SpaceX CEO Elon Musk gave a presentation recently revealing his plans for Starship Rocket. The Starship will reach the orbit in six months.
Elon Musk wants people to travel across planets and explore the universe completely. He said Space travel should be like Air travel. If the Starship project becomes successful, humans can travel to the moon, Mars and other planets from next year.
Purpose of Starship
The core purpose of Starship Rocket is to carry humans to Mars or Moon. To make this ultimate thing possible, SpaceX has built a Massive Rocket called “Super Heavy”.This huge rocket will launch the Starship into the Orbit. The rocket can carry 37 raptor engines. The number of engines depends on the mission but a minimum of 24 raptor engines is must for any mission.
Elon Musk said that the first goal is to lift the Starship and reach a height of 65,000 feet from the ground. Next goal is to reach the orbit in the next six months. The Starship is specially designed to launch and land multiple times in space. It can carry 100 people to the moon, Mars and other planets in the solar system.
Specifications of the Starship
In the presentation, Elon Musk revealed that the Starship will be 50 meters in length and 9 meters in diameter. The Starship is capable of lifting 150 tons of load. Starship will be the most powerful rocket in the Universe and it is reusable. Similar to Falcon 9 rockets, Starship and Super Heavy rocket has landing legs for a smooth landing and take off.
Elon Musk decided to use Stainless steel to make this Starship. Initially, SpaceX planned to use Carbon Fiber to make Starship. 1 ton of Carbon fiber costs $130,000. On the other hand, Stainless steel (type 301) cost only $2,500 per ton. Steel can sustain extremely high temperature which will be helpful while re-entering into Earth.
Elon Musk informed fuel refilling is extremely easy because tanker Starships will be deployed in space. The Starship will take the fuel from the tanker Starships whenever required. This fuel will hep the Starship to move further towards Mars and Moon after the Super-Heavy Launch.
Future Plans of Starship
Elon Musk aims to take humans to other planets using this Starship MK1. This is just a prototype and SpaceX is making MK2 in Florida and MK3 in Boca Chica.
“This is going to sound totally nuts but we want to try and reach orbit in less than six months,” he said.
In 2016, Elon Musk announced this Starship project primarily focussing on a mission to Mars. Now, he is sure that Starship can travel to Saturn and other distant planets. But it takes time. The prototype of Starship will launch in 6 months and humans can start flying by next year.
Based on the success of Starship, we can expect a lot of Starships in the future carrying people to more planets in our Solar system.
Other SpaceX Projects
SpaceX is working on the Commercial Crew Project which needs to be delivered to NASA. The aim is to send astronauts to International Space Station from American soil. Before the press event, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the Crew Project is getting delayed as Elon Musk is busy with Starship Project.
On Saturday evening, Elon Musk answered the questions asked by press people. Responding to Jim Bridenstine, he said SpaceX used only 5% of its resources to build Starship.
Recently, while testing Crew Dragon, an explosion occurred due to a leaky valve in the vehicle. This is the reason for the project delay. The first crew launch is expected to happen only by 2020.