SpaceX: Musk to reveal spaceship designs Saturday after Twitter tease

The big reveal is almost here.

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On Saturday, Elon Musk plans on revealing up-to-date design details of SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy — the 100-passenger spaceship and the huge rocket the company is developing to send people to the moon, Mars and beyond

Musk - who is SpaceX's founder and CEO in addition to also being the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, has been teasing the initial designs on Twitter all week to build excitement.

The talk will take place at SpaceX's South Texas facilities near the village of Boca Chica, where the company is building a Starship prototype known as the Mk1.

Musk started tweeting pictures of the test vehicle starting to take shape last weekend.

One of the pictures showed technicians installing stability-controlling rear fins on Starship Mk1. The other image shows the Mk1 bottom half, now finned up, apparently getting ready for a big construction milestone.

Musk added that the Mk1 fairing, which is the protective "nose cone" that surrounds payloads during launch, will be mounted by Saturday. This means the billionaire entrepreneur will likely have a fully-stacked Mk1 as his backdrop when he makes his presentation.

The Raptor is the next-generation engine that will power Starship and Super Heavy. Both the Mk1 and the Mk2, which is another prototype that SpaceX is developing at its Florida facilities, will have at least three Raptors, Musk has said.

The Mk1 and Mk2 are second-generation Starship prototypes. The first – a large vehicle known as Starhopper - has just a single Raptor. On August 27, it completed its second untethered test flight, which took the craft about 500 feet into the air before landing safely. The Starhopper was then retired.

SpaceX will aim to fly the Mk1 vehicle to an altitude of around 12 miles in October, then try out an orbital test flight shortly thereafter, according to Musk.

The first operational Starship-Super Heavy flight could occur as early as 2021, according to SpaceX representatives. The initial commercial launches will likely loft communications satellites, but passenger flights may not be far behind: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has already booked a round-the-moon Starship mission, with a departure date scheduled for 2023.

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