Starship Rocket Overview
- Propellant production in Boca Chica will be important to optimize the supply chain.
- Rapidly reusable rockets – like air travel or car travel, you don’t get a new car every time you take a trip.
- Re-usability will allow flying the booster 20 times per day, and the ship 3-4 times per day. Reason ships can only be used a few times a day: since ship goes to orbit, the track of a satellite is sinusoidal (unless it is equatorial or san-synchronous). you have to wait for the ground path to sync up with the launch site. It takes like 6 hours to sync up.
- Satellite Delivery: Currently, the company uses Falcon to deliver satellites for Starlink. Starship will be able to deliver satellites further and at a lower marginal cost per launch, as Startship has a much greater payload..
- SpaceX created the Raptor engine, which has a very high specific impulse. Because Earth’s gravity is quite high, we are just on the cusp of reusable rockets being physically possible. Raptor engine (it will have 6 engines) uses mostly oxygen per unit of fuel (3.5 tons of oxygen for every 1 ton of fuel).
- Making it to orbit was tough… landing the rocket was tougher, and SpaceX was the first to do so.
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Reducing Launch Mass
- Steel: the rocket it made of steel. It has the perfect combination of strength and heat resistance. Because of this, the rocket will be able to have a smaller heat shield, and only need a heat shield on 1 side of the ship. This will reduce launch mass.
- Orbital re-fueling: Starship attaches to another rocket containing fuel while in orbit, making it pace.
SpaceX has published a quite succinct user guide with detailed information.
- Engine: Raptor
- Fuel: Methane and Liquid Oxygen (CH4 and LOX)
- Length: 72 meters
- Diameter: 9 meters
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Payload: 100 tons
- Nomenclature: SN9 stands for “Serial Number 9”
Starship performed its first test flight on July 26, 2019 and has so far performed 6 orbital test flights.