Flight Tests of the World Changing 100% Reusable SpaceX Starship Will Start 6 Months Early

Elon Musk will do a full technical presentation of Starship after the test vehicle they are building in Texas flies in March or April, 2019. This would be 6 to 8 months ahead of previous announcements made by Elon Musk or by SpaceX COO Gwynn Shotwell.

The Falcon 9 Block 5 is about 80% reusable. The first stage is 70% of the cost and 10% for the waterproof nose cone farings. The farings have been recovered in a mostly undamaged condition but have not been reused yet.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy has flown once. By May, 2019 it should have flown two more times and reusing 3 first stages and a faring would be over 90% reuse.

The Block 5 boosters should be reusable up to ten times before an overhaul is needed.

The Super Heavy Starship will be 100% reusable and reuses could hundreds of times.

Compare the cost of rockets to Boeing or Airbus jets. A Boeing Dreamliner that flies back and forth around the country twice everyday has over 700 reuses every year. Most of the largest passenger planes have prices in the $100 million to $330 million price range. Passenger jet planes have costs that are similar to large rockets.

The difference in ticket prices and cargo prices is how many reuses are obtained from the vehicles.

Here is a reminder of what the grasshopper hop tests looked like before the Falcon 9 was made reusable.

Elon Musk has also tweeted about how they have changed the materials in the SpaceX Falcon 9.

I believe the SpaceX tests will be mainly to flight test the Raptor engines and basic airframe of the SpaceX Starship. The top portion of the Starship will be made into a very simple tube and cover. This will be similar to the top of the grasshopper. They will be testing the engines, configuration of the engines and vibrations of the engines. They will be iterating changes as they perform tests.

16 thoughts on “Flight Tests of the World Changing 100% Reusable SpaceX Starship Will Start 6 Months Early”

  1. we need prospector droids, with sample return and interchangeable standard parts to find nice spots and return samples,from the bright spots on Ceres ect,then mine them in your way.

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  2. Mat… To make a decent spaceship better to send three 60 feet pieces of unmanned solar powered modules with fuel and supplies and two re entry modules attached to a big near earth asteroid like eros or one that has a minor amount of gravity. Park them relatively close together. Remote operate them together if possible. Then using two dredge like shovels pick up the dirt there to fill up a void between hulls to act as shielding from radiation. If cant join at time, winch together when people get there. At least they can still fill up on dirt. If and when they are all joined together. Deploy two main solarcell platforms on either side. Launch off asteroid and turn on spin cycle for artificial gravity. And voila have powered , protected artificial gravity spaceship.

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  3. So, 300 series, not Inconel. Probably 309S; It’s weldable, has good strength at high temperatures, and is already in use in places like aircraft engines and exhaust systems.

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  4. Great to see some significant parts assembled. Looks like a lot of fun things to look forward to from SpaceX in 2019:

    • Starship/Raptor/MOX hop test – a huge aerospace milestone
    • Crew Dragon operations
    • multiple FHs
    • 5 time F9 first stage/fairing reuse?
    • maybe a bigger Starlink orbital test?

    The BFR picture is a bit dated … and my guess is that there will be far fewer windows on the operational Starship than in the CAD rendering … and it will be smaller (stainless steel is heavy). Windows add risk and requires more weight to mitigate for the weakness they create. It is better to place cameras outside and use OLED displays/projectors inside.

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  5. No, he can’t feel better. His pathological skepticism can only be satisfied by catastrophes that don’t happen, and keep on not happening. He is doomed to insignificant non-cromulence.

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