SpaceX briefly built the world’s largest rocket on Friday, attaching the Starship spacecraft to the Super Heavy booster at its Texas facility.
The structure’s total height was 400 feet, nearly 40 feet higher than NASA’s next largest Saturn V rocket.
The SpaceX rocket, on the other hand, will have roughly twice the thrust of the Saturn V, with 70 meganewtons versus 25 meganewtons.
Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, tweeted photos of the accomplishment, calling it a “honour to work with such a great team.”
The two segments were connected for about an hour Friday at the Starbase R&D facility in Boca Chica, Texas, before workers disassembled them again. The two pieces were joined together by a large crane used by the company.
In the coming months, SpaceX plans to launch the Starship into space aboard the Super Heavy for a single orbit around Earth, subject to FAA approval. Both segments will be ditched into the ocean, but the company intends to land them on land or aboard a sea platform so they can be reused, similar to its Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX successfully launched and landed the Starship, which will serve as a vehicle for moon and Mars landings, in May. Previous tests had all ended in fiery explosions.
As part of the planned Artemis missions, NASA chose the Starship to land astronauts on the moon. SpaceX has also sold a private flight around the moon using Starship to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, which is set to take place in early 2023.