Elon Musk indicates that SpaceX will for orbit with Starship as soon as possible after the 20-kilometer test. The timing is based upon building the increased number of Raptor engines.
Three Raptor engines for the 20-kilometer flight
Six Raptor engines for an orbital flight with an expendable Starship without cargo
30 Raptor engines for an orbital flight with a minimal Super-heavy booster and Starship
Elon also tweeted that SpaceX was selected by NASA to launch the DART mission. This will be precursor mission to develop the capabilites to deflect asteroids.
If 20km works, then orbit
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2019
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2019
Satellites Deliveries With Starship
SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy rocket are designed to deliver satellites to Earth orbit and beyond, at a lower marginal cost per launch than our current Falcon vehicles. With a 9m diameter forward payload compartment, larger than any other current or planned fairing, Starship creates possibilities for new missions, including space telescopes even larger than the James Webb.
Starship can deliver both cargo and people to and from the International Space Station. Starship’s forward payload volume is about 1,100 m3, providing significant capacity for in-space activities. The aft cargo containers can also host a variety of payloads.
Starship Moon Missions
Returning to the Moon and developing bases to support future space exploration requires the transport of large amounts of cargo to the Moon for research and human spaceflight development. The fully reusable Starship system is capable of supporting this effort by carrying the building blocks needed to enable a Moon base and by informing the development of propulsive landing systems to help realize this future.
SpaceX Starship Missions to Mars and Beyond
Building Moon bases and Mars cities will require affordable delivery of significant quantities of cargo and people. The fully reusable Starship system uses in-space propellant transfer to enable the delivery of over 100t of useful mass to the surface of the Moon or Mars. This system is designed to ultimately carry as many as 100 people on long-duration, interplanetary flights.
SOURCES- Elon Musk Twitter, SpaceX
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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