We’re about to get another status report on SpaceX’s massive Starship Mars rocket.
Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of SpaceX announced last week that he will be giving a big Starship update on Thursday, February 10 at 9:00 p.m. EST (0200 GMT on February 11). The presentation will likely be webcast live; if so, you can watch it here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company.
SpaceX expands Spatialship to transport astronauts and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond. The giant vehicle consists of two elements, both designed to be fully and quickly reusable: a first-stage booster called Super Heavy and a 165-foot-tall (50-meter) spacecraft known as Starship.
Pictures: SpaceX lifts a massive Super Heavy rocket onto a launch pad
Musk periodically gives in-depth presentations on Starship’s progress and plans. But it’s been a while since we’ve had one; Thursday’s will be the first such situation report since September 2019.
There should be a lot to talk about on Thursday. SpaceX is preparing for the first ever Starship orbital test flight, which will take off from the company’s Starbase facility in South Texas. SpaceX plans to launch this mission as soon as possible after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes an environmental assessment of Starbase. That review is expected to be completed by the end of this month, FAA officials said.
SpaceX already has a few Starship missions on the books. For example, NASA chose the giant vehicle as the lunar lander for the first crewed surface mission of its Artemis program, a landing that is scheduled for 2025 or thereabouts.
And Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who just returned from a sightseeing trip to the International Space Station, has booked a spaceship trip around the moon for himself and a handful of artists. This mission could be launched next year.
Mike Wall is the author of “The low(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom Or on Facebook.