Windsor Star - - WORLD -

It may look like some­thing straight out of Buck Rogers in the 25th Cen­tury or Tintin’s Desti­na­tion Moon but, ac­cord­ing to Elon Musk, the pho­to­graphs he posted of his lat­est SpaceX cre­ation are very much real.

Musk, CEO of SpaceX and elec­tric car­maker Tesla, re­vealed that assem­bly of the “Star­ship Hop­per” rocket was com­plete and that im­ages of the shim­mer­ing, stain­less steel con­struc­tion were “not a ren­der­ing.” The Tintin com­par­i­son is not an ac­ci­dent. In Septem­ber last year, SpaceX re­vealed the new de­sign of the “Big Fal­con Rocket,” now sim­ply know as “Star­ship,” stat­ing, “I love the Tintin rocket de­sign, so I kind of wanted to bias it to­wards that.” Musk added: “If in doubt, go with Tintin.” True to his word, the 120 foot-tall “hop­per” is a tubu­lar, pointy-topped rocket with three tail fins that serve as land­ing pads. It is an im­por­tant build­ing block of the con­tro­ver­sial en­tre­pre­neur’s grand plan to land on and even­tu­ally col­o­nize Mars. This ver­sion of the Star­ship Hop­per is not yet ready for space flight but will be used for take­off and land­ing tests. Musk hopes it will be ready for its first test flights in March or April.

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