SpaceX is Building Ring Segments of the Super Heavy Booster

The metal rings for the Super Heavy booster appear to be under construction. The ring segments for the Super Heavy Booster match up with the ring segments on the lower portion of the upper stage Starship. There are now about 11 extra steel ring segments at the SpaceX Florida facility. This would be about 14 to 18 meters of the Super-Heavy Booster.

Musk has said Starship could be ready for its first orbital flight tests as early as December 2019 and the SpaceX’s first Super Heavy prototype could be fully assembled by the end of 2019 or very early in 2020.

SOURCES – Twitter Eric Ralph, Teslarati
Written By Brian Wang,

63 thoughts on “SpaceX is Building Ring Segments of the Super Heavy Booster”

  1. The USAF won’t allow it. With Space Strike–who needs an Air Force or Navy anymore.

    That’s why the ABMA was strangled in its crib.

  2. That’s what I would find attractive; I’ve got decent cable internet, 80mb, but it’s tied to my house. Even something comparably fast, but portable, would be valuable.

    Can’t see it working inside an aluminum aircraft, though, or the airline letting you use a transceiver of any sort on a plane in the air if it did.

  3. For me it is not the pricing that matters, it’s remote connectivity. I am on the road a lot coming up in September and need access to the internet in crazy out of the way locations. The speed I am using at home now is 50mb down and it is more than enough. What I am hoping with the ultra low latency is to be able to use it for voice communications too, which are more dependent on latency than something that can buffer like a movie. If I can use a satellite phone with the system, more the better so I can ditch Verizon.

    I believe they are limited to 1gb down, but I read that a while ago so please don’t quote me on it. That is so good I won’t need 4G or 5G connections like a MiFi, and will have access to internet anywhere I need it including planes or on the road. Since I support Elon Musk’s space ambitions it’s a no brainer for me.

  4. I think we want a bit of “nudging” practice before putting asteroids into regular near collisions with Earth. Unless it’s a very small asteroid, of course.

  5. Depends on the pricing – if they manage to do home setups for what I’d consider a reasonable price (Maybe $500 for the link and about what Hughesnet charges for their plans) I might well switch.

    But then again, we just got AT&T Fiber in our neighborhood and I’ve got a 1.8 Gbps down and a 950 Mbps up connection, so… maybe not. But we won’t be here forever…

  6. There’s nothing stupid about that, Work on the lander and rocket are moving in parallel, and if it comes to it, he can hire somebody else’s rocket.

  7. So, how about an asteroid *nudged* into an Aldrin Earth-Mars Cycler orbit, then used for ISRU to expand the Cycler, give people something to work on during the trip.

  8. Musk CAN beat Bezos to lunar ISRU, but WILL he? His fantastic rocket is for a plan that only incidentally uses the Moon to gain a little cash, no ISRU mentioned, other than Martian (seems like that other ISRU need would be a hint, but apparently not).
    I tend to see BO as single-minded, not as overly cautious. Others call Bezos idiotic for having already built a lander. Rockets are already/soon avail, as you point out, so he is actually doing the next vital step. And have you seen how *cheap* his Van Horn launch tower is? Very un-NASA! Just does the job with angle iron and bolts.
    Musk’s plans are Mars Direct plans, not the clearly superior Moon *used for* Mars plans that open all of Space, and are better for even the more focused Mars ideas in the long run. ISRU advantage is independent of rocket size, which really helps get things going but is not an alternative to ISRU.
    And to emphasize: O’Neill’s Moon plans are nothing but ISRU! That is what we have needed for 40 years, and are about to get.

  9. I’m not defending the decades remark. I’m just saying that Musk can beat Bezos to the Moon if he wants to. He’s ahead of Blue Origins in terms of how far ahead his development is, and is gaining ground.

    This is not to say Bezos won’t get there. He’s got an enormous cash flow to finance his ambitions from, and smart people. He’ll be on the moon before the decade is over, I expect.

    But Blue Origins operates more like NASA than I like, in that they’re trying to get everything right before building hardware, instead of Musk’s good enough, then learn from experience approach. It’s a more failure adverse approach, which is strange since it was Musk who wasn’t in the position to survive failures, not Bezos.

    No question that Bezos’ plans are better suited for the Moon. Of course they are, that’s Bezos’ focus. Similarly, Musk’s plans are better suited for Mars.

    Best of both worlds might be for Bezos to just pay Musk to land a few hundred tons of his hardware on the Moon, to jumpstart things.

  10. Not to mention that currently existing Bezos lander can support small manned return capsule, not yet built, perhaps?, but not decades off, as stated in the orig post.

  11. Actually, the only real question about the Moon since O’Neill published is “when ISRU?”. Re-visits and even scientific base are not even in the ballpark for either Mars support or O’Neill, the questions of the last decades. First to ISRU, Bezos!
    Not a bad problem, figuring who will be first instead of how to get gov to wake up!

  12. It’s obvious that there will be other *unmanned* rockets landing on the Moon in that time. I’m merely asserting that if Musk wants to beat Bezos to the Moon with a manned ship, he’ll be able to do it. And do it with a MUCH larger payload than Bezos is contemplating.

    Large enough that he can drop a complete Moon base on the Moon with one landing, and offer to sell it to NASA.

    Will he want to? That’s the question.

  13. Absolutely not.
    You know Stalink want their sat up and running for profit. They will not change their mind, because it would cost them money.

    NASA? You must factor the politics in, and it is a mess. And they will change their mind if this keep the money flowing.

    Less government money you need less risks you take.

  14. You should need a lot less energy to move on the Moon (1/6 gravity remember).

    I would suggest to not use a Model 3 because there are no paved roads there.

  15. NASA is not the only one with available bucks.
    And given the pork their are distributing, there will be few bucks to pay SpaceX for a ride.

  16. “No NASA bucks, no moon shot.”

    I’m pretty sure the funding is coming from Starlink. Personally I cannot wait to sign up for it.

  17. That is a sufficient reason to have lunar ISRU, going to Mars!
    It is exactly what we O’Neill people want to do too!
    Curiously, O’Neill and Mars people can agree wholeheartedly on one thing: Do as LITTLE as possible on the Moon. Just enuf to get ISRU requirements. Not a place to live.

  18. I don’t know how robust the batteries would be to external vacuum. They are usually built to vent internal pressure in case of overheating, but I don’t know what pressure differential that would operate on.

    I forgot about lubricants outgassing and drying up.

    And I suppose you could have capacitors and ICs blowing open because of internal pressure.

  19. Further, they would be crazy not to try on the Moon before what they are going to do on Mars. They just need 1 cargo and 1 crewed ship, shuttling
    continually back and forth. They could also make liquid oxygen there,
    to lessen the refueling burden, and if problems arise, rescue can be obtained
    fast. It would be an excellent training ground.

  20. True but the NASA that went to the Moon is dead. Currently the only thing they can do is stuff that isn’t to risky.

    Everything must be planned several years or more than a decade in advance and most of the time and money goes to the companies to make a plan to make a plan and then after 2 companies or so of middle men (who pay the senators and congress people quite well) someone finally cuts steel.

  21. What would prevent other countries from sending their own space weapons before the USA reaches total domination?

    Actually if they see that kind of escalation, it would be a strong motivation to do the same.

    Let’s remember that the requirements for sending a weapon are far less than for sending people up there. Any country that can launch sats can place some nasty surprises in space, the kind that can ruin the fun for everyone.

    Don’t get me wrong: I do believe we will eventually see this kind of revived cold war in space (we humans are just like that), with conventional attack capabilities placed in orbit. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves thinking any single world power will be alone in it.

  22. They need to test it in real conditions anyway. If they are aiming to build an interplanetary rocket and lander, they need to show they can send one to another world, at least to the Moon, which is the best facsimile of a planet we have nearby.

    Some people may make a fuss about it, because doing the same was a great accomplishment in the 60s, but this commercial capability should become the new normal in space launchers, if they want their Mars plans to come to fruition

  23. I will pass that on. However, he has already built the Moon lander, and is supplying the engines for ULA Vulcan, which can soon launch said lander. Unless he does it himself, or buys a trip from Musk. O’Neill!

  24. Their approach seems to come straight from a 40s/50s movie or Heinlein novel, about a daring entrepreneur building a Moon rocket in the parking lot of his company.

    The overall rocket looks, the vertical return and landing included!

    Yeah, I’m aware of Destination Moon.

  25. They need to develop space worthy rovers for their Mars plans anyway.

    So a modified Tesla for shooting some superb ads on the Moon would be good practice.

  26. They have yet to launch anything to orbit, tho’.

    Once they do and we see their pricing, let’s talk again.

  27. You are forgetting this is already proven space worthy tech… there is a Tesla Roadster that has already made one loop around the sun! 😉

  28. Mostly, SpaceX really isn’t a charitable organization. They’re in it for the money.

    If they can take humans to space and other planets at the same time, that’s a nice bonus, at least as their day by day operations are concerned.

    So yes, they will be there whenever NASA shows up with a check for doing some launch service.

  29. “there may be no other rocket landing there for decades.” was ignoring Bezos, right?
    On a more important note, the definition of “going to the Moon” means lunar ISRU, not more footsteps or even science. This definition is for both (Mars Direct v Moon then Mars) and (O’Neill v any planet) thinking. Neither use of Moon gets anywhere w/o ISRU. Seems obvious all along! (edit: which means Bezos will be first, by that def)

  30. Musk is launching hardware on a regular basis. Don’t discount the advantage that gives them: You can’t replace flight time with design time to any great extent, you need the flights to tell you what you weren’t expecting to learn.

    So, yes, I expect SpaceX to beat Blue Origin to the Moon, if they want to.

  31. Nah, I understand that. Just pointing out that Teslas don’t really work in space, even for a short while, without substantial alteration.

    I’m guessing Musk’s Tesla at least had the battery pack ripped out before launch for safety reasons, for instance, and that’s without any intent to actually run it.

  32. My car completed an orbit around the sun last year, and the year before that, and the year before that….

  33. A lot of the components aren’t rated for exposure to vacuum. I think at the least they’d have to make some modifications to the battery system and swap lubricants. And then the electronics would have to be drastically downrated in power due to being dependent on air cooling.

    All in all, without massive changes I doubt you could even roll five feet by the time it reached the Moon.

  34. Well, I’d bet they have temperature control problems for any long term exposure. But yes, you could do a short clip of them driving around.

    They don’t need a human to drive after all.

  35. If you’ve already got a huge rocket that’s 100% reusable, and all you need is to pay for fuel, you’d be an idiot not to monopolize the first private moon mission(s). There is at least a billion dollars to be made with a single unmanned moon mission, that’s what I’d price the entertainment value at, $1B, possibly $2B or $3B. The value to SpaceX’s brand for accomplishing it on their own would probably be at least $5B in stock value, maybe $10B or $20B. That’s because of all the companies who would pay to have something set down on the moon. If they can actually land on the moon in 2022-2025 timeframe then they will virtually own it for I’d estimate at least 10 years, there may be no other rocket landing there for decades. They’ll make $100M per mission. They could bring back moon rocks and sell them like gold. We’ll see how vigorous the competition is, but it seems to me they’ll own this market for quite a while.

  36. Spacex should get Guinness book of records for farthest distance a car has ever traveled: SpaceX Starman Roadster completes its first orbit around the Sun: 760 million miles.

  37. But the best way to get paid for it in this case, is to do it on their own simply to demonstrate that it can be done. There’s no better way to cut through the BS and show that SLS/Orion/LOP-G are wasteful and obsolete than to just put Starship on the moon.

  38. This is moved from an overcrowded page, from Tom Carver:
    “SLS was designed for Artemis program – i.e. “return to moon”, with at most some fantasizing about eventually using it for Mars. Another iteration of your false assertions that plans for Mars have blocked return to moon? Or just random obfuscation? Literally NOTHING about O’Neill’s L5 or Globus’ LEO plans is relevant to the question of whether an obsession with Mars has slowed progress on returning to the moon. If you want to claim that ISS is a precursor of O’Neill’s colony ideas, then literally you’ve made the point that YOUR ideas have slowed the return to the moon, because ISS is what has sucked NASA’s human exploration dry for decades.”
    No further comment about the delay of lunar ISRU, it is OVER, thanx to Musk’s biggun!
    “ISS is a precursor of O’Neill’s colony ideas” in the sense that ISS is in Space, not on a planet. Now, at first, it is quite expensive. Needs ISRU! But follows O’Neill observation, as being easier and cheaper than Moon or Mars for ~5 continuous inhabitants starting years ago.

  39. Tom Carver!
    Let me state some things that I consider “O’Neill”, to be clear about my version of the truly revolutionary and extremely counter-intuitive ideas. The focus is on the Moon, as part of O’Neill implementation, even tho Luna is a happy accident rather than an essential part of O’Neill.
    1) *The* question could perhaps be a little more clearly stated as “Is the surface of the Earth the right place . . .”. That is the question! The same reasoning makes other planets also not *right*, but that is obvious if Earth is not *right*.
    2) O’Neill Space, call the implementation plans that, relies on ISRU. Asteroidal, lunar, cometary, you name it. Krafft Ehricke, the Centaur creator, called the Moon a *continent* of the Earth, compared to the distant other planets. His spacecraft may be the first lunar habitat. Lunar ISRU is a big part of O’Neill Space, and anything less is NOT “going to the Moon”, for O’Neill purposes. This has been clear all along.
    3) SSP is a pretty unique Space thing, altho really just “more” comm sat, in that it has a clear profit potential. Lunar ISRU development is to be a part of the profit from SSP. Once ISRU is started, it can grow dramatically fast. Let’s do it 40 years ago!
    4) Population, global heating, Earth mining and heavy industry moved. O’Neill.

  40. To prove to NASA and others that Spacex can do it, so they can sell their services.

    SpaceX is a for hire “taxi” company, too many people see them as doing the kind of work the likes of NASA does, willing to pay the first mover costs to establish a human foothold beyond LEO.

    This isn’t star trek and SpaceX isn’t star fleet.

  41. better yet, how about place ICBM defenses and anti-satellite weapons in orbit to make global thermal nuclear war a completly one sided affair?

    We could finally stop the endless proxy wars with Russia and china and go straight to the source.

  42. He’ll work out some other way to get paid for it.

    Like a Tesla ad shot on location on the Moon. Watch Toyota and VW marketing execs literally cry…

  43. I just want to see NASA scrap the SLS, Then use that money for USAF procurement of 24 Starship cargo versions with Heavy Booster sets. Then a Northrup contact for 12 ton tungsten, high precision, kinetic impactors with inertial guidance and star mapping as a fail safe, throw in a small solid rocket booster on each to help with a faster decent to target. Have them fragment far above ground to get the best destruction area. Sink a manmade island or take out a city center. Maybe a shotgun blast style with 100s of bowling ball sized tungsten orbs that deploy 10-20 km above could wipe out a carrier group or decimate a base. Possibilities are endless.

    A 24 hr B-2 flight (US to middle East with aerial refueling) and strike with 10 tons of ordinance costs about 7-8 million. If a Starship with booster launch can get down to 10 million for 70-100 tons for 15-17 million you can deliver 7-10 times the payload of a B-2 to anywhere on earth for 1/5th the cost. Even if you cut that to 50-80 tons you can probably get over 1200km up, above any known air defense system. Launch/land in Wyoming or N. Dakota, to far inland, no stopping it. 30-40 min strike times.

    Who needs aircraft carriers when we can decimate a base, naval group, infrastructure or city center without nukes in 35 min. After that, invest heavily in the SABRE for space plane fighters that can go orbital, then swoop down to strike with bottom facing sensors to kill any stealth by looking from above, out of range.

  44. Elon said he will land starship on the moon by himself just to prove to NASA and others that Spacex can do it.

  45. SpaceX isnt going to be on the moon or mars unless NASA or someone else hires them for the ride. Every time NASA sent a mission to the moon or mars, it was on a rocket manufactured by the private sector.

    No NASA bucks, no moon shot.

  46. SpaceX is going to be on the Moon and probably Mars while NASA is trying to figure out how to get its thumb out of its behind. Thank you Elon for pushing the space boundaries.

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