Formerly known as the BFR, Musk announced on Thursday that the spaceflight company's test version of the Starship, dubbed the "hopper", has just finished being assembled at SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica Village, Texas. "This is an actual picture, not a rendering", he wrote.
Its first test flights - suborbital "hops" reaching several miles (kilometers) in the air before landing back on Earth - could come in March or April.
"Orbital version is taller, has thicker skins (won't wrinkle) & a smoothly curving nose section", he added. This is an early peek at the rocket that SpaceX hopes will take people to Mars, ferry people across the world at high speed, and carry high-paying tourists around the moon. The company also reportedly plans to replace their current Falcon and Falcon Heavy rockets with this starship model in the near future, making the success of the hopper extremely important to the company.