SpaceX Starship Assembled Body Within Days As Teased by Elon Musk

Elon Musk indicated there would be cool pictures of the demo Starship in around 4 weeks of a December 8th tweet. The polished body of the nosecone will be stacked onto the cylinder main body section within days.

SpaceX has not shown the three Raptor engines that will power the Starhopper. The bottom section will have tailfins. There needs to be the fuel tank and the pipes for moving the fuel.

The Starhopper will be 9 meters wide (29.5 feet) and 40 meters tall (131 feet).

Above- NASASpaceflight user bocachicagal’s put together on-site photos taken by Thomas Lacroix. The Starhopper appears to be three-quarters the height of a full 2018 BFS. (SpaceX, NASASpaceflight, Thomas Lacroix)

47 thoughts on “SpaceX Starship Assembled Body Within Days As Teased by Elon Musk”

  1. No, NASA is a civilian agency. Their personnel are all civilians and they are in no way part of or subject to the Department of Defense. DOD contracts for the building and launching of its own payloads by itself.

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  2. Yes, this is a sub scale test article designed to test engines, control mechanisms, and other engineering systems. Everybody knows that, or, at the very least, SpaceX has been very clear about it. The real space ship is still several years away. They won’t even be able to finalize the design until they have analyzed the data from these test flights.

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  3. I think you misunderstood RedPlane’s post. He is comparing the congressionally mandated NASA project, SLS (Space Launch System) unfavorably to SpaceX’s BFR (I refuse to use the stupid name Starship). He is saying NASA has spent $10 billion on SLS, and has no flight hardware ready to go, while SpaceX has spent a fraction of that, worked for a fraction of the time, and is almost ready to begin flights with a test article. Thus will Elon make fools of NASA and Congress.

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  4. Not bad, from a publicity perspective.

    Remember that this is on the Texas coast.
    This is SpaceX property.
    NASA does not own this.
    The USAF does not run it.
    They are going to be daring and innovative.
    Their first test might occur faster than expected.

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  5. The space shuttle had wings which made it need fancier tiles, in turn it could steer towards multiple different airports on reentry. Nasa had alternative option of following the older, simpler do it like a ballistic missile or apollo mission where you have a blunt nose and simple shape that creates a shockwave that keeps the plasma away from the shuttle so it doesn’t get as hot, but for military mission reasons the shuttle instead chose the much harder wings.

    Similar to a balistic missile, this sort of shape has been known to potentially work for 50 years, bigger is easier as more mass to volume so more material can help soak up the heat, if required you add a layer of sacrifical shielding on outside that turns into a gas or plasma like on balistic missiles.

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  6. Oh, they’re corporate welfare thieves on the right too. Right and left.

    (Tribalism makes us say ‘unga bunga’ – don’t be anyone’s slave bit@h. : )

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  7. Tru; but let’s acknowledge that a lot of SpaceX private funding comes from NASA. That takes nothing his entrepreneurial bona fides, governments are just the ones willing to spend HUGE money with a limited probability of ROI.

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  8. Mat… So proud of Elon. He’s showing people that he has an intense amount of willpower and wants to achieve his acomplishment. Hopefully inspires other people to do the same. In some ways I’m the same. Although i give my concepts and ideas away for free to nasa for the iss and now mainly to the canadian space agency and online. Elon please consider more infastructure for human missions to mars as i will be sending can.space agency more concepts in 2019 to hopefully help.

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  9. Like come on folks. This is literally rocket science. Who here can pretend they know a thing about it. Noone said flying in four weeks, said the case would be assembled. As for smoothness and bondo- you could figure that yes : the final product will look cleaner. You could also figure that if the final product doesn’t look cleaner, that there was an engineered reason for the fact that it didn’t. As for Elon marketing … he’s in bed with NASA. So his sales are contractual also basically guaranteed (who but NASA is looking to buy spaceships ? Bruce Dickinson got tired of his tank collection? ). Let’s just see what happens. We xan call it a bad idea later – when one comes crashing down into the middle of a major city. For now though – who cannpretend that this isn’t at least neat?

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  10. Looks positively retro.

    The hopper even moreso than the depicted renders and schematics of the final product.

    Futurism is going full circle, with predictions of yore becoming valid and current again.

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  11. I’m afraid you misread that. They will be largely finished building the demo vehicle in 4 weeks. Not that they would be launching it.

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  12. We the people should demand every penny given to the SLS be returned and handed to SpaceX. Both Boeing and ULA have been scamming us for years. Nothing more than a money-making, money-laundering scam. They post their lobbyists in Washington then screw us over. It shouldn’t be allowed. Lockheed and Boeing should stick to their Earthly Military and civilian products and leave space to the visionary’s. I’m not at all surprised that Blue Origin hasn’t accomplished anything useful. Lockheed will never allow it. So all we have really is SpaceX!

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  13. And while your at it (and I’m talking to you PurplePumpkin), please bone up on your English skills. Even if you are from Russia, there are still rules for punctuating sentences and capitalizing words. So work on yourself before critiquing others. Even Russian hackers have to meet professional standards.

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  14. I don’t know why people are assuming they’re not going to add more sections. There are extra rings still to be added. We have no idea what the final height will be.

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  15. It appears that they are trying to make as much progress as quickly as possible — hence rapidly assembling sheet metal into the basic shape but nothing that could withstand re-entry speeds. It’s basically a shape. But it is a full-scale shape. And so it might impress people that they are actually building the Starship. The video of a full-diameter ship doing increasing hops are, I think, primarily designed to get the SHS to be considered by the policy-makers towards a public-private program. I support all of this but point out that a shape going up and down is a far cry from an orbital flight article. They’d making good progress but they have a very long way to go.

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  16. if it were milspec they would have inspectors to watch the inspectors and a fork lift to move the requirements documents around for the third line inspectors to approve

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  17. Great to see a person/organization willing to charge ahead … just what is needed for engineering sake. Maybe when it’s your own money on the line (vs the taxpayers) you cut our the nice to have for just what is needed. Musk’s projects are willing to challenge convention, like finishing Telsas under a tent. Well capitalize engineering focused quick model->build->test->learn cycles make progress in years, not decades possible. Another example is the new Telsa 3 powertrains that blew the critics way. I hope the same has happened the Starship’s Raptor based “powertrain”. These are the rare leaps that make new futures possible. A lot to look forward in the spring!

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  18. NASA is held to the whims of Congress, their pork, their election cycles. Finding an escape hatch for real progress by way of commercial partners was a stroke of brilliance. No need to have SRBs foisted upon your design because some senator wants to bring home the bacon to Utah. No need to scrap your designs and start over because now we’re going to the Moon, maybe later we do that Mars thing. Oh no, we exploded a rocket! Get ready for funding cuts…

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  19. Maybe I’m reading purpleairballoon’s comment wrong, but I think you’re both on the same team here? I think they’re saying $10B spent on SLS, while must privately funded his and it’s already hopping along much faster. I could be wrong.

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  20. NASA is run by lifer buerocrats, what do you expect? Lot of pockets have been lined with tax payers dollars. They are liberal thiefs who have stealing tax payer dollrs down to a fine art.

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  21. Milspec spacecraft? Lol no such thing, plus, saying its milspec doesnt make it better, in most cases that’s a bad thing from my experiences.

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  22. OliveTooth. Yeah.
    It definitely looks like it was tossed together quick. That’s the point though.
    No sense wasting money on a prototype that is just there to evaluate and tune propulsion and control systems.
    If they pressurize the inside of it those wrinkles will come out an it will look better.

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  23. I am with PurplePumkin on this one. NASA wasted zillions and progressed at a snail’s pace over my lifetime. Forcing space X on them is a good move.

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  24. THAT is you response to the fact that the guy is criticizing Congress for forcing SLS on NASA and wasting BILLIONS with nothing to show for it?
    I hope you don’t vote because the lack of wanting any accountability from you is quite disgusting.

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  25. You rather be grounded? cornered by fear? and false flag attacks which get humans no where? People investing in space is bad idea? Do you work for the NSA? NASA? CIA? cause those are the only people who want to oppress you to the point where you’re believing everything you’re told on the tv, in the media, in the news. You know what’s wrong with humans? People like you. You can think for yourself but instead you listen to what you’re told.

    I’m confused, we’ve spent more on wars, but now it’s foolish to spend money on space?

    Yeah you sound like a warmonger, a disgusting microbe, a useless human being.

    Please don’t comment insanely dumb crap on the internet, it’s useless.

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  26. Suborbital hops in 4 weeks ..has SLS flown at all yet…..10B$+ later Musky is gonna make fools out of everyone who ever supported that project

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