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.