SpaceXElon Musk tweeted out two new photos showing how work on SpaceX’s Starship rocket prototype is coming along. The commercial space company expects to fly the ship to the moon and hopes to use it to help establish a colony on Mars
In a tweet posted on Tuesday and captioned with “Droid Junkyard, Tatooine” — a Star Wars reference, of course — Musk shared an image of the SpaceX facility where work is underway on the Starship.
The stainless steel rocket that peaks through the photo is currently under construction in Boca Chica, Texas — though there’s another version, Starship Mk2, that’s being built at the company’s workspace in Florida.
And, in true Musk fashion, he included a timely Area 51 joke in a second picture showing a section being lowered onto the main rocket.
SpaceX hopes for Starship to be used as a commercial spacecraft that will be able to take off and land again, like an airplane. The hope is to have Starship ready for commercial flights by 2021. Musk has previously said that SpaceX hopes to land the Starship on the moon by that year, followed by a crewed mission a year or two later.
An application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) submitted by SpaceX on September 9 revealed that SpaceX is preparing to launch its Starship spacecraft into orbit. The test will include an “Experimental launch, landing, and recovery of the Starship suborbital test vehicle.” The vehicle will land about hundred or so feet from its launch site.
The application dates point to the possibility that the company could launch the Starship prototype as soon as October 13. With Musk’s timely tweets, it looks like that date might not be too far of a stretch.
These tests are essential to perfecting the Starship rocket. Musk’s ultimate goal for the rocket is to help set up a colony on Mars, bringing people on a trip to the moon, and even bring used for transcontinental travel.
Digital Trends reached out to SpaceX for any official updates on the launch of the Starship rocket, and we’ll update this story if we hear back from the company.