Let us assume that the SpaceX Starship is a complete fully reusable success that achieves mass production.
Elon has talked about making 2 Starships each week in 2021 and reaching a cost of $5 million. The Steel will be a new SpaceX alloy and will cost about $3 per kilogram. Each Starship will weigh about 85 tons this would be $300,000 worth of steel. The six Raptor engines will need to drop to about $500K each. There would be about $2 million of other gear.
Elon has talked about making 1000 SpaceX Starships over ten years. However, if they reach production levels of 100 in say 2023, then they would likely surpass that production rate and head toward the production rate of commercial jets. This would be about 1000-2000 every year. If the $5 million each target is hit then the SpaceX starship would be cheaper than commercial planes. They would be able to move 100 tons of cargo at 20 times the speed of jets. All air cargo movement over 1500 miles would shift over to Starships.
Each Starship has more than the volume of the International Space Station and would be built to provide human inhabitants safe living environments in space. The Space station was built with 36 Shuttle Launches. Every single launch of Starship Super Heavy can place an equivalent station into space.
A version is being built to land on the moon.
Three Starship can be connected. One would be the center and two could rotate for simulated gravity.
Thirty to forty years ago there many designs for space stations based on shuttle fuel tanks. The external fuel tank was about the size of the SpaceX Starship. However, the Starship would not need to be adapted for Space Station usage like the external fuel tank concepts.
A Space Station using 50 SpaceX Starships, would only cost about $5 million for the vehicle and $2 million for the launch. This would be about $350 million for the hardware, plus some docking and connections.
Using 300 SpaceX Starship would only cost about $2.1 billion for the hardware. This would be volume comparable to a cruise ship.
Large cruise ships cost about $1 billion.
Once fuel is being produced on the moon, then fuel costs from orbit to the moon would not be much more than going from earth to orbit.
This would mean it would cost about $10 billion to land about 300 SpaceX Starships for a massive lunar base.
We should be putting SpaceX Starships everywhere in Cislunar space, several as Mars Cyclers, moon bases and Mars bases.
One thousand starships each moving 100 tons would be about the 104,000 tons of supplies used for the first five days after the World War 2 D-Day invasion.
This is the scale of supplies we could have in orbit and on the moon to provide the equipment and mining supplies we need.
Also, all of the mass would mean plenty of water and material for radiation shielding.
We would have simulated gravity from rotation.
We could make a version of the Gateway Foundation Voyager Station.
A sky full of SpaceX Starships by 2030 can give us all of the moon bases, orbital bases and hotels and Mars bases that space dreamers have wanted since the 1960s.
SOURCES – SpaceX, Gateway Foundation
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
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.
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