On it, Musk is going to not only colonize Mars, but also to transport passengers along the surface of the Earth.
On January 3, a Texa photographer Austin Barnard from Texas posted several photos on his twitter of the process of building a Starship prototype at the SpaceX site in Boca Chica. So far, it consists of several elements of the body, not connected together.
On January 4, Barnard posted a few more pictures of Starship taken at sunset.
In fact, Barnard was not sure that what he was shooting was Starship. All doubts were dispelled by the head of SpaceX Elon Musk, drawing attention to another amateur photo and declaring that it actually shows the Starship sample assembly intended for the first tests.
Later, Musk published an artistic concept of how the finished version of the rocket will look like. He added that in the future, manned versions of Starship will have portholes for viewing, but for now this is just a massive iron rocket.
Starship test vehicle under assembly will look similar to this illustration when finished. Operational Starships would obv have windows, etc. pic.twitter.com/D8AJ01mjyR
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 5, 2019
Some space industry enthusiasts believe that based on what they saw at the assembly site, the rocket has a strange shape and device, and is unlikely to be able to take off.
Work on the starship assembly began in March after SpaceX leased the territory for work. According to the original plan, the first test flights of the rocket were to be conducted before the end of 2018.
Initially, Musk called this super-heavy rocket not the Starship, but the Big Falcon Rocket or, briefly, the BFR, but renamed it in November. Technically, the first version of the rocket will have two stages: the second is called the Starship (it is in it the crew is located), and the first is Super Heavy, it is needed to overcome Earth’s gravity and is not required for other interplanetary flights.
Technically, two parts: Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2018
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2018
In order to speed up the production of Starship, SpaceX even stopped improving the Falcon 9 ship, whose second stage it had been trying to land in recent years on water-floating barges for reuse and, as a result, cost savings. According to the plan, the first flight of the Starship to the surface of Mars without a crew should take place in 2022, and the first manned flight (with the crew) will take place in 2023: the team will have to make a turn around the Moon and return to Earth.