SpaceX spaceship’s parts – an upper-stage dubbed Starship and a booster called Super Heavy – were joined at the company’s Starbase R&D center in Boca Chica, Texas. The SpaceX rocket towers over any previous launch vehicle, standing 120 meters (400 feet) tall. When it ultimately lifts off, it will produce approximately twice the thrust of the vehicles that sent men to the moon. The legendary Saturn V rockets’ primary engines exploded with a force of 35 meganewtons (almost 8 million pounds). The new SpaceX Super Heavy booster is expected to have a thrust of around 70 meganewtons. A big crane was required to link the two segments. They were held together for an hour before being separated once more.

SpaceX still has weeks or months of testing ahead of it to be ready for its first launch. The launcher will send the Starship into space for a once-around-the-Earth mission, culminating in a “landing” near the Hawaiian islands in the Pacific. The Super Heavy will be sunk in the Gulf of Mexico. NASA, the United States’ space agency, has already hired SpaceX to create a version of the Starship upper-stage capable of landing astronauts near the lunar south pole this decade.