SpaceX Plans Starship Gigafactories to Introduce the Hypersonic Age

SpaceX is planning Starship and Raptor engine gigafactories. In 2021, Elon Musk plans to scale the workforce at Boca Chica to 3,000 employees to eventually manufacture two SpaceX starships every week. There are currently 300 employees. This manufacturing rate will be comparable to the speed of construction of commercial wide-body airplanes.

Elon has said that mass production will bring the cost of the Starship down to $5 million. There will be six Raptor engines. This means the mass production of Raptor engines at less than $1 million per engine.

Larger buildings are being built in Boca Chica to shelter the construction. There will need to be a lot more buildings and a lot more heavy equipment to speed construction.

There will need to be more factories to build the Raptor engine and the conversion of the existing Merlin rocket engine factory to Raptor engines.

Elon Musk has the Tesla experience where he successfully built factories and scaled mass production.

SpaceX is Bringing the Hypersonic Age

The Starship will be reusable hypersonic vehicles. The Starship can fly at mach 15 to mach 26. The Super Heavy Starship will be more expensive but heavier payload capacity hypersonic vehicles.

SpaceX will be ahead of all those trying to build hypersonic airplanes.

Competitors

Blue Origin is targeting 2021 for commercial orbital launches New Glenn rocket as a first stage reusable Falcon Heavy class rocket. The first SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch was made in February 2018. If Blue Origin is successful and on schedule with New Glenn then Blue Origin would be three years behind SpaceX.

China has several space rocket startups that are performing SpaceX Grasshopper or Falcon 9R style launches.

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