Starship comprises a huge first-stage booster named Super Heavy and a 165-foot-tall or 50 meters upper-stage spacecraft called the Starship. SpaceX is building the vehicle for taking people and cargo to the solar system’s moon, Mars, and other locations.
The company has performed a number of high-altitude test flights with Starship upper-stage models from Starbase, which is in its South Texas site near the village of Boca Chica. It’s preparing for the transportation system’s first orbital test flight, which the SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk now say could occur soon.
“Starship will be ready to fly next month. I was in the high bay & mega bay late last night reviewing progress,” the billionaire entrepreneur announced on Twitter on June 14th.
“We will have a second Starship stack ready to fly in August and then monthly thereafter,” Musk added in another tweet that day.
Most of this experimentation involves building and testing Raptors, the next-generation engine that will power Starship. According to Musk, each Super Heavy booster is supposed to sport 33 Raptors, and each Starship spacecraft will contain six of them.
If everything runs according to plan with the Starship’s test campaign, the vehicle could take off very far afield in the upcoming few years. NASA recognized Starship as the first crewed lunar lander for its Artemis program, which intends to put us humans, on the moon in 2025 or 2026.