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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Elon Musk says Starship must reach orbit within six months – and may even fly with crew next year – TechCrunch

Elon Musk says Starship must reach orbit within six months – and may even fly with crew next year – TechCrunch



SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has introduced an update on Starship, the company's socket spacecraft, which is designed for full "fast reuse". Musk discusses the technology behind the design of Starship, that is being developed. somewhat through testing and development since its initial introduction in 2017.

Among the detailed updates, Musk outlined how Starship would be used to make humans interplanetary, including its use in space for refueling by docking with Starships already in fuel transfer orbit. This is necessary for the spacecraft to receive enough fuel on board after launch to make the voyage to the moon or Mars from Earth ̵

1; especially after transporting 100 tonnes of cargo on board to deliver to those other spaces – based bodies.

 Elon Musk

These will include deliveries to build bases on planetary surfaces, as well as up to 100 passengers on long-range flights from planet to planet.

These are still very long-term goals, but Musk has also gone into details about the development of the current generation of Starship prototypes, as well as the planned future starships that will orbit and carry their first passengers.

The Starship Mk1, Mk2 and the upcoming Mk3 and Mk4 orbital test vehicles will have a percussion structure that will orient vehicles so that they can re-enter the earth's atmosphere on the plane of their bellies, entering a horizontal position, for increase drag and speed before sorting the flip ma neuver to rotate vertically and then the pendulum back to the vertical to touch down. In the simulation, as shown at the event, it looks like it will be amazing to watch as it looks uglier than the current Falcon landing process even if it is still just as controlled.

  SpaceX Starship Mk1 29

Starship's front blades will help it orient itself to re-entry, a key reusable component.

Musk also shared a look at the design planned for Super Heavy, the booster that will be used to propel Starship into orbit. This liquid oxygen rocket, which is about 1.5 times higher than Starship itself, will have 37 Raptor engines on board (Starship will only have six), and will also include six landing legs and rolling netting for self-return back to Earth.

In terms of testing and development deadlines, Musk said that Starship Mk1, which submitted the plan to Boca Chica, should conduct its first test flight in just one or two months. This will be a flight to altitude just below 70,000 feet. The prototype spacecraft is now equipped with the three Raptor engines it will use for this flight.

Next, Starship Mk2, currently under construction in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at another SpaceX facility, will attempt a similar test at high altitude. Musk explained that the two families would continue to compete with each other and build prototypes and rockets at Starship. The Mk3 will begin construction in Boca Chica early next month, and the Mk4 will follow in Florida shortly thereafter. Musk said the next Starship test flight after a suborbital trip to Mk1 could be an orbital launch with the full Super Heavy and Mk3 booster.

 Elon Musk 1

Musk said SpaceX would be "building ships and boosters here [at Boca Chica] and cape as fast as we can" and that they have already improved the design and the production of spacecraft sections "exponentially" as a result of competition.

Mk1 has welded ring assembly panels, which you can see in the detailed prototype picture below, for example, but Mk3 and Mk4 will use full stainless steel sheets that cover the entire diameter of the spacecraft welded with single welding. There was one such ring at the event, indicating that SpaceX is already on track to do the job.

This rapid prototyping will allow SpaceX to build and fly Mk2 in two months, Mk3 in three months, Mk4 in four months, etc. Musk added that either Mk3 or Mk5 will be this orbital test and that they want to be able to do it in less than six months. He added that ultimately, Starship flight missions will be carried out by both Boca Chica and Cape, and that the facilities will only focus on the production of Starships until the Mk4 is completed, after which they will begin the development of Super Heavy booster. [19659002]   Starship Mk1 Night

Overall Musk said SpaceX will need 100 of its Raptor rocket engines between now and its first orbital flight. At its current rate, SpaceX produces one every eight days – but they have to increase this output to one every two days within a few months and aim to produce one per day at the beginning of Q1 2019.

Because of their aggressive build and test cycle, and because, said Musk, the intention is to achieve rapid reuse to the point where you can "fly a booster 20 times a day" and "fly [starship] three or four times per day, "The company should theoretically be able to prove viability tiveness very quickly. Musk said he was optimistic that they could fly Starship test flights as early as next year as a result.

Part of its rapid reuse comes from the heat shield design SpaceX has developed for Starship, which includes stainless steel finish one half of the spacecraft, using ceramic tiles at the bottom, where heat is strongest during on re-entry. Musk said both are highly resilient to re-use stresses and contribute to frequent reuse without incurring huge costs – unlike their original concept, which uses carbon fibers instead of stainless steel.

Musk is known for offering timelines that don't quite match reality, but Starship's early tests aren't that far behind his predictions.


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