Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that he could be ready to test SpaceX’s Starship hopper in the next several weeks.
“Aiming for 4 weeks,” the SpaceX/Tesla boss tweeted Saturday morning (Jan. 5) of the upcoming test, “which probably means 8 weeks, due to unforeseen issues.”
Musk also tweeted a mock-up picture of the company’s giant new rocket, formerly known as BFR. The illustration shows a smooth metallic finish, making the test hopper look worthy of interplanetary travel. Space.com points out the ship looks a lot like the rocket the comic-book character Tintin used in the 1954 adventure “Explorers on the Moon.”
The Starship test vehicle is 30 feet across and without windows. Musk tweeted that the final Mars-colonizing vehicle will have windows.
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
The Starship is instrumental to Musk’s plans of sending humans to Mars. He has stated that he hopes to commence cargo flights as early as 2022, followed by the first crewed flight and 100-passengers to the Red Planet by the mid-2020s.