Elon Musk Says Orbital Starship Could Be Ready to Fly at the End of August

Elon Musk the first version of the Orbital Starship could be ready to fly with 3 Raptor engines by the end of August. Three Raptor engines will not be enough to get it to orbit.

The two Starship prototypes are each in two parts. They have installed some bulkheads into them. They will be 45 to 50 meters tall when stacked. This will be about 10-20% shorter than the specifications revealed late in 2018. The final orbital Starship will have 6 Raptor engines.

There is talk about increasing the Raptor engines for point to point versions of the Starship for anywhere on EArth travel in under an hour.

Elon will present details of the orbital Starship in about three weeks. There will have been some 200 meter or higher hops of the Starhopper by then.

12 thoughts on “Elon Musk Says Orbital Starship Could Be Ready to Fly at the End of August”

  1. I’ve spent many, many hours dealing with mirror finish products that look terrible if they have a level of “damage” that is completely invisible on the brushed finish versions.

    Yes, go for the brushed if you can.

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  2. I agree! Unless there are slight details that can be changed, or changed in their order. Ex you point to catapult start (O’Neill!) over eventual mass driver. It will get a lot clearer when somebody has to start paying for it! ELEO changes the whole concept, as now an orbital habitat/workspace has the advantage over ALL others in not needing radiation shielding. Shielding is eventually cheap (especially if the needed structure supplies it, as in Island 3), but hard to make from *empty* space. And please think of the ELEO hab as a large manufacturing facility, not just a temporary stepping stone to a *good* planetary (includes Moon) surface. It will start supplying Earth when its initial outward push is accomplished. And it can be an affordable tourist destination w/o any lunar support efforts being started *yet*.
    Man, it is looking good! No show stoppers! Cheap at any cost!

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  3. Need a few basics on the Moon:
    1. Mining equipment to get the R in ISRU. Mostly robotic, can be tele-operated from Earth or orbit.
    2. Catapult to launch that R off the Moon. Mass driver comes later, when production capacity is higher, and need more launch capacity.
    3. Inflatable habs to let people stay there for short periods to do repairs and help the robots if needed. Use the mining equipment to cover them with dirt against radiation.
    4. Maybe a small propellant plant to refill your rockets until a bigger plant+depot is set up in LM2 (and another in Earth orbit). Can land more stuff if you don’t need to reserve fuel for the way back.
    5. Maybe an ore processing plant to make other stuff.

    Can bring all of these from Earth to get started. BFR can land several tens of tons per trip if it’s refueled in LEO. Some of that can be even before any ELEO colonies. Then you use that to bootstrap the bigger infrastructure. Some stuff can be difficult to build on Moon/orbit at first, so you keep bringing it from Earth until you have enough of an industrial base in space.

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  4. so, we ride the Starship to the Al Globus rotating Starship launched ELEO radiation shieldless hotel/workspace. We hang out or work as needed, as it is cheap. A ride to the Moon is avail, with Blue Moon derived shuttles. There, you can do something like a Space Walk, but on the Moon. What to call it? Anyway, delivered product/less fuel now means we can scoop up some dirt and still take off back to the hotel. Where they make the bulk of the mass driver, to be installed on the Moon. OK.

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  5. Mirror polish metal is just about impossible to make looking smooth without ridiculous levels of expense.

    A coat of paint and it would look just like any other rocket, but paint is

    • Heavy. At least at this scale
    • Expensive, in both time and money
    • Flammable. Unless you put even more time and money into it.
    • Less reflective of heat
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  6. The spit and polish is for the formal launch … not testing. Nerds have no time for aesthetics when trying to get something to work.

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