Elon Musk has revealed that the first major flight test of his Mars-bound Starship rocket will be live streamed “warts and all”.
The SpaceX boss said video of the event, which is expected to take place later this month, would help drum up public excitement for space travel, even if it fails.
“It might be quite a short livestream,” he tweeted on Sunday, after space enthusiast Austin Barnard asked whether the 15km flight test could be broadcast live on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.
The possibility of catastrophic failure has not appeared to deter Musk, who added that a “lot can go wrong.”
He said: “We’ll provide video, warts and all. You will see every frame that we do.”
The Starship SN8 prototype is expected to complete the second set of static fire tests this week, making sure that all three of its engines are fully operational and without faults.
If successful, the SN8 will then be kitted out with a nose cone and aero surfaces before being launched 15km into the air.
As with previous flight tests, which only went up a couple of hundred metres, SpaceX will also attempt to land the Starship craft.
Starship is being developed with the eventual goal of carrying people and cargo around the Solar System.
Musk has previously claimed that Starship could land on the moon as early as 2024 – the same year that Nasa’s Artemis program is aiming to put the first woman on the moon – though the timeframe for missions to Mars is not yet clear.
Musk hopes to travel to Mars in his lifetime, though warned earlier this year that the current rate of progress means his dream may not be realised.
In an effort to speed up the process, Musk made Starship SpaceX’s number one priority ahead of its CrewDragon missions and Starlink internet satellite project.
In a company-wide email in June, Musk said the development of the next-generation rocket needed to accelerate “dramatically and immediately”.
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