SpaceX Starship

The SpaceX Starship system is a fully reusable, two‑stage‑to‑orbit super heavy‑lift launch vehicle. The system is composed of a booster stage named Super Heavy and a second stage, also called “Starship”. Unusual for a traditional launch vehicle second stage, the Starship second stage is being designed to be a long‑duration cargo and passenger‑carrying spacecraft.

Development of the Raptor rocket engine began in 2012, while vehicle development began in 2016 as a self‑funded private spaceflight project. Testing of the Starship second stage began in 2019 as part of an extensive development program to prove out launch‑and‑landing and iterate on a variety of design details. NASA has selected SpaceX to design a modified crew-rated Starship system as a potential lunar landing system to serve in the Artemis program, although the contract is currently on hold.