Space X has completed "stacking" of its Super Heavy prototype, the first-stage rocket booster that will be used to shoot its Starship spacecraft into orbit, TechCrunch reports.
The Super Heavy booster is around 220 feet tall, which is close to the wingspan of a Boeing 747, without the Starship on top, the report said. Together, the spacecraft will add another 160 feet in height.
In the past few months, the firm hadn't released any footage of Super Heavy. Then, on Thursday afternoon, Elon Musk, its founder and CEO, posted a photo of the rocket at the company's South Texas site, next to the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2021
The first booster "is a production pathfinder, figuring out how to build & transport 70-meter-tall stage. Booster 2 will fly," Musk tweeted.
Starship and Super Heavy will begin to fly soon if all goes according to Musk's plan, Space.com reported. The billionaire recently said SpaceX intends to launch Starship to orbit at some point this year. He's also hoping the Starship-Super Heavy duo will be fully operationally by 2023, the outlet reported.
Earlier this month, SpaceX launched a prototype of its Starship rocket, known as SN10, miles into the air. Even though it landed successfully, the celebrations were short-lived. A few minutes after landing, the rocket exploded.
SpaceX released an HD video of the prototype, which gave a close-up of the engines in action, and showed the rocket bounce upon landing. Observers could also see its legs extend as it came back down to Earth. The explosion was left out of the footage.
In the video description, SpaceX wrote: "Test flights such as SN10's are about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights, and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond."