August 29, 2019 - Following the milestone flight of the StarHopper test vehicle on Tuesday, Space X CEO Elon Musk has taken to twitter to update the world on whats in store for the very near future of StarShip, the company's proposed Mars rocket.
As outlined by Musk, the Mk 1 orbital prototype is currently targeting October of 2019 for its first, sub-orbital test flight, which will evaluate the high performance launch & landing capabilities of the rocket within Earths atmosphere. Musk also stated that this particular test would see the ship reach an altitude of 20 kilometers. The Boca Chica Mk 1, currently being assembled, will be outfitted with three Raptor engines, maneuvering body fins, and landing gear. Additionally, the Mk 1 will dwarf it's recently retired cousin, the StarHopper, nearly tripling it in size standing approximately 180ft tall. Closely following the 20km test, Space X will attempt to send the StarShip prototype into orbit. No official word as of yet to which StarShip in particular will be used for the initial spaceflight test ( Cocoa or Boca Chica).
As a precursor to this fall's flight tests, the Space X CEO plans to hold a follow up press-conference to last year's, "Dear Moon", announcement, where an updated design of the StarShip and Super Heavy launch system were unveiled to the public. This latest announcement, is expected to detail the rocket's final design iteration, and explore in depth the ground-breaking technologies being introduced with the vehicle, such as it's rapid re-usability, Stainless Steel air-frame structure, and it's active internal cooling. According to Musk, we can look forward to learning much more about Space X and StarShip's future at the press-conference being held at the Boca Chica facility, on September 28th, 2019.