SpaceX gets pumped for Starship with splashy 'Gateway to Mars' hype video

Soaring drone shots and lavish views of engines and spacecraft will make space fans swoon.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Enlarge Image

Elon Musk tweeted this view of "Starbase under construction" on Oct. 22.

Elon Musk/SpaceX

SpaceX's Starship hasn't reached orbit yet, but Elon Musk's company wants everyone to remember its ultimate destination: Mars. SpaceX tweeted a lavish video homage to its future plans set to a rock-beat instrumental soundtrack. 

"Gateway to Mars," SpaceX said over the weekend in a nod to its interplanetary ambitions.

The video acts as a behind-the-scenes peek at the activities happening at SpaceX's Starbase development and launch facility in Texas. It comes hot on the heels of the company's first firing of a Raptor vacuum engine attached to a Starship prototype

SpaceX has hopped various shiny Starship prototypes short distances during testing, but it's still waiting to find out whether the Federal Aviation Administration will allow it to attempt an orbital launch from Texas. 

"If all goes well, Starship will be ready for its first orbital launch attempt next month, pending regulatory approval," Musk tweeted on Oct. 2. In the meantime, work on the orbital prototype is moving forward, as the video illustrates.

Gateway to Mars certainly plays to SpaceX's dedicated fan base, but it also works as a greatest-hits collection for the development of Starship, covering everything from its in-air acrobatics to a sweeping drone view of Starship dangling from a crane.

The video works as a clever bit of marketing aimed at building hype around Starship, but it's also a sign of progress as SpaceX's next-generation spacecraft aims to make history and reach orbit for the first time. Mars is a long way away, but a successful orbital launch would be a thunderous baby step in that direction.

Watch this: SpaceX Starship is preparing for its first orbital flight