ELON Musk has announced that the first test flight of SpaceX's Starship mega-rocket will be streamed online.
The kooky billionaire, who is CEO of the California rocket company, promised on Sunday to broadcast the dicey launch and landing debut "warts and all."
Musk, 49, hopes to use the rocket – due for its maiden test flight later this month – to launch astronauts to the Moon and Mars in future.
He said SpaceX was going ahead with the stream despite the fact that “lot can go wrong” during early test flights.
“It might be quite a short livestream,” Must tweeted on Sunday in response to a post from fan Austin Barnard, who asked whether SpaceX would broadcast the 15km (9.3-mile) flight test live on its YouTube channel.
"We’ll provide video, warts and all. You will see every frame that we do."
Starship is the next generation of SpaceX rocket designed for long-distance trip to faraway worlds.
It's still in the early stages of development, and tests so far have involved short "hops" of a few hundred feet.
These tests involve a single engine but the final spacecraft will look a lot more like a traditional rocket, sporting a cone-shaped nose.
It will stand 165ft (50 metres) tall and boast six of SpaceX's powerful Raptor engines.
The rocket's next trial will involve a proper test flight launched from SpaceX's Starship facility near Boca Chica in South Texas.
A Starship SN8 prototype – the firm's eighth prototype to date – will fire 15km (9.3-mile) into the air before touching back down on Earth.
SN8 will complete a static fire of its engines this week to ensure it is ready for the flight, which could go ahead later this month.
Billionaire Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla, hopes to send a million people to Mars in his lifetime using a 1,000-strong fleet of the powerful rockets.
The Hathorne-based company is still in the early stages of Starship's development, but engineers have been working on the rocket for years.
The machine promises to be the world's most powerful spacecraft if SpaceX ever gets the full version off the ground.
According to SpaceX, the contraption will hit speeds of 15,000mph (25,000kph).
In a series of tweets earlier this year, Musk outlined how his Starlink plans would open up space travel to anyone, regardless of their income.
What is SpaceX?
Here’s what you need to know…
SpaceX is a cash-flushed rocket company that wants to take man to Mars.
It was set up by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk in 2002 and is based in Hawthorne, California.
SpaceX's first aim was to build rockets that could autonomously land back on Earth and be re-used.
Musk hoped the technology would make flying and operating space flights far cheaper.
SpaceX currently uses its reusable rockets to fly cargo to the International Space Station for Nasa.
It also carries satellites and other space tech into orbit for various international governments and companies.
The company took astronauts up to the ISS for the first time in 2020.
Other future missions involve carrying tourists and astronauts to the Moon.
Musk has repeatedly said he believes humanity must colonise Mars to save itself from extinction.
He plans to get a SpaceX rocket to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s.
"Needs to be such that anyone can go if they want, with loans available for those who don't have money," he wrote.
Musk's plan involves building an expansive fleet of Starship vehicles, which comprise a huge rocket topped by a bullet-shaped spacecraft.
SpaceX says reusable rockets that can land and take off again make space travel more cost effective, accessible and sustainable.
However, the team has a long way to go before they can conduct Starship's first manned flight.
In other news, SpaceX completed its second successful Starship booster test flight in Setpember.
Musk wants to send humans to Mars as early as 2024 aboard one of the huge rockets.
And, Nasa set a hillside on fire during a recent test of the "most powerful rocket ever built".
What do you think of Musk's plans for Starship? Let us know in the comments!
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