Elon Musk hopes his ambitious Starship rocket will be able to one day transport people to the moon and Mars - something that he reckons will eventually allow us to build a sustainable colony on the red planet by 2050. All sounds so straightforward, I know.
It's often pretty hard to keep up with SpaceX and Tesla CEO Musk, whose eccentricities both in and out of the tech industry often land him in headlines, whether by launching cars into space or naming his son after his favourite aircraft and artificial intelligence.
But his latest and arguably grandest stunt involves a multi-billion-dollar rocket known as the Starship, which will hopefully take people to the moon, Mars and launch satellites into orbit.
The SpaceX Starship has actually been in development since 2012 as a self-funded private spaceflight project, but more recently we've seen some exciting (although not altogether seamless) developments with testing.
Dave Mosher, a senior correspondent for Tech Insider, explained last year that SpaceX has been moving progress along with a prototype of the rocket, which has been designed to 'prove that the engine and the whole concept works'.
Mosher writes: "The core reason that SpaceX is doing this is because of a dream that Elon Musk shared back in the early 2000s at the founding of SpaceX.
"[...] He thinks we need to back up the human race to Mars, start a colony there, an Earth 2.0, and this Starship is key to all of that.
"He wants to use it to transport 100 people and 150 tons of cargo to the red planet at a time, and he thinks by 2050, we can build a sustainable colony on Mars. So SpaceX is testing the concepts and the engines behind this Starship in south Texas, and they're starting to get this little tiny version of it called the Starhopper hopping off the ground to prove that the engines and the whole concept works."
Mosher reports that, once SpaceX has been able to show the Starship is fully operational, initially the company plans to get it into orbit, before it starts 'sending the first missions to Mars'.
"These would be robots, equipment to help scout out the surface and also set up a plant to generate methane and oxygen to fuel a future mission to come back to Earth," Mosher adds, saying that SpaceX is currently targeting 2023 - or thereabouts - to launch the crude moon mission.
By 2024, the company also plans to make the most of a planetary alignment between Mars and Earth to launch the first crude mission to Mars.
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