COCOA, Fla. - Another test version of SpaceX's interplanetary spacecraft Starship is under construction in Brevard County -- it's shiny frame can be spotted rising up in an industrial area of Cocoa.
The spaceship formerly known as Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, will be built and launched from the Space Coast, according to CEO Elon Musk. It appears construction of the prototype is underway at a location off Cidco Road.
The first prototype of Starship, known as a "starhopper," is currently undergoing tests at SpaceX's test site in Boca Chica, Texas. The mockup fires its engines on brief "hops" to test out systems and hardware.
"SpaceX is doing simultaneous competing builds of Starship in Boca Chica, Texas and Cape Canaveral, Florida," Musk said in a tweet.
Sky 6 flew over the construction site this week and captured aerial views of several aluminum barrel-shaped objects possibly being prepare to stack. Workers near the Starship were dwarfed by the test spacecraft.
Last wek, a Brevard County flight instructor flew over the site Friday and shared images with News 6. Photos below are credit of @flying_Briann.
Wrapped in a stainless steel outer shell, Starship will stand 180-feet-tall and is designed to launch humans to the moon, Mars and beyond, according to Musk. The rocket will launch atop a Super Heavy booster equipped with 31 Raptor engines.
The Raptor engine is undergoing testing and development in Texas. The first such engine firing test in McGregor, Texas, went well. The Raptor was fired for two seconds at 60 percent power and reached 116 metric tons of force -- the highest thrust ever from a SpaceX engine, officials said after the February test.
The rocket booster and spaceship are still years away from flight. Musk estimated the cost of developing the launch vehicle to be between $5 billion and $10 billion.
Last year, Starship got its first paying customer in the form of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. He plans to invite eight artists from around the world to come with him on a trip around the moon as part of his world art project "Dear Moon."
SpaceX and Maezawa declined to put a dollar amount on the deal.
Musk said the paid moon mission could happen as soon as 2023, after several test flights without crew onboard. However, Musk also said he was "pretty not sure" about that timeline, because "things do not go right in reality."
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