SpaceX Orbital Class Super Heavy Starship Stacked at the Tower

This is the first time we are seeing the orbital Starship with heatshield on the launch pad. This is the first time we are seeing the Starship stacked onto the Super Heavy booster. In 2022, this could be a weekly sight with new or reused boosters and Starships. In 2023 and beyond, this could be a daily sight and even multiple times at multiple towers.

Elon Musk has said moats around your business are useless. It is the speed of innovation that is your companies best advantage.

SpaceX is racing ahead of all of its competitors with the speed of innovation.

Blue Origin is 5 years behind on its BE-4 Engine. Blue Origin is looking at 2022 to test a completed BE-4 engine. SpaceX has already designed and will be start testing the second version of its Raptor engine in one month.

United Launch has not been making its own rocket engines for decades. They used Russian engines. They are waiting for the delayed BE-4 engines. They have been using old Space Shuttle parts and engines.
Russia and the European Space Agencies have been almost completely shutout of commercial launch. They used to dominate commercial launch.
China is still launching many rockets but they are not close on reusable rockets. China is not developing at the pace of SpaceX.

SpaceX lead is not just the rockets and reusability.

SpaceX has been rapidly creating new launch facilities. They are innovating the launch tower and rocket catching system. They are making massive mass production systems for the rockets.

SpaceX innovated going to steel rockets.

At the launch facilities (Starbase), new high bays, multiple high bays, new fueling farms.

SpaceX is converting oil rig platforms for more launch and landing facilities.

SOURCE- Elon Musk, SpaceXCentric, Marcus House
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

78 thoughts on “SpaceX Orbital Class Super Heavy Starship Stacked at the Tower”

  1. I'll try to share article links tomorrow. But, I've seen dna and rna software that allows DNA/RNA nanotechnologists to design nano-machines in minutes. I've seen that DNA nanotechnologists have found a way of making inexpensive artificial DNA.

    And, I've seen the protein folding problem be solved well enough to design nanomachines. Alphafold supposedly is accurate down to atoms/ the Institute for Protein Design can figure out protein complexes; meaning they can figure out what two or more strands of amino acids will fold up into. They've made gears and drivetrains with their protein folding program. And, that was before their recent protein folding software advance beyond alphafold. And, they're not even using a very powerful computer! They're using a gaming computer.

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  2. Obviously anti-gravity is limited in use to volumes of space within the gravity fields of astronomical bodies.

    As you get out to the Moon's orbit the gravity of the Earth starts to die away, and with it your propulsion. Outside of the Earth's field, there is of course the Sun's gravity, but that is much less than 1g, and even that dies away once past the Jovian planets.

    Antigravity is a dead end tech.

    (Fermi paradox solved. QED.)

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  3. Did you follow his link? He has access to alien tech recovered from the Roswell crash, powered by a Rossi eCat, made of secret Atlantean super alloys.

    It's quite a detailed and carefully worked out alternative.

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  4. Same as last time.

    Stick the troublemaker in a space suit, stick them in a car, send the car to Mars orbit. Play David Bowie.

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  5. Thanks, interesting stuff, but I'm only seeing more of the usual relatively slow progress toward nanotech. The "nano robot" from a few years ago was a more promising, haven't heard more about it lately.

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  6. Something I wonder about – the grid fins presumably need to be thick as they are for strength – but why thick all the way out to the ends instead of tapered? Is there some significant aerodynamic drag effect of thicker fins? They LOOK over-built, but presumably are not.

    From the Everyday Astronaut video, they won't be catching Starship by the grid fins, but by a couple of separate, relatively small attach points – so that's not the answer.

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  7. Basically agree, though I suspect a crewed Luna or Mars surface landing might be accepted after a few successful uncrewed landings there, even if Starship isn't yet allowed to carry humans to orbit or back.

    It may just be human psychology, but somehow those seem 'different', beyond matters of gravity and atmosphere/lack-thereof.

    Perhaps because the risk level of the whole mission is higher, the high risks of landing on the moon or Mars seems relatively smaller? Or perhaps because the value of the accomplishment seems much greater? Both?

    Starship isn't likely to hit 100 successful uncrewed landings (let alone sequential) before 2024: 2021 won't see a fully successful mission, 2022 may but not more than a few, 2023 maybe a couple dozen if they get several Starships operating and start to reuse them quickly, 2024 might get the success count up around 100 if SpaceX and Starlink keep accelerating. 100 sequential successes maybe not until 2025. (One mega-explosion on the launch pad could add years of public thrashing to this schedule though.)

    But I wouldn't be surprised to see crew launched and landed using Dragon and transferring to/from Starship for a moon mission by 2024. Probably crewed Starship Earth launches/landings will be going on before the first Mars crew lands however.

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  8. Interesting – what makes you think that? Been waiting over 30 years for something more than lab-toy nano. DNA nano-package drug delivery seems the closest, and that's probably years from common application in humans, and hardly qualifies as a "sputnik moment".

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  9. You're like the loser in high school who never got invited to parties, saying "wull…the popular guys aren't good at math!". Except then some of them actually do get good at math, and are still popular. And you're still a loser.

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  10. Could we have done this in 70s at a very tiny scale? Then, over forty years to fill tanks. Do you want Musk to take your advice? So do I!

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  11. What I'm pretty sure you are ignoring is that BFR/Starship enable low cost access to orbit. This isn't a one and done project.

    I get the feeling you would call the transcontinental railroad "one project". The BFR/Starship will open up access just like the railroad did.

    As I have pointed out many, many times to you once you have cheap access to LEO then private industry will go out in every direction that makes any sense. This includes asteroid mining, Lunar colonization, O'Neill habitats in LEO and eventually Martian colonization.

    Musk has plans for Martian fuel and oxidizer so I am sure he will have plans for lunar oxidizer.

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  12. "So, you support my idea to start using Moon resources after this stupid delay?"

    I'm the guy on this forum who proposed that the first SpaceX lander should be an ISRU LOX plant. Topping off on Lunar oxidizer means you only need to bring enough Methane for the return trip from the Moon.

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  13. "making civilization building bots using 80s era 16 MHz CPUs." Is that what the Viking landers used? So much easier on Moon with direct control than autonomous stuff on Mars. So much easier to get there too. Easier task, not so much science as melting stuff. Should have done it for sure! So, you support my idea to start using Moon resources after this stupid delay?

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  14. I don't need a time machine. You are making exactly the same arguments to not start O'Neill as have been. It is too hard! We can do our one project now easier. We need to wait for humans on Mars first. Over forty years. I am not upset at the better rockets, but the delays that CONTINUE. Does Musk have any plans for lunar fuel, ever?

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  15. "Thus, we should have started in the 70s."

    We didn't and here we are in 2021 doing it by lowering the cost to access space by several orders of magnitude.

    "Easier launch makes it go faster, not start later. Clear?"

    You seem upset that it is now going faster on SpaceX rockets.

    "There were rational plans in the 80s that assumed no humans, just tiny bots"

    Well when you get your time machine you can go back and fix it by making civilization building bots using 80s era 16 MHz CPUs.

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  16. I remember discovering Eric Drexler's "Engines of Creation" back in 1988. I hiked like four miles to the local shopping center. There was a small private bookstore that is no longer in existence. It had one stack of science/nature books. And most of that stack was nature books – like classification of plants, birds, and insects books. And, one shelf of science books. Most of those were maybe hot to observe the sky astronomy books and not Steven Weinberg's "First Three Minutes" or something like that. But, there was Eric Drexler's "Engines of Creation."

    The book talked about technology revolution of computers and cells. I remember wondering "what does cells have to do with space exploration?" At the time, I associated advanced technology with rockets and space colonies.

    I came back two years later, the the book was still sitting there. Nobody had touched it! This time, something hit me. I don't know; i had been reading Alvin Toffler's "The Third Wave" and "Powershift." Maybe something about the information age made me think there was something to this.

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  17. I never dis the rocket, always admire. The plan for refuel the rocket, yes. The Mars stuff, yes. Perhaps the choice of fuel for orbiter. We could afford robots on Mars all these years. Do you think about things?

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  18. "FIRST developing low cost access" the reason I am *confused* about this is that it is FALSE! The main point of O'Neill, other than the obvious thing that it is easier to be in Space, is that we have to get there by doing things to avoid launch, as much as possible. This is true no matter how hard or easy the launch is. Thus, we should have started in the 70s. Easier launch makes it go faster, not start later. Clear? There were rational plans in the 80s that assumed no humans, just tiny bots, as launch was so hard. We should have done it.

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  19. I guess, on the technical level, all spaceships that are launched from Earth and keeping going out into space without stopping is a "starship". But, it appears, that is giving the rocket too much "marketing"

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  20. I think the heat shield is the Achilles heal of starship… just looking at what they are doing I feel it’s going to be just as bad as the space shuttle when it comes to reusability and refurbishment …. And Just as fragile in losing tiles and destroying the ship….

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  21. Before you can get to the moon or asteroids you first kind of need to be able to get to space from Earth. We don't have the option to develop rockets on the moon right now and even if we did a lunar elevator would be a better option.

    This isn't chicken-egg. No matter what the end game is, be it Moon/Mars/Asteroid/Everything colonization every future option relies on FIRST developing low cost access to LEO from Earth.

    I really don't know why this is so confusing for you, are you being intentionally obtuse?

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  22. You keep talking about how easy "stuff is in space" while dismissing the rocket that makes it easy to get to space.

    Its great that you think everything is easy in space. But first you have to get to space and do so affordably.

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  23. H2, not H. You don't even have a basic understanding of chemistry, yet you claim to know more than Elon Musk. You're a great example of Dunning-Kruger.

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  24. Saying something is "almost tautological" isn't an argument. It's word salad meant to confuse midwits such as yourself.

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  25. No, Dan actually does engage in sophistry, as many people here know. For example, he claims that Musk hasn't beaten Bezos in putting humans into orbit because, somehow, it only counts if Raptor puts humans into orbit? Even though Falcon 9 has been doing it for a while. So Dan quite flagrantly uses nonsensical goalpost shifting.

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  26. When I use the words 'annoying sophistry' I mean just that.
    Not 'cultish fervor' or whatever other semantic redefinings you would use.

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  27. O'Neill has nothing directly to do with saving the other planets at all, altho it does accomplish that for Mars perhaps. It is about the fact that the surface of the Earth is not as good as O'Neill Space, free Space, orbital micr0g Space, is for us. And, what is good for preserving Earth bounty is good for us too. You may be surprised when you read "The High Frontier".

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  28. So, when one of these small nuclear bombs ( launch weight 4400 tonnes most of which are rocket fuel) explodes on or just above the launch pad, it will take out the whole launch pad,starbase and the town Boca Chica. should make for some good news coverage.
    Would have thought with Elon being such a smart guy, these super heavy firecrackers would be launching from platforms miles and miles away in the gulf of mexico.

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  29. not convinced that space development (aside from a massive parking lot for satelites) will continue much without humans spending various extended periods in an orbit or extra-earth surface. Nano (in the sense of ship sizes) may not support delivering people to and above LEO.

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  30. Perhaps a bit mean-spirited.
    A cultish fervor for a certain goal, though misguided, is not really sophistry in the sense of intending deception – more an intense cynicism grasping for a simplistic solution. My cursory exposure (without reading any texts) indicates the following value system:
    1) Humanity has to be saved, no matter how miserable, restricted, and unempowering the process of that becomes (moral greivance: the gilded cage);
    2) Surfaces of planets/ moons are somehow sacred in their complex ecosystems or lack of them (pristine-ness) and needed to be proclaimed 'development free' (philisophical greivance: the best time is 'now' fallacy -or- moral greivance: the Other (humanity) can't be trusted to not completely destroy/ exploit permanently all/most beautiful complexity);
    3) Technology, widespread, intensive, and controlled, through to a certain goal, is the primary way of accomplishing 1) and 2)(philosophical greivance: we haven't yet found a solution, so there is not one).
    It is compelling to look at the current state of the world and feel a need to forcibly-direct it away from its perceived path of destruction; though if you look at the accelerating technology and corresponding deccelerating (but not halted) desolation of culture and 'wildness', it should be obvious that we are 'swooping' out of this 'plane wreck' to a certain reasonable balance. As more realize this, extreme positions will diminish.

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  31. If I succeed, you will hear about it. What is your plan? If you succeed, I will learn from you if you are willing to teach. This experiment I am running often results in the person challenged coming back and saying I was right, btw. Have you read "The High Frontier"?

    edit: In fact, I will assign you a starter or practice task. "convince Elon Musk of the advantages of colonization and space colonies as sketched by Gerard O'Neill" compared to Mars. I'm doing compared to Earth, much more powerful. What O'Neill was talking about. O'Neill Space better than Mars is almost tautologically true.

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  32. If you ever have a chance to try and convince Elon Musk of the advantages of colonization and space colonies as sketched by Gerard O'Neill, my advice to you is: DON'T.
    Your lamentations about how it didn't happen, about how your tax money were not used for this, and your insistence complete with annoying sophistry is sure to turn him off the concept.

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  33. I will, in a few months, be 77. As a Brit schoolboy I bunked off lessons to listen to the first manned Mercury launch. As a junior squadron pilot the flying programme had me airborne for the first moon landing but I was in time to watch the first moon walk. Then, the race won, US national enthusiasm waned, things became routine and the attention span waned. I thought that manned space flight had reached its zenith. With the arrival of Elon Musk everything is back on the table and, coming from a long lived family, once again I have hopes of seeing some dramatic advances in my remaining years!

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  34. In general, the concept of *avoiding* launch is not to *prohibit* launch, just *minimize* it, particularly in the context of "biting the bullet" and going ahead and doing things to lessen the need for future launches, a delayed reward concept. The bigger the launch capability, the sooner the limits of the Earth materials to launch will start to come into play. Add the launch cost to the rising material cost and things start to get affordable from Bennu, or the Moon. They are also more affordable because the launch of the processors to Space is cheaper. In fact, the launch size really does not matter to O'Neill plans. Do it already!

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  35. Protons slithering around on the loose give me the heebie jeebies. That is why New Shepard is H, so it can be practiced. Many have decided to use H rockets, and once the decision is made, might as well go ahead and learn how. A huge advantage Bezos has is to be able to start doing the known projects without cash worries. This ends up with a better result, maybe even cheaper total. Even Musk has other uses for cash.

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  36. N-1 didn’t blow up as badly as it could have as per the wiki. Even so, it slung debris 6 miles away. SS/SH explosions will be up there with Texas City’s Grandcamp

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  37. But, it won't matter. A nano-sputnik is about to happen. And when it does, this SpaceX fully reusable Saturn V will look like a Ford model-T.

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  38. The launch and landing platforms are very close to the critical infrastructure on the ground. I wonder what damage an exploding booster can do to the starbase. If full of fuel, it's like a small nuke in energy content.

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  39. I'd honestly be surprised if everybody was on board. I'm sure there are plenty of people who liked it better when this was an out-of-the-way hole for people to retire to in silence…

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  40. Gotta refuel from Earth before you refuel from somewhere in space.

    Nearest oxidizer is Lunox. I’ve been pointing that out for years but it’s a ways off and even then you need fuel for the oxidizer.

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  41. They have been thru all of that already, with Dragon and Falcon, so there should be no unexpected issues there. Remember, the Artemis landers do not Earth launch with people. I'm questioning SS crew launch soon enuf to wipe competitors out. I'm questioning his overall Mars plan. I hate his refuel everything from Earth plan. I love his cheap steel rockets.

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  42. Well, it is designed to be upgradable to people, much like computer code is written. I'm not saying it won't work. Bezos claims, as I read it!, that his stuff is designed to be tested for human use requirements upon production and then that is it. I imagine something like Boeing capsule, one or two good tests and climb aboard. Same for New Glenn, obviously. So, BE-4 may be launching fewer tons of people than Musk is cargo, until?? I like the combo, but is Musk ahead on engines really? Also, Bezos has a tested lunar lander small deep throttle H engine, and a second stage H engine he has flown on his own self. You can refuel H engines in Space by many different plans to do such things. Musk needs CH4, a little harder, but doable. All need O2, let's at least get that from Moon.

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  43. Historically, uncrewed rockets had a design factor of safety of 1.25 and human launchers like the Space Shuttle used 1.4. Not sure what the current numbers are. The factor of safety then propagates across all the load-bearing parts, which the engine has lots of. FS is failure stress divided by maximum expected stress.

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  44. The Starship rocket & booster are intended to carry people to Mars. So it is being designed for people from the start. They won't carry people, though, until they work out the kinks and have ~100 flights completed. In the mean time they can finish delivering the Starlink constellation, and any uncrewed payloads that want to fly.

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  45. There is a public road alongside the factory and launch pad area. Unless it is closed for moving big objects between them, tests or launches, you can drive right up to the gates.

    On Google Maps, search for Boca Chica TX, that is right there. Brownsville is about 10 mi away.

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  46. Pretty sure that as a commercial operator, they will not need to comply with all of the NASA requirements for launching government astronauts.
    I think they probably have it in mind for future services, at an extra cost. Not sure how they would plan on incorporating a launch escape system.

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  47. If Musk ever figures out that this stuff is easy in Space, . . .

    Have not heard if Raptor is designed to be crew rated at start, or will that be a later refinement? Bezos pretty clear (by his rules) that BE-4 is crew rated when first works. But that is just the engines. Musk cargo rocket works for me, and it is looking soon.

    Innovation is happening in micr0g on the ISS. Will explode with lunar material science at HALO Gateway, if we don't let the power addicts stop that. Is Musk ahead of his competitors in understanding O'Neill, the really important stuff?

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  48. I just can't get a grip on the scale of the things at all. I thought the aerobrake fins were a couple of feet across. They are much bigger than the people in the photo. Lawks.

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