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Elon Musk giving update on SpaceX's Starship Mars rocket Thursday

We're about to get another progress report on SpaceX's huge Starship Mars rocket.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced last week (opens in new tab) that he'll give a big Starship update on Thursday (Feb. 10) at 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT on Feb. 11). The presentation will be webcast live; you can watch it here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab).

SpaceX is developing Starship to carry astronauts and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond. The giant vehicle consists of two elements, both of which are designed to be fully and rapidly reusable: a first-stage booster called Super Heavy and a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) spacecraft known as Starship.

Photos: SpaceX lifts huge Super Heavy rocket onto launch stand

Musk periodically gives in-depth presentations about Starship progress and plans. But it's been a while since we got one; Thursday's will be the first such status report since September 2019.

There should be a lot to talk about on Thursday. SpaceX is gearing up the first-ever Starship orbital test flight, which will lift off from the company's Starbase facility in South Texas. SpaceX plans to launch that mission as soon as possible after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wraps up an environmental assessment of Starbase. That review is expected to be complete at the end of this month, FAA officials have said.

SpaceX already has some Starship missions on the books. For example NASA picked the giant vehicle as the lunar lander for the first crewed surface mission of its Artemis program, a touchdown that's targeted for 2025 or thereabouts.

And Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who recently returned from a tourist trip to the International Space Station, has booked a Starship trip around the moon for himself and a handful of artists. That mission could launch as soon as next year.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab)

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Mike Wall
Mike Wall

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.