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Elon Musk and SpaceX plan a Starship Mars rocket update for October

After four "hops," the next version of the company's Mars rocket could become the first one to make it to space.

This concept illustration shows a SpaceX Starship on the moon.

SpaceX has managed to get four prototypes of its eventual Mars rocket, dubbed Starship, off the ground, but so far the flights have been less than a minute and have gone no higher than about 500 feet (150 meters). 

CEO Elon Musk is looking to change that with the official version 1.0 of the next-generation rocket, which he says will be presented at an event later in October.

"Starship update coming in about three weeks. The design has coalesced," Musk tweeted Friday.

SpaceX has been working toward a Starship that can make it to orbit and back. Those efforts have been in full swing for over a year since its development program in Boca Chica, Texas, began really ramping up. This month's event will be the follow-up to a presentation in September 2019 in which Musk stood before a full-scale mock-up of Starship to detail his vision.

The successful "hops" of the prototypes so far have come with failures in between, which are ultimately part of the process of testing the new system.

Starship may be Musk's magnum opus. He's said the monster craft -- expected to be about 164 feet (50 meters) tall -- will be capable of super-quick international flights on Earth, as well as transporting people to the moon, Mars and perhaps further.