In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and described how it was three breakthrough products in one. It was widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary phone and full featured internet communication device.
The SpaceX Superheavy Starship will embody or enable eight or more human history scale breakthroughs.
* fully rapidly reusable rockets
* Each Starship an ISS space station sized base that is ready to go
* cities in space
* Mass production of rockets at the scale of commercial passenger plane production
* Cost of rockets at twenty times lower cost
* one hour anywhere movement of cargo and people on earth
* creation of super factories for rockets
* Industrialization of space
* Creation of ultra-highbroadband global communication
Nextbigfuture already described how full rocket reusability with a super heavy class rocket will be transform space access similar to how Caravel sailing ships enabled the Age of Exploration in the 1500s possible.
If the SpaceX Superheavy Starship establishes the space industry, sustainable and permanent colonization of near earth, cislunar, moon, asteroids and Mars then it will be historically bigger than the Caravel and DC-3 combined.
A Rocket and Space Stations
However, Superheavy Starship will be even more historic. Each Starship has a larger volume than the International Space Station and could cost only $5 million. I believe SpaceX will create tens of billions of dollars each year in revenue from the Starlink megasatellite constellation. If SpaceX has $200 billion per year of Starship and Superheavy booster production, then this would be 4000 Superheavy boosters and 20,000 Starships every year.
300 SpaceX Starship would only cost about $2.1 billion for the hardware and launches ($5 million each and $2 million to launch). This would be a volume comparable to a cruise ship. 20,000 Starships made in a year would be like 65 cruise ships ever year. Cruise ships can hold 5,000 people. This would be potentially room for 1 million people.
As indicated this would be for orbital bases, moon bases, Mars bases and asteroid bases.
Gigawatts of Power for Space Industry
Tesla will start making terafactories for batteries. This will be a terawatt hour of batteries each year. They will soon have about 500 watts hours per kilogram. 100 tons of batteries would hold 50 megawatt hours of energy. Each Superheavy Starship launch could place 50 megawatt hours of batteries into space.
Tesla is making solar panels for 1000 homes each week. This will scale up by about ten times in 3 years. In 2023, this would be 50 megawatts of solar each week. A similar scale set factories for very light solar for space would be 2.5 gigawatts per year of solar.
The massive power would be for making mines and factories on the moon and asteroids. This would lower costs by tens to hundreds of times by gathering fuel, oxygen and water and then metals and then construction steel, cement and electronics.
Hypersonic Age and One Hour Anywhere
The Starship will enable point to point movement of people and cargo on the earth. It will enable anywhere in an hour. Going from 12-24 hours to get around the planet to 30-60 minutes will be as big as the leap from fast transoceanic sailing and fast steam ships take 4-15 days to cross oceans.
SpaceX will roll-out hourly delivery of packages for years before flying passengers and this will make them tens of billions of dollars each year.
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.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.