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Elon Musk’s SpaceX assembles a shiny Starship

Starship Hopper
Which is the illustration, and which is the actual Starship Hopper test rocket? The real rocket is on the left — and take note of the Starman standing by one of the fins. (Elon Musk via Twitter)

For weeks, photographers have been snapping pictures of a retro-looking, shiny stainless-steel rocket that’s been taking shape at SpaceX’s launch site in South Texas — and tonight, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk declared that assembly of the first Starship short-hop test rocket is complete.

Musk tweeted a picture of what looks to be a roughly 120-foot-tall “Starship Hopper,” composed of three sections that were put together at SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility.

“This is an actual picture, not a rendering,” Musk wrote. But the rocket does look eerily like the illustration that Musk shared several days earlier — or, for that matter, the pointy-topped rockets that were all the rage in the 1940s.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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