Deep Space Courier has an animation of the inside of a SpaceX Starship.
SpaceX should be attempting another test launch within a week or so. SpaceX is heading to test flights every two weeks and is continuing to speed up construction. SpaceX should be heading to one test flight every week after they successfully land prototype Starships.
SpaceX is making a major upgrade with SN15. SpaceX is making our prototypes in each batch.
SN3 to SN6 were a batch.
SN8-SN11 are a batch of similar prototypes.
SN12-SN14 are canceled.
SN15-SN18 are upgrade high altitude batches. This will have simpler thrust pucks and other improvements. There will be improvements to reduce weight.
SOURCES: What About it?, Marcus House, Engineering Today, SpaceX, Deep Space Courier
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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51 thoughts on “Animation of Interior of SpaceX Starship and Rapid Prototyping”
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He's interested in space travel, so am I. Do you know of some more interesting companies in that field that are actually producing anything new?
Aldrin cycler solves this issue, nice big rotating space with lots of shielding, plants, water, etc. Uses the exact same amount of fuel for each trip, you just have to time the rendezvous.
That amount of glass is still worrisome to me
That could be accomplished with sound-deadening soft panels, able to be configured in near infinite ways for variety over the long trip. Maybe set up 3D mazes, just for fun.
For more space, make the personal cubicals (storage, displays, beds) collapsable and easy to move modules – pack them out of the way (or set them up as open offices) 8 hours a day, set them back up with soft panels at night. (No doubt there'll also be demand for 'double occupancy' cabins – might as well make reconfiguration easy.) Assuming sound-proofing isn't perfect, they may decide to do sleep shifts, so no one needs to have a neighbor right next door.
Yep, if SPS makes sense anywhere, it's Mars. It should even work through dust storms. The antenna could be locally produced fairly early on, instead of lugging tons of solar panels down from orbit. The big problem is the huge size of the receiving array – a big issue for a limited workforce early on.
The first missions would be safest with a small nuclear power plant to keep them alive through a dust storm, plus solar panels to provide the bulk of power. But that'd mean waiting on NASA – getting around them to send crew sooner is going to be hard enough without depending on them for a mission critical element.
So my guess is SpaceX would use Methalox and generators as a backup energy supply if they get a dust storm – they could use the waste heat as well as electricity, scavenge the water from the exhaust and dump the CO2. Produce plenty of fuel with robotic cargo landers before humans arrive, so there's no deadly window in which a long dust storm exhausts their fuel supply.
I would imagine the first few block builds that have manned missions would not have that option anyway as there would be no ship to perform the rescue.
Yes. But if they are identical ships, if something fails on one, it might very well fail on the other as well. So skimping too much on replacement components can come back to haunt you.
I have considered that as well. I have three in that scenario. One would not be rotating. It keeps communication dishes/lasers with Earth, Mars, the Moon or wherever aligned, and relays from and to the other two.
If you are going to Mars, you can set the rotation to generate the same gravity as Mars, so everyone is used to it, when they get there.
You also have the option of only sending one down. Most of the people can go in that one…assuming you have support systems already set up on Mars. The others can conserve their fuel for the return trip. Even if the people are going to settle permanently, you want a lifeboat, in case things don't work out, or it can be used to send things back to Earth for auctioning off or for science more easily done on Earth. Ideally, though you should bring all the instruments necessary to do the science there. Any findings can be communicated much more ecconmicly.
Almost zero risk. They would be coasting, and reaction thrusters are very precise.
I seem to remember Musk saying that they will be in the production version as well, but with the design being rather fluid, that isn't set in stone…
If they rotate each other through a large tether, you can get artificial gravity.
for a little peak as to a group starting to *see* ISM:
Dan, I understand O'Neill's proposals quite well; As I may have mentioned, I founded a college chapter of the L5 society back in the 70's.
In the *long term*, free floating colonies have the advantage, because they are an enormously more efficient use of mass than planets or moons. In the *long term*, we might even disassemble the planets to build more of them.
But we are not living in the long term. And planets and moons have *short term* advantages.
You can build colonies on Mars every bit as comfortable as an O'Neill colony, and accommodate hundreds of millions of people. And, barring self-replicating factories, more easily than the O'Neill colonies, because the infrastructure requirements per person are less.
"easily be just as spacious as the plans for an O'Neill", of course, there is only one Mars, so thousands of O'Neill settlements have the winning ticket. Bezos is currently talking about trillions, or at least he is currently being correctly quoted. He used to say "trillions" but the story would read "millions", as if the concept he was presenting was beyond imagining. I once went to a small world meeting, and the presenter dismissed living in Space as irrelevant, as the total surface of all possible moons and planets was only at most another Earth or two. He is right, if you don't understand O'Neill. When I mentioned the plan, his eyes got terror in them, he said "you mean you are going to build your own places to live!!??" I mentioned the Ceres factoid, he turned and left.
No one's forcing you to stay. It's you that keeps returning here.
I don't, and I doubt anybody who planned to stay on Mars once arriving would like it. You have to sacrifice a LOT of payload capacity to take the trip duration from 9 to 6 months. Makes the aerobraking maneuver on arrival tougher, too.
By definition, you're not a "colonist" if you plan on coming back. But we were discussing the time you'd be stuck in the Starship, not the rest of your life.
Living space has to be limited on the Starship, because the total envelope is fixed. Once on Mars more spacious living space should be available. As I've pointed out, aside from life support, (Which scales with people, not cubic meters.) all a Martian habitat needs is a big balloon covered with sandbags. It's quite feasible to give people a decent amount of living space, and a chance to walk around outside.
In fact, I'd say that if you go dual use, with the living space directly under and in hydroponic farms, each person would get at least 20 square meters, probably more.
It can easily be just as spacious as the plans for an O'Neill colony, and every bit as nice. Just without adjustable gravity.
Mind, I still think we need to do some long duration partial gravity experiments before settling on the first colony location, to be sure of how much gravity people actually need for good health.
A specialized Starship could be built to split into two pieces connected by a cable, once in orbit, and spin up to provide lunar gravity in the heavy end, and Martian gravity in the light end, to perform such a test. (One advantage of building them like this is that one off's are easy.) Or just go with two regular Starships, to test gravity effects AND work out the kinks on spin gravity during trips.
Pretty sure they only put that in the prototypes for weight balance, due to the lack of any payload.
Wasn't the idea supposed to be that Starship would be able to fit 100 people? No way there's room for that many if this animation is accurate…
I don’t like all that glass except for the SLSS concept.
A couple of hundred feet apart sounds a little too close for comfort. Is there really benefit from such close proximity versus the potential for something to go wrong? Kilometres rather than feet surly.
It's only a waste if you don't like the exchange rate.
I'm thinking round trip, with stay on Mars almost as bad as trip there. Of course, if you stay it becomes even longer.
Is the only airlock at the back of the craft? If something destroys it no rescue ship can do anything.
Not convinced that windows are untenable design bottlenecks. I have certainly specified fire resistance in buildings of over 4 hours (what we would call a fire wall) with a certain level of blast protection and projectile integrity. Wired systems and multiple laminations are old school with various additives to the glass manufacture process – various glass-ceramics and such nano-/micro- poly-crystalline tech are a bit out of my wheelhouse. From a window stand-point, designing against obvious points of high stress (corners and edges) are typical. Compartmentalization and faceting of various layers within larger windows mitigates risk but what are the risks? micrometeroids/ tools at dozens/hundreds of meters per second? I often wonder at the reality of the Gatling gun-type weaponry on Expanse-show ships and wonder that it matters anyway for any exterior enclosure redundancy in any kind of ship.
Doesn't the header tank in the nose make this kinda hard to do?
6 months projected trip time, according to SpaceX. But they're proposing to waste delta V to shorten the trip. Something I wouldn't think colonists would be interested in, those are some expensive saved months in terms of cargo capacity.
Minimum energy transfer is actually closer to 9 months.
Like the Mars Direct plan, you don't launch the first people until their robotically deployed living space, delivered on a previous mission, is up and running. Later arrivals can expect to live in spaces built by the earlier arrivals.
Or maybe you'd require each cohort of arrivals to spend some time in the newbie dorms while building their own habitats.
I still think big balloons covered with sandbags would allow maximum living space for minimum cargo weight, and would not be impossibly difficult to erect by robots. This has the advantage of being something you could manufacture locally fairly early, as your fuel plant could divert part of the flow into a reactor producing polyethylene, (Spectra once oriented!) a pretty decent building material under Martian conditions.
I tend to think you'd want to put a couple of SPS's into Martian orbit, too; Synchronous orbit about Mars is at half the altitude, which helps, and if you had one leading and one trailing, the power would be uninterrupted, and fairly safe from a single point failure.
Ground level solar on Mars has the same problems as on Earth, except that dust accumulation is probably worse.
Reduces requirements for spares, that way.
That big window is terrifying from a failure standpoint.
Forget the big window, put in a jumbotron connected to an external camera. It doesn't interrupt the structural integrity of the hull, and you can do things like display the stars in color, and avoid inducing vertigo when the ship is paired up and rotating.
There's been at least one space mission saved by having a real window, so you'll want a few, but piloting would generally rely on cameras and displays, with multiple redundancy.
I do think you need at least one decent sized open space, and the pointy end IS the place to put it. That's your gym, too.
Below that you can have some work space subdivided up by hydroponics walls, so people can get out of sight of other people and see some greenery.
Unless the crew is quite small, there simply won't be enough in the way of ship's operations to keep them all busy, so I expect they'll be required to take classes on the trip. Say 8 hours sleep, 8 hours (class?) work, and 8 hours free time, (Some of which would be expected to be in the gym.) with the crew divided into three shifts.
And, yes, it was pretty conspicuous that the animation lacked airtight doors and bulkheads. An absolute necessity on something as big as the Starship.
VR and a fan to blow air, and enough room that you will not hit anything should be able to provide some of that.
I also think 2 ships traveling together would help a lot. They should be just a couple hundred feet apart. They can communicate with each other maybe even have an occasional visit where they dock with each other. Maybe 4 days out of each 30.
They could just make it free…with $1,000 a meal, $250 for a new diaper…. 😉
It would make most sense to cluster the sleeping pods, (Use those micro hotel pods from Japanese airports.) around the center, surrounded by cargo, so that you would actually sleep in the storm shelter. Minimize radiation exposure, and dual use. It's not necessary that sleep pods have windows.
Pair them up on the trip, connected by a tether, and spun up to provide destination gravity levels.
That big picture window practically says "break here" to any engineer. But at least one large space with windows seems psychologically necessary for a long trip. Combined gym and common room with that window, then.
More compartmentalization with air tight emergency doors.
Some greenery, a hydroponic garden to provide a break in the diet and relief for the eyes.
That's how they'll actually do it, I expect. Fly in pairs bolo style, to give passengers months at acclimate to gravity at the destination.
Simplified the graphics.
The last 5 posts of this blog are all about Musk
Yep, I thought so. This one is for the tourists. The animation takes the scenic route while depicting the possible spaces as open, with a big observation room and lots of windows.
I think the actual ones first flying will have less windows (but they'll be there, people's mental health needs them) and no scenic window room, probably just more rooms for other functions (like a lab, a bar/lounge/meeting room) or pressurized storage.
I'd add a couple of airlocks to separate and possibly isolate some big areas, kind of like a sub.
Later ones for tourists can get fancier, but I won't be surprised if that big window turns out to be a liability and needs to be permanently removed.
It's unlikely the first missions will be sending 50 people.
Most comments say maybe 10-12 or so, to reduce the risk but still have enough skills variety for exploration and survival, and maybe for some initial settlement deployment and small construction (e.g. turning on previously delivered habitat modules and machines), thus they'll have room.
Later, they will raise the number of people, but they'll have a place to stay after the trip. Mostly the early settlement or into pre-existing landed Starships used as habs (but they'll probably be sick of the same kind of quarters).
There will be some crowding for a while, I imagine, but they shouldn't send more people than the habitable spaces, life support and minimum psychological welfare can handle.
Psychologically, it may be better to divide the open spaces into small rooms so that you only have a few people in sight at any given time.
Agreed. I imagine more of a submarine internal configuration, though if they are not military or space-hierarchical will there still be bigger cabins for senior staff/ dignitaries and hostel housing with racks/ bunks for the space grunts?
Working out and sleeping in spacesuits??
3-5 years, Mars no better.
Yes, by a *little bigger* I meant the standard 2-5 mile dia of rotating habs.
I was asking the same question. Why not use some counterweight to create artificial gravity?
More like 6 months.
They already have the individual sleeping cabins to go watch a movie, read an e-book or take a nap when someone craves privacy.
They are the open spaces that seem too small to me for a trip of 50 people together for an entire year.
Attach two of them to a 1 mile tether and make them rotate each other.
Fifty persons on those tiny spaces for an entire year is going to be insane.
If these were a little bigger, you could rotate them and live in them.
Experience will tell if open spaces are a good idea, or if they need to divide the spaces in several sealable compartments .
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