Spaceflight Insider

Video: SpaceX reveals its Interplanetary Transport System

SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

An artist’s rendering of SpaceX’s Interplanetary Transport System landing on Mars. Image Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX released a video about its new Interplanetary Transport System. More details are being presented at the 67th International Astronautical Congress today (Sept. 27) at 2:30 p.m. EDT (18:30 GMT). Watch it live at

Musk tweeted that the rocket booster will be 39 feet (12 meters) in diameter whereas the spaceship will be 56 feet (17 meters) wide. The whole stack will be 400 feet (122 meters) tall. It will launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.

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Video courtesy of SpaceX



Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity. You can find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.

Reader Comments

As an early signer, can I reserve a window seat ?

My only concern is the ” Soviet N-1 Effect ” – having so many engines clustered in the first stage and expecting them all ( or most of them ) to funtion flawlessly . The aforementioned N-1 moon rocket ignited three times, actually flew up twice, but blew up all three times.

If that SpaceX behemoth is generating 28 million lbs. thrust , and the Raptor engine puts out 500,000 lbs. thrust, the math says there are 56 engines under that stack.

Gulp. But I still want a seat.

I thought the exact same thing. The N1 immediately came to mind. Good luck to them though. The fact that they have a tank finished is pretty neat.

Well, i hope with modern avionics it could solved the problem. And keeping that gigantic tank a secret would be hard for SpaceX (maybe they disguised it as a water tank?), and I’m really surprised when they showed it.

I’m somewhat concerned that this may be too big a jump to succeed without first having a “proof of concept” intermediate step forward. A smaller, intermediate size vehicle using the carbon fiber technology but also incorporating the new raptor engine would seem prudent. I somehow cannot see hauling 100 pioneers to Mars without taking some intermediate steps to develop infrastructure on the planet ahead of the rush to populate the new land. Does anyone else share these concerns?

Spacex is only concerned about getting there, not what to do with people there. If you pay attention in the videos, there is no illustration of bases or cities. Let’s hope for Bigelow to get into this with a partnership or something to help this dream come true.

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