SpaceX President Targets Producing One Starship Rocket Per Day

SpaceX COO and President Gwynn Shotwell says SpaceX wants to produce a rocket per day. She means one Starship per day. This was stated in her recent interview with the segment highlighted by What About it? about ten minutes in.

Currently SpaceX is making one Falcon 9 second stage a week and 9-11 first stages. (150 Merlin engines per year but they have a capability to make 300-400 Merlins per year. they are choosing a more moderate pace with no need to have so many boosters.

A Startship a day. This will mean 9 raptor engines per day for one starship per day and say 24 super heavy booster stages with 33 engines each per year. This is about 4000 raptor engines per year. About 30 times the current Merlin engine rate. They were making a factory for Raptor engines with a target capacity of 1000 per year. They will go to four times that level. They are making two launch facility and will probablu make 2000 engines per year near the Starbase launch facilities in Florida and Texas. SpaceX would want to produce engines and rockets near their planned Starbases.

SOURCES- What About It, Gwynn Shotwell
Written by Brian Wang,

23 thoughts on “SpaceX President Targets Producing One Starship Rocket Per Day”

  1. Good points in the comments. I believe there will be a need for a workforce in orbit, not only for manufacturing but for shuttling things around and the other myriad routine tasks we take for granted here.

  2. since the booster is reused far more than the ship (ships sent to mars won;t be reused for years, if ever), you don’t need a booster for every ship, so not 39 raptors a day, more like 10-15

    Still a lot, but not quite as insane a goal

    • Yes I stated 9 raptors per day for daily starship and another 2 per day for two boosters per month. 10% more than the number of boosters per month

  3. A big part of me is hoping Elon and SpaceX are filing patents for this technology and that he retains the rights of all this IP SpaceX is literally inventing.

    I feel like Elon will use the money from people who license the IP to: (1) better spend it than people who use the open-source technology. I know Elon has an altruistic side, but I trust him way more to make wise decisions than a Bezos or Gates or Buffet (or any other person I can think of). And (2) I want SpaceX to accumulate all the money it can to take humans to Mars and help the US defense department deter China, Russia, and any other nasty fascist/socialist/communists regimes that are out there.

      • Yes, proprietary is the way to go with anything you really want to keep secret, and isn’t obvious from a product delivered to customers. It’s why I have my name on so few patents, darn it: It’s easy to go the proprietary route with manufacturing methods.

  4. At a sufficient pace of manufacture of the Starship, they could use it in a semi-expendable mode.

    By “semi-expendable”, I mean that they could omit all systems necessary for landing, and keep it in orbit. A Starship in orbit represents a huge volume of pressurized space, and valuable building materials. In this mode, everything but the engines could be viewed as “payload”.

    You could then dismount the engines, and take them back to earth for reuse periodically in a full function Starship. The engines are, after all, most of the cost of the Starship, and the chief manufacturing bottleneck.

    This would allow rapidly and economically accumulating in orbit all the materials necessary for constructing huge space stations, Earth/Mars cyclers, stainless steel for construction of space infrastructure, and all on essentially a paid for basis, since the cargo carried on the way up would pay for the flight, and omitting reentry/landing related hardware would substantially increase payload capacity.

    The tankage could even be modified to include airlocks and ports, and cable/plumbing penetrations, all behind temporary steel covers that could be removed with a cutting torch after achieving orbit.

    Operated in this mode, we could, just a few years after Starship is operating, have absolutely huge amounts of living space in orbit, genuinely “orbital” tank farms, construction docs where ships and satellites that were dedicated for vacuum and did not have to survive launch stresses could be constructed. It would seriously jumpstart our conquest of space.

    • It’s an idea. I’m more in favor of getting boot-strapped ISRU industry ASAP. Once everything- or most- of what is in orbit is MADE in orbit, you just won the game.

      • If you don’t plan to land on Earth, or Mars you don’t need the three sea level engines, header tanks, the wings/flaps, or the hard points used to catch the ship. Lunar landers, ships built for orbital tankage, commodity storage, or used in space stations, or for orbital transfer, could carry much more cargo.
        Since these engines are the emergency landing system, these ships would need to be launched with no crew, so even more payload!

      • Cheaper to build on the ground, launch it to orbit, as Starship radically lowers cost/kg to orbit. Having to maintain personnel in space to construct things in space can be far more costly.

    • interesting idea, but since design parameters are so much wider at the new Starship costs you’d almost certainly be better off with something purpose-built and ferried up

      unlike current launches, Starship itself will likely be by far the most expensive thing you brought with you

      • I tend to think you misunderstood my comment.

        The semi-expendable Starships would be purpose built, of course. Some, for example, would be outfitted to be integrated into tank farms. Others would be designed to be incorporated into space stations with minimal alteration. Basically all of them would be designed for easy removal of the engines.

        But in most cases, it would be most cost effective to carry payload on the way up. At least I think that likely.

    • Stage and a half SLS with hydrogen would be less a hazard. That floorspace is still cheaper than ISS.

      I don’t trust methane wet-stage…though It would not be expendable.

      Maybe a lot of lox and a small hypergolic tank to be filled with monopropellant later?

    • If you are going to keep starships in orbit you can skip the thermal tiles and probably other weight. You could maybe even dock two nose-to-nose and spin them for low g. Sounds like a the genesis of a Earth-Mars cycler.

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