Elon Musk has given space enthusiasts a glimpse at his plans for “Starship,” a futuristic vehicle designed to eventually transport human passengers to Mars.
Mr Musk unveiled the SpaceX spacecraft, which is designed to carry a crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars or anywhere else in the solar system.
In a live-streamed speech from SpaceX’s launch facility near the southern tip of Texas, Mr Musk said on Saturday that the space venture’s Starship is expected to take off for the first time in about one or two months and reach 65,000 feet (19,812 metres) before landing back on Earth.
He says it’s essential for the viability of space travel to be able to re-use spacecraft and that it’s important to take steps to extend consciousness beyond our planet.
A crowd watched as Mr Musk spoke from a stage in front of the large spacecraft, which has a reflective, metal exterior.
The goal is to “make space travel like air travel,” he said on stage on Saturday night, during a presentation rom the company’s Boca Chica test site near Brownsville, Texas.
“We’re really right on the cusp of what’s physically possible.”
11 years ago today, we launched our first successful mission. To date, we’ve completed 78 launches and have developed the world’s only operational reusable orbital class rockets and spacecraft—capable of launching to space, returning to Earth, and flying again pic.twitter.com/5L0q9PJ90P
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 29, 2019
Mr Musk responded to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s Friday tweet that said “Commercial Crew is years behind schedule.” Bridenstine also said the agency expects the same level of enthusiasm seen for SpaceX as on “the investments of the American taxpayer.”
Mr Musk was marking the 11th anniversary of a SpaceX rocket reaching orbit for the first time.