- Elon Musk and his company SpaceX have been working on a gigantic, 387-foot-long spacecraft that’s designed to eventually send humans to Mars.
- The spacecraft has been dubbed Big Falcon Rocket (BFR for short), but Musk posted on Twitter on Monday that the rocket now has a new name: Starship.
- SpaceX released the final design for the rocket in September, and plans to launch the first human voyage to Mars on the Starship by 2024.
SpaceX has long been touting a rocket in the works that wants to be the first to put people on Mars, and all that hype now comes with a new name.
Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, took to Twitter late Monday night to reveal the new name of the 387-foot SpaceX rocket. Up until now, the rocket has been operating under the name Big Falcon Rocket – dubbed BFR, and also referred to by many (including Musk) as the “Big F—–g Rocket.”
But now, the rocket is named Starship.
The spacecraft technically consists of two parts: the spaceship that holds people and cargo, called Starship, and the booster that launches the rocket to Mars, called Super Heavy.
Technically, two parts: Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2018
SpaceX’s BFR project has made headlines for what Musk sees as the rocket’s end goal: to eventually bring humans to Mars. Last month, Musk said in an interview that SpaceX is eyeing 2024 for the launch.
Final designs for the rocket, released in September, present a fully reusable booster and fully reusable spaceship, designed to hold 100 people or 150 tons of cargo. Musk estimates the rocket will cost between $US2 billion and $US10 billion to create.
To help understand the magnitude of what Musk and his thousands of employees at SpaceX are trying to accomplish, Business Insider created an interactive size-comparison graphic.
Next to the rendering of the rocket shown below, you’ll see a series of familiar objects at the rocket’s base. (Some are so small that you may have to scroll down a bit.) Toggle through the 20 comparisons by clicking “next” or “back” to get a sense of the rocket’s scale: