas plant, where the prototype was assembled.
“So this thing will take off, fly to 65,000 feet, about 20 km, and come back and land. So that gigantic thing, it will be pretty pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back.”
The 50 meter high Starship eventually flies on top of its booster, the Super Heavy.
Three Raptors on a Starship pic.twitter.com/UrRiD62EVk— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 26, 2019
At the Boca Chica event, the CEO outlined his latest ideas on the use of materials, changes in aircraft surfaces and the progress being made with the methane-burning Raptor engines that power both the Starship and the Super Heavy.
The SpaceX boss explained that his switch to the use of stainless steel over carbon fiber for the construction of the Starship was partly due to costs. Steel is $ 2500 per tonne, while carbon fiber is $ 130,000 per tonne.
But he also defended the performance of steel at both low and high temperatures.
The Starship will contain heat-resistant “glass” tiles in those areas that are likely to experience the highest temperatures during a descent back through the atmosphere.
He also pointed to the four fins – two at the front, two at the back – that help control that return; and to the Raptor engines. The Mk1 prototype has three, but operational versions will have six.
The Super Heavy booster, on the other hand, could have up to an extraordinary 37 Raptors that all fire at once.
Mr Musk will use Cape Canaveral in Florida for some launches, but Boca Chica is also covered in his flight plans.
He acknowledges that this would mean a considerable nuisance for local residents and that is why the SpaceX company is trying to buy them out.
“We made an offer for that,” he said.
Musk has been criticized in the past for being obsessed with going to Mars when there are many things that need attention here on Earth.
He told his audience that the problems on our planet were no reason not to look outside anymore.
“There are of course many problems in the world, and these things are important and we have to solve them. But we also need things that make us excited to live, that makes us happy to wake up in the morning and get fired about the future, and to think, yes, the future will be great. Space exploration is one of those things. “