SpaceX Orbital Starship is Getting Stacked in Texas

The orbital version of the SpaceX Starship is getting stacked in Texas. Pictures from Maria Pointer show that there seem to be improvements in how each of the ring sections are being constructed. The newest rings appear to be superior at the joins.

Roger Holt shows what all of the pieces will look like when put together for the orbital Starship.

41 thoughts on “SpaceX Orbital Starship is Getting Stacked in Texas”

  1. I don’t know.. this metal work seems doesn’t have any inner reinforcement like spars and ribs.. do you remember the first version that was completely destroyed by strong wind? Vibrations and aerodynamic pressure will break it apart ..

  2. What’s the most amazing thing about this rocket isn’t that it was designed in the 1930’s…it’s that so many people today think it’s being built to actually fly into space. SpaceX is a big hoax – take it to the bank.

  3. The question is, are they sparing no expense on the right things?

    Did you know, when the Columbia shuttle took off the last time, they had some serious concerns that it might have been damaged enough to not be safe for reentry? The engineers repeatedly demanded an in-orbit inspection. Nasa’s management wouldn’t permit it, because if it was bad, they might actually be forced to launch a rescue mission.

    But fit and finish? They spare no expenses when it comes to making the hardware shiny.

  4. Again these worries about prettiness! Faggots are to be confronted
    with a nod and a smile (without showing teeth).

  5. I think the perfect cylinder shape of the Starship and its shiny surface, not. Building a rocket in one’s backyard like scenes from the “The stronaut Farmer.”

  6. SpaceX literally proves the Taleb-ian claim, that technological progress is mostly a bottom-up process.

  7. Interesting. So how DOES it deploy anything?
    “Open the cargo bay door, Hal.”
    And the image in “You Only Live Twice” of SPECTRE’s ship engulfing the American spacecraft.

  8. On the contrary, two skins with a minimal bridging between is the most weight efficient way to go; Any other configuration requires even more mass in order to be strong enough.

  9. Well, it is sort of a 2nd stage booster with the final stage welded to it.

    And I still wonder if they should be designing it as a 2nd stage booster that always returns without the final stage attached.

    That would open up options like 3rd-party-built final stages, final-stage crew vehicles that stay in space to go between Earth and the moon, small crew capsules that just go to the ISS and stay there as ‘escape pods’ while the Starship 2nd stage booster goes home to be reused, etc.

  10. Sounds pretty heavy to me. And, like all second stages, Starship performance is incredibly sensitive to dry mass.

    That said, your explanation is the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise, they’d be dropping tanks in flush with the fairings.

  11. Boggle to think this is the =SHIP= not just a booster. And that they have enough delta-v to lift all that steel into orbit AND bring it back down, hopefully in one piece.

  12. Ever looked at a sheet of cardboard? Flat on the inside, flat on the outside, and corrugated in between? Structural members resist deflection by resisting compression and stretching on the outside surface, with a minimum of bridging material in between to transmit forces. Omit the skin on either side of that bridging material, and you’ve got a structure that will fail under some direction of loading.

    You can get around that by using balloon tanks, kept pressurized, but they’re a real pain to construct, and really aren’t suitable for the sort of reuse SpaceX intends. They need ships that can support their own weight even when the tanks are empty, and that means a skin on the outside, too.

  13. It’s not that unusual for the first few prototypes to look junky if you are in a hurry… if you look at how much protective material nasa has around the sls’s rocket skin’s body while they are putting it together… you realize nasa is building at the opposite extreme compared to spacex of being ultra careful and extremely slow to avoid messing up the pieces with dents…

  14. No I would guess it’s because the production article will have separate tank and skin/shielding structures. So it’s more useful to build/learn the prototype with those two.
    They may add tiles later.

  15. I think NASA’s “spare no expense” philosophy has gotten us used to a degree of fit and finish in spacecraft that wasn’t actually necessary or even cost effective. This rocket is for testing, and probably to destruction, prior to finalizing the design of the actual production model. It would be irrational to spend money to make it beautiful or build it to a standard that would assure it lasting for decades.

    Constructing it pretty will be quite feasible, but will require some custom fixturing which would be best built after the production design is finalized.

  16. This talk about trashcans makes me harken back to a debate about the skin of the space station, back in 1986. The Boeing Airplane engineers on the project wanted to use riveted aluminum for Space Station. They said it was so cheap, they wanted to offer NASA riveted modules for free! The older, wiser engineers, with Atlas Rocket experience, wanted nothing to do with rivets. They knew that the 45 minute long thermal shock cycle in low earth orbit would cause leaks in riveted skin after a few months. It will be interesting to see how SpaceX overcomes this problem.

  17. If it wasn’t for the fact that SpaceX is so successful I would think this jerry rigged rocket was a joke.

  18. I thought about that, and it’s possible that they want to get the weight and structure right. But if that thing is going to do transpiration cooling tests, I’ll eat my hat.

  19. I’m sure you were fapping to the high quality/high cost SLS that isn’t even built yet, huh?
    Why don’t you just wait til the thing has flown to judge instead of being a fool?

  20. more like judge a book by one of its multiple parallel manuscripts.

    breaking the mold of expensive prototyping that NASA uses, viz SLS, is a good thing. The end result is what matters.

  21. I’m confused. This is clearly not tankage. Why does Starship need full fairings outside the tanks?

  22. Obviously, some people think it has to look pretty and be a completely new breakthrough to be a accomplishment. While I feel somthing that has never been done before and is at a significantly larger scale plus has a significant purpose is a accomplishment. (with exceptions of course). Regardless of how it looks, unless beauty is one of the objectives of the design.

  23. What’s with the black sheets? Is it a protector? I assume that’s going to be peeled off.

  24. The Kitty Hawk flyer surely was a hack job too.

    Or as the saying goes, don’t judge a book for its cover.

    According to evidence these people know what they’re doing, even if it’s not that pretty right now.

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