“This is, I think, the most inspiring thing I have ever seen,” Elon Musk remarked to a crowd of approximately 200 after walking out in front of SpaceX’s new Starship Mk1 prototype. Last night, Musk introduced the world to the first prototype for the Starship, a vessel that will be able to take dozens of people to space and back, something he believes is a crucial step towards self-sustaining life on Mars. “The critical breakthrough that is required for us to become a space-faring civilization is to make space travel like air travel,” he said. “This is the fastest path to a self-sustaining city on Mars.”
Musk says that one completed Starship system could go to space and return to Earth three times in one day. Each trip, the Starship could carry 150 tons into orbit. “We’re talking about something that is, with a fleet of Starships, 1,000 times more than all Earth capacity combined. All other rockets combined would be 0.1%, including ours,” Musk said. “But you kind of need that if you’re going to build a city on Mars. It’s gotta be done.”
Musk hasn’t figured out exactly how he plans to keep humans alive on board yet but he seems optimistic, “I think for sure you’d want to have a regenerative life support system,” Musk said. “Regenerative is kind of a necessity. I actually don’t think its super hard to do that, relative to the spacecraft itself.”
“Becoming a space-faring civilization — being out there among the stars — this is one of the things that I know makes me be glad to be alive,” Musk adds at one point. For a more extensive breakdown, head to BusinessInsider, or watch the full update for yourself below.