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Elon Musk Reveals SpaceX's Very Shiny, Somewhat Wrinkly Starship

David Meyer
Elon Musk Reveals SpaceX's Very Shiny, Somewhat Wrinkly Starship

SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk has tweeted a photo of the former company’s under-development “Starship” — or at least, a version that will be used for testing.

Musk said late Thursday that assembly of the Starship “hopper” had just been completed at SpaceX’s Texas launch site. This is an early peek at the rocket that SpaceX hopes will take people to Mars, ferry people across the world at high speed, and carry high-paying tourists around the moon.

Musk’s photo depicts a very shiny and somewhat wrinkly rocket that doesn’t look a million miles away from an old science fiction book illustration. He added in a subsequent tweet that the version on display was for suborbital vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) tests only, and that the “orbital version is taller [and] has thicker skins (won’t wrinkle) & a smoothly curving nose section.”

Someone posted video footage, too:

The spacecraft has borne the name Starship since November — it was previously codenamed BFR, which stood for either “Big Falcon Rocket” or “Big F—ing Rocket,” presumably depending on whether Musk was in polite company or not.