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The SpaceX Starship is a fully reusable super heavy-lift launch vehicle under development by SpaceX since 2012, as a self-funded private spaceflight project.
The second stage of the Starship is designed as a long-duration cargo and passenger-carrying spacecraft. It is expected to be initially used without any booster stage at all, as part of an extensive development program to prove out launch-and-landing and iterate on a variety of design details, particularly with respect to the vehicle's atmospheric reentry.
While the spacecraft will be tested on its own at suborbital altitudes, it will be used on orbital launches with an additional booster stage, the Super Heavy, where the spacecraft will serve as the second stage on a two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle.
Integrated system testing of a proof of concept for Starship began in March 2019, with the addition of a single Raptor rocket engine to a reduced-height prototype, nicknamed Starhopper — similar to Grasshopper, an equivalent prototype of the Falcon 9 reusable booster. Starhopper was used from April through August 2019 for static testing and low-altitude, low-velocity flight testing of vertical launches and landings in July and August 2019. More prototype Starships are under construction and are expected to go through several iterations. All test articles have a 9 metres (30 ft) of diameter stainless steel hull.
SpaceX is planning to launch commercial payloads using Starship no earlier than 2021. In April 2020, NASA selected a modified human rated Starship system as one of three lunar landing systems to receive funding for a 10-month long initial design phase for the Artemis program.