SpaceX will provide an update about what’s happening with their Starship spacecraft in roughly three weeks, according to CEO and founder Elon Musk. Starship is a next-generation, fully reusable spacecraft that the company is developing with the aim of replacing all of their launch vehicles, including Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, for missions both to Earth orbit and beyond (to the moon and eventually Mars).
Starship has been making rapid progress in recent weeks as SpaceX assembled multiple prototypes at once at its Texas-based development facility. Starship SN6 has completed a hop test, as did SN5 before it, climbing to 150 meters (just under 500 feet) before descending again for a controlled landing.
SN8 is now preparing for a higher-altitude flight, and Musk teased that at its update in a few weeks, the company will be presenting a “V1.0” prototype that will actually be the vehicle to finally perform a test flight to orbit.
SpaceX has a lot riding on Starship — including potential contracts for moon landing missions for crewed flights from NASA in the future as part of the Artemis program. It was one of three companies selected by the agency to bid on those contracts, alongside Blue Origin’s industry-spanning team and Dynetics.
Meanwhile, Musk also said the SpaceX Starlink internet service is technically reachable in the Brownsville area where Starship is being developed in Texas, but that it will be around three months before the connection quality will actually be good from that far south in the U.S.