Starship updates are coming thick and fast as SpaceX prepares for a new presentation this month detailing their progress with the Mars-bound rocket ship.
One of these came from an Elon Musk tweet in which he suggested the orbital flight version of Starship could be ready around the time of the presentation.
Boca Chica it is
In a Twitter thread looking back at SpaceX's first successful orbital launch, Elon Musk was asked if there were any updates about Starship - the spacecraft that will eventually take human beings to Mars.
He revealed the date for the expected SpaceX presentation with the following tweet:
August 24th, either at Cape Canaveral or Boca Chica— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2019
The reason the presentation could either be in Cape Canaveral or Boca Chica is that two separate SpaceX teams are working on separate prototypes in each location.
When one tweeter, from the Boca Chica area, Texas, pleaded with the SpaceX CEO to hold the presentation in Boca Chica, Musk obliged — perhaps he was convinced by the lure of good tacos.
Very convincing! Ok, Boca it is. We should have Starship Mk1 with 3 Raptors almost ready to fly by then.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 4, 2019
Starship prototype pics
Several SpaceX enthusiasts have also revealed photos online of the prototype Starship's construction.
Chris B revealed, images in which the spacecraft resembles London's Gherkin tower, and Barcelona's Torre Agbar:
While Starhopper waits for her big hop next month, Prototype Starship's getting closer to her big day.— Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) July 30, 2019
We've seen bulkhead installation, now Mary (@BocaChicaGal) has spotted the thrust structure for three Raptors (per evaluations on what it is):
More: https://t.co/7zowcTcnkm pic.twitter.com/c703e0Bzbx
More pictures were revealed by Jon Van Horne:
Good Evening. Got to get back over to #Starship #SpaceCoast today. More additions to the vessel have been done. More rings added. And got a beautiful opportunity shot as well. #spacex #EastStarship 🤓📷🚀🌈⭐️ pic.twitter.com/KoQQ3ShBJK— Jon Van Horne🐴📷🌴 (@therealjonvh) August 4, 2019
Elon Musk himself just tweeted images of the prototype's 9m dome rotation and Starship airframe:
Just left Starship Texas build site. Very proud of progress SpaceX team has made! Pics are of 9m dome rotation & Starship airframe behind windbreak. pic.twitter.com/1cmOzkPlkn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2019
The SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink founder followed this by saying he is "headed to Starship Cape Canaveral build site today."
What do we know?
While SpaceX and space enthusiasts will be eagerly anticipating updates at the August 24 presentation, we currently know that SpaceX is following its recent successful untethered Starhopper hop test with a higher flight.
Musk gave the following update on July 26:
200m hop in a week or two— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 26, 2019
The August 24 presentation will provide us with a clearer picture of how close SpaceX is to delivering on its promise of getting human beings to Mars before 2030.