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SpaceX's Starship will soon be made of different stuff

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SpaceX plans to build its Mars-colonizing spaceship out of a different stainless-steel alloy.

SpaceX is about to make a bone-deep tweak to its Starship Mars-colonizing spacecraft.

The California-based company built its first few Starship prototypes out of a stainless-steel alloy known as 301. But aerospace engineers have been using that particular metallic blend since the middle of the last century, and it's time for SpaceX to make a change, Elon Musk said.

"We should be able to do better in the 2020s than they did in, like, the '50s, you know?" Musk said Monday (March 9) during a keynote conversation at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, D.C. "So, I think we'll start switching away from 301 maybe in the next month or two."

SpaceX is still committed to stainless steel for both the 100-passenger Starship and Super Heavy, the giant rocket that will launch the ship off Earth. The company will just migrate to a different alloy, whose constituents …