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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

America's child care sticker shock

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Parents looking to return to the job market may find child care options have gotten pricier — and that's if they can enroll their kids at all.

Why it matters: The fate of the recovery partially relies on the return of parents who left the workforce to care for their children.

Biden's major border shake-up

A migrant family waits to be taken to a Border Patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande River. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris' trip to the border on Friday will play out amid the Biden administration widening shake-up of U.S. border policy and leadership.

Driving the news: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.) tells Axios that he's been advised by a border official that as soon as mid-July the Biden administration will end all use of Title 42, a Trump-era policy citing coronavirus as rationale to block migrants at the border.

DeSantis signs law requiring college faculty, students to take surveys on beliefs

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation requiring state colleges and universities to annually survey their students, faculty and staff about their beliefs to ensure "viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom."

Why it matters: The legislation doesn't specify for what the survey results will be used, but at a press conference on Tuesday DeSantis said that schools found to be "indoctrinating" students aren't "worth tax dollars" and are "not something we’re going to be supporting going forward."