SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has posted an actual picture of the company’s Starship test rocket on Twitter. It follows weeks of production photos and renderings that were meant to tease those looking forward to seeing this rocket in the flesh. Musk also mentioned on Twitter that the company’s Starship rocket has finished assembly at its Texas launch site.
The Starship rocket was previously referred to as the BFR. It’s the successor to SpaceX’s Falcon and Falcon Heavy rockets. SpaceX will be using it as its primary launch vehicle in the future so it’s definitely important to the company.
The image that Musk posted on Twitter shows that the rocket has a stainless steel skin. Even though the material is quite durable, many argue that it’s heavier than materials that are conventionally used for rockets, which include titanium and aluminum. Musk maintains that stainless steel is a better fit for this rocket since it’s more resistant to extreme temperature and heat.
This test rocket is going to be used for suborbital VTOL tests that are due to take place in March this year. SpaceX will be making an orbital version of this rocket as well which is going to have thicker skins and a nose section that curves more smoothly. That rocket is slated for launch in 2020.