Recent SpaceX Super Heavy Starship Summary

SpaceX Super Heavy Starship is tracking to a mid-2020 orbital launch. This is a summary of developments from a Mars Society presentation. The Super Heavy Starship development schedule has slipped a few months from the information in this presentation. The presentation does provide a good summary of the Super Heavy Starship.

18 thoughts on “Recent SpaceX Super Heavy Starship Summary”

  1. For peace? Bit of an exaggeration there.

    If anything increased space access will only lead to another contested area of resources, and from there another theater of warfare.

    Not that Musk wants that, but I doubt that Einstein wanted an atom bomb dropped on Japan either.

  2. I can’t see how Sanders has anything whatsoever to do with SpaceX ambitions – if anything I would think he would praise re usable and more cost efficient space launch given the quoted figures here.

    You may be confusing SpaceX with Boeing and Lockheed – I could certainly see Sanders taking a chunk out of them if given the opportunity.

  3. FWIW the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services & Commercial Crew Development programs seem have had at least as much support under Obama as under Republican presidents. They were helpful in making SpaceX viable. IINM the SLS is most heavily supported by a Republican Senator from Alabama.

    BTW did I misread you & you weren’t intending to imply that Republicans are better than Democrats for commercial space?

  4. A lot of politicians would like to kill private enterprise in space. Anyone who struck multiple blows for freedom of commerce and all kinds over long decades has only paved the road for people like Elon to make $trillions in space. Fending off the Sanders and Warrens of the world to give room for space was a nice effort.

  5. If he successfully lands a Starship on the moon by 2023, they should give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and how about a Nobel prize (for Peace, let’s say).

  6. I think they will concentrate on Starship first and prove out the enabling technologies. Pressurized cryogenic tanks, plumbing, engine clusters, landing legs, flight control, stainless steel fabrication and welding. Docking hardware and life support later. Get that working to sub-orbital then build Super heavy based on that architecture. I also envision them launching Startship to orbit, then sending up the crew in Falcon9/Dragon because of the abort system, at least initially until kinks get worked out, there will be catastrophic failures with this pace of development (Dragon Draco capsule or Falcon9 AMOS RUDs, I mean ‘anomalies’). Hardware destruction is not that big of a deal, but as deaths are, that’s what killed the Shuttle.

  7. NASA is actively working themselves into irrelevance. I would say commercialization of space is going to be the future. Our government is too erratic to accomplish anything any more. The Chinese government seems to be more organized and has a cohesive strategy, we’ll see. At a certain point (already getting close) I am not going to want my tax dollars wasted by NASA any more and calls will start to disband them as an irrelevant government agency.

  8. Yes, but the scaling works both ways.
    In terms of getting a rocket into orbit, there are factors such as air friction where the bigger the rocket, the smaller air friction is as a proportion of the total.
    Friction goes up as the surface area, while total mass to orbit goes up with volume. Double dimensions in all directions and you get 4 times the friction with 8 times the payload.

    On the other hand you have a higher loading per unit area for the thrust from the engines, which means higher pressures.

    The very thin walled structures of the rockets themselves are easier to build at larger dimensions. And such thin structures fail from buckling, which is proportional to length squared, but inversely proportional to wall thickness cubed.

    And a lot of the equipment on board is a fixed mass. The computers for example are the same size for any sized ship, so they are smaller in proportion to a big ship.

    And this all ignores practicalities such as the size of the launch facilities and how big the components are that can be sent by road or train.

  9. Super Heavy ready by March? I haven’t seen any of the guys covering StarShip indicate that they were starting SuperHeavy construction yet. I think Starship is supposed to be orbit capable alone (if empty) – The super heavy booster needs to be ready for meaningful missions. Hope we see that soon!

  10. Do scaling laws apply to rockets ? Or in other words, are there fuel savings as the rocket gets larger ?

  11. Elon is the person who should have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Not a right-wing shock-jock.

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