Starship is 164 feet high, 30 feet in diameter, with a projected payload of 150 tons and room for 100 passengers bound for other planets. Combined with its booster, the Super Heavy, the SpaceX rocket will be 387 feet tall and able to carry 220,000 pounds. "This is, I think, the most inspiring thing I have ever seen," founder Elon Musk said Saturday night, Space.com reports. Musk introduced the silver Starship to employees and reporters at the construction site near Brownsville, Texas. He hopes the prototype will be ready in a month or so to take off, reach an altitude of 12 miles, land vertically, and be ready for its next flight. Passengers would come in the next year or so. "It’s going to be pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back," Musk said, per the New York Times.
The stainless steel Starship, designed for quick turnarounds, will "make life as we know it interplanetary," Musk said in a tweet Friday. More specifically, he added Saturday, "This is the fastest path to a self-sustaining city on Mars." That private flight could leave Earth in the next decade, he figures. In the meantime, SpaceX has sold a ticket to a Japanese billionaire for a trip around the moon scheduled for a 2023 departure. Fans posed for photos with Starship before Musk's announcement. One from North Carolina said, "I can sum up my first impression like this: 'Ooo, Shiny!'" (Read more SpaceX stories.)