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- The hopper test rocket was unveiled today via Elon Musk’s Twitter account
- Musk claims it ‘is not a rendering’ and says it will perform suborbital flights
- The ‘hopper’ will be used for takeoff and landing tests
- Another version will conduct orbital flights that is taller with a curved nose
- Musk posted a computer generated image of the Starship earlier this week
Elon Musk has revealed images of his fully-assembled 120-foot tall Starship hopper test rocket.
The maverick billionaire entrepreneur unveiled his retro-styled spacecraft which has drawn comparisons to sci-fi films of yesteryear.
Twitter users pointed out the similarities of Musk’s creation with the contraption Tintin used in the 1954 adventure ‘Explorers on the Moon’.
Others said the sleek design and prominent fins closely resemble spaceships depicted in 1950s/60s films, Wallace and Gromit and even Toy Story.
SpaceX founder Musk shared the first real images of the prototype from its Texas launch site and reassured his followers it is ‘not a rendering’.
‘This is for suborbital VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) tests,’ Mr Musk explained.
‘Orbital version is taller, has thicker skins (won’t wrinkle) & a smoothly curving nose section.’
This particular model will be used to test short launches and landings.
Earlier this month, the billionaire said SpaceX was aiming to carry out test flights within four weeks, but admitted it could be as long as eight weeks when unforeseen issues are factored in.
Responding to questions from space enthusiasts, Mr Musk said that the first orbital prototype should be ready by June.
The SpaceX founder also added that the real, finished version would ‘[obviously] have windows, etc.’