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SpaceX's Starship prototype in Boca Chica, Texas. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX founder Elon Musk unveiled the company's prototype Starship during a flashy event at its test site in Boca Chica, Texas, on Saturday night.

Why it matters: Musk hopes that one day the fully realized Starship will transport people and payloads to destinations like the Moon and Mars, helping to make humanity multiplanetary and insulating the species from any existential threats that could impact Earth.

Details: Musk said that the prototype Starship is expected to make its first flight, to an altitude of about 65,000 feet, in the next few months.

  • SpaceX will push for an orbital flight quickly, Musk said, adding that the company may try to send the Starship to orbit in about 6 months.
  • “I think we could potentially see people fly next year if we get to orbit in about 6 months,” Musk said.
  • The company is also planning to develop its Super Heavy rocket with up to 37 engines that can send Starship to deep space.

The intrigue: The Starship event triggered a pointed statement from NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine as SpaceX works toward flying astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Crew Dragon for NASA for the first time:

  • "I am looking forward to the SpaceX announcement tomorrow," Bridenstine said in a tweet ahead of the event. "In the meantime, Commercial Crew is years behind schedule. NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm focused on the investments of the American taxpayer. It's time to deliver."
  • Musk responded to the tweet, saying that less than 5% of the company is focused on Starship.

Go deeper: Watch a replay of the Starship event

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have arrived at the Capitol. Members of congressional leadership and VIPs will soon be introduced. Watch a livestream here.

What's next: Biden and Harris will take their oaths of office. Shortly after, President Biden will deliver his inaugural address. What to expect.

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Doug Emhoff, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden arrive at the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power at the Capitol only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters. Trump did not attend the ceremony.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Momentum builds for major antitrust reform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's outgoing antitrust chief Makan Delrahim on Tuesday endorsed a proposal from House Democrats that would put new limits on acquisitions by large companies, during comments made at a Duke University event.

Why it matters: Momentum is building for major antitrust reform, updating rules that were written for railroads instead of routers.