WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Elon Musk Visits Cocoa, Where SpaceX’s New Rocket Prototype Taking Shape

SpaceX's Starhopper prototype takes shape at a manufacturing facility in Cocoa, Florida. Photo: Julia Bergeron

SpaceX founder Elon Musk is visiting Florida’s Space Coast checking out a prototype of a brand new rocket.

Musk is visiting a manufacturing facility in Cocoa, where a team is assembling a prototype of a new vehicle called Starship — a cylindrical, futuristic looking vehicle that can carry payloads and possibly humans to places like the moon or Mars.

Details of the rocket system were outlined in a draft environmental proposal last week. A 31-engine booster called Super Heavy will launch the vehicle. All together, the system will stand about 387 feet tall.

A team in Boca Chica, Texas is also working on a similar prototype. Musk said the two teams are competing to see which location is more effective. Musk visited the Texas site Sunday.

The Boca Chica team recently “hopped” its prototype using a brand new SpaceX engine called Raptor and plans to “hop” the spacecraft about 600 feet in the coming weeks. Musk says an orbital test is forthcoming.

SpaceX said once fully developed, Starship will launch from Kennedy Space Center and land vertically back on the Space Coast. It’s unclear when the first Florida launch will occur.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »