SpaceX’s next and soon-to-be most powerful rocket officially has a new name.
The private spaceflight company’s founder, Elon Musk, announced on Twitter late Monday night that SpaceX’s BFR — short for Big Falcon Rocket or Big F*cking Rocket, depending on who you ask — is now going to be known as SpaceX’s Starship.
It’s an aspirational name for a rocket that hasn’t yet flown, but Musk has high hopes for the future booster and ship.
Technically, two parts: Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2018
“Starship is the spaceship/upper stage & Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth’s deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons),” Musk said on Twitter.
The ship is expected to be about 387 feet, 118 meters long, with enough space for 100 people aboard.
At this point, only time and money will tell whether the Starship will be successful.
SpaceX isn’t yet receiving any government funding for the space system, and it’s unclear exactly what kind of market will exist for the huge rocket and ship in the future.
It’s also important to note that SpaceX, as a company, has yet to fly any humans to any part of space at all, though that could change in the coming year if they start flying astronauts to the International Space Station as planned.
But the audacity of the plan is very on-brand for Musk and his space company.
Earlier this year, Musk announced that the Starship would bring Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur, on a trip around the moon with a group of hand-picked artists in 2023.
Until then, the company is pouring resources into getting the actual rocket built and flying.
One day, Musk hopes that the Starship will be used to bring people and supplies to Mars.
He has big dreams of cities on the Red Planet decades from now, establishing humanity as a “two-planet species” capable of living through a cataclysmic event because we’re spread across the solar system.
According to Musk, Starship could be used for any number of journeys into the cosmos. The space system could be used to travel deep into the solar system in order to visit faraway moons and planets.
The Starship will be an “interplanetary transport system that’s capable of getting people anywhere in the solar system,” Musk said in September.
But for the time being, SpaceX will have to stick to its two smaller rockets — the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy — to break the bonds of Earth’s gravity.