September 29, 2022

Elon Musk thrilled as Starship becomes world’s tallest rocket — and he’s not alone

Elon Musk thrilled as Starship becomes world’s tallest rocket — and he’s not alone
Elon Musk thrilled as Starship becomes world’s tallest rocket — and he’s not aloneElon Musk thrilled as Starship becomes world’s tallest rocket — and he’s not alone

SpaceX's Starship, fully stacked.

SpaceX’s Starship, fully stacked.  (Image credit: Elon Musk/Twitter)

SpaceX’s Starship has officially become the world’s tallest rocket  — and Elon Musk is over the moon.

Today (Aug. 6), for the first time, SpaceX stacked its Starship spacecraft on top of its Super Heavy rocket. At around 390 feet (119 meters) tall, the stacked spacecraft is the tallest in the world. (If you take the launch stand into account, it’s even taller, at about 475 feet, or 145 m, high). 

The excitement of this major milestone was not lost on SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. 

Along with a Twitter posthe made sharing some photos of Starship “Fully Stacked,” as the tweet reads, Musk wrote that it is “an honor to work with such a great team,” and added that it’s a “Dream come true,” to see the vehicle stacked.

Video: Watch SpaceX’s Starship SN20 & a fuel tank roll out to launch site
Photos: SpaceX lifts huge Super Heavy rocket onto launch stand

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The Starship spacecraft that was stacked today is the company’s SN20 prototype, and it was secured to a Super Heavy prototype known as Booster 4. The stacking is part of the preparation for an orbital test flight that the company has planned for the vehicle. 

Now, Musk is not alone in his excitement about today’s achievement. CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz shared on Twitter a video of Starship fully stacked from science communicator Tim Dodd, also known as “Everyday Astronaut.”

The video shows a crowd gathered in South Texas to watch Starship come together, cheering and clapping along to celebrate the moment. Under the tweeted-out video, Sheetz asked Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, his thoughts, knowing Zurbuchen has been following Starship’s journey. 

Zurbuchen was quick to add his voice of excitement to the crowd, tweeting “Yes, I have been following this all along and am excited for SpaceX achieving this milestone! Can’t wait to see it fly!”

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Musk, who has been replying to many people on Twitter (seemingly a sign of his excitement), responded to Zurbuchen’s comment, saying that “due to its size & ability to return science instruments even from deep space, Starship will enable a whole new class of science missions.”

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Starship, which is comprised of the Starship spacecraft as well as the Super Heavy first-stage booster, is the craft that SpaceX intends to use to fly humans beyond Earth to destinations like the moon, Mars and beyond. 

This past April, NASA awarded SpaceX its Human Landing System contract for a version of Starship to land astronauts on the lunar surface, as part of the agency’s moon-bound Artemis program. 

Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.