New SpaceX Superheavy Starship Design is Metal Tanks and Structures

The new design for the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship will have mostly fairly heavy metal parts. This could relate to the previously mentioned tank and airframe structure changes. This is a change from the prior designs which had mainly composite materials.

Elon Musk mentioned this design change in a discussion of the titanium grid fins on the current Falcon 9.

We should see how this is coming together in early January when there may be photos of a partially assembled Starship (aka top stage of the BFR).

Previously Elon talked about changing the airframe, tanks and heatshield.

SpaceX Adapted Software Design Methods to Hardware

SpaceX continues to iterate on the design.

Agile methodologies or scrum were methods and processes developed by others for software development. This method uses short development iterations which are typically two weeks to a month per cycle. It is a continuous improvement or development process. The Waterfall method was the dominant project management approach before Agile.

Tesla does not have model years like traditional car companies. They make continuous slight incremental changes all the time on assembly-line. A Tesla car at the beginning year is not quite the same car at the end of the year. It is a slightly improved version of the car.

They can also send significant improvements to their customer’s cars with remote software updates.

SpaceX in 2019

There is more discussion of the possible metal structures here and other expected developments in 2019.

* there will be new commercial launches of the SpaceX Heavy
* there should be hop tests of the Starship late in 2019
* there should certification of the manned dragon vehicle
* beginning deployments of the Starlink satellites or at least quite a few more prototypes