What Is Starship? SpaceX Builds Its Next-Generation Rocket

NASA wants to use it to land American astronauts on the moon. The Pentagon wants to use it to whisk military cargo around the world in minutes.

Satellite companies and aspiring space tourists are eyeing its potential to drastically slash the cost of getting to space.

Elon Musk says it is “the holy grail of space technology” and sees it as crucial to his ultimate goal of colonizing Mars.

It is called Starship, and for SpaceX, Mr. Musk’s private space company, it is the future. Its success or failure may determine whether the company achieves his dreams.

Since 2010, SpaceX has been flying Falcon 9, a rocket with a reusable booster that has become one of the most dominant launch vehicles in global spaceflight.

Since 2019, Starship is the next generation, designed as a gigantic and fully reusable rocket system that could cost less and fly more often.

the rocket has been steadily emerging as a silvery sentinel in stainless steel reflecting the sunlight of a South Texas launch site along the Gulf of Mexico.

Testing of Starship prototypes has resulted in fiery failures leading up to a successful flight and landing in May 2021.

After a series of premature announcements followed by delays, Mr. Musk says 2022 is the year Starship will get to orbit for the first time.

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