SpaceX’s Orbital Starships in Florida and Texas are Making Rapid Progress

The Texas version of the orbital Starship is further along in assembly. Here as a picture from over a week ago.

SpaceX is planning Single Stage To Orbit test flights. However, those flights will not be reusable. They will likely use a series of sub-orbital reusable flights and then a final orbital flight.

They hope to produce their 100th Raptor engine early next year. They need seven Raptor engines to for a full set of orbital engines for each orbital Starship.

Fourteen Raptor engines would be needed to complete the orbital Starships in Texas and Florida.

SpaceX has a second orbital test version of the metal Starship under construction in Florida. The body is now in three or four parts but those parts are being rapidly constructed and assembly into a completed body could

SOURCES- Twitter

24 thoughts on “SpaceX’s Orbital Starships in Florida and Texas are Making Rapid Progress”

  1. It looks to me like the design and installation of the insulation material is poor. Not sure it will hold up during reentry. With all of the insulation problems experienced on the space shuttle think the design and installation would be better.

  2. Backwater planet? More like the DPRK.

    Hell, if the Nork’s rolled out this thing–the same internet trolls that bash the professional grade SLS would attack Starship instead, based on its Tintin looks

  3. Those photos are for one ugly hunk of tin… as they a say, a picture is worth a thousand words… i.e. yikes! x1000. 😉

  4. Knowing how Elon likes everything to look nice and finished I somehow doubt that the seams will show on the final iteration of these ships. This is just the hopper. I don`t think the real ships will have seams that show. They`ll be as sleek and shiny as a silver ball point pen.

  5. Ah, spring in Texas. You gotta love a spaceship prototype with mildew in the cracks.

  6. I should be functionally insignificant, but as any aerospace and car company knows, wrinkled brand new stuff makes lousy marketing material.

  7. Well, I do work in industry, I’m a tooling engineer working with SS sheet metal components. Dirty metal = contaminated welds.

    I’m not concerned with the finish, I agree it doesn’t matter if the body is polished or matt. To a certain extent the dents don’t matter in a test article, either.

    I’m just curious how the body got that filthy; The sheet stock certainly wouldn’t have come in looking like that.

  8. Sorry, no SSTO flights are planned. Elon responded to a question with “…technically could, but [no payload, no recovery]” meaning it would be useless for anything but setting some kind of record.

  9. Yeah, I had some thoughts along those lines. What’s with the huge black splotches? Even for a test article that’s ugly.

  10. I wonder if they had to post treat the skin to make it reach this level of uglyness, or if it was just a natural consequence of sloppy craftsmanship? Perhaps it was a kind of reverse psychology salespoint: “Look, we are building this so fast and only care about function that we even let the prototype look like an old oil cistern from the soviet union. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the prototype. It’s awful looking, isn’t it? So we are serious.”

  11. I guess we will be looking at these prototypes someday In air and space museum in DC… they are going to need a third building…

  12. As the others have said, I’m pretty confident that these are just meant for “hop” tests where the center of mass is more important than aerodynamics.

  13. Exactly – this kind of rocket looks like something you’d see on some backwater planet in Star Wars, where Han Solo would smack the console to make it work right.

    Either that, or they’d be building this rocket on Gilligan’s Island under the Professor’s supervision.

  14. My take is these still are test vehicles.

    Made to validate the architecture and prove its feasibility, and still assembled in a parking lot.

    Factory made ones should look more professionally made, I hope.

  15. Perhaps launching satellites or small load to LEO will make economic sense with a one stage Starship. It might improve the economy of the Starship Return from Mars and also landing on earth and from earth to earth supersonic flight?

  16. The surface finish looks like something that participated in Star Wars and barely survived.

    Wonder if they are going to be able to manufacture it with high precision. Maybe the drag losses are insignificant. Max Q usually occurs around mach 1.

  17. Once you have reusable 1st stages, there’s not a whole lot of reason to go SSTO. The cargo capacity loss is too much, even if you can make it work.

    The Aerospike might make sense for a 1st stage rocket. “Might”. The big selling point for an aerospike is good performance over a wide pressure range, and the 1st stage booster sees that. The 2nd stage doesn’t.

  18. That road always seems to lead to nowhere. I doubt a SST with aerospike will be able to lift much weight to LEO.

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