The long-awaited presentation of the new conceptStarship's interplanetary ship, from SpaceX, sums up the many years of work of the engineering team led by idea generator Ilon Musk. The event took place at the Texas SpaceX test site in Boca Chica.
Initial project called ITS(Interplanetary Transport System) was introduced in 2016. Already in 2017, Ilon Mask announced a plan to create a universal reusable ship and carrier complex, which will replace the existing devices of the company. At the same time, the first flight of cargo ships to Mars in 2022 was announced.
In the course of further development and reconstructionthe lower stage (manned or unmanned cargo ship) of the future rocket was called Starship, and the carrier (first stage) was renamed Super Heavy. Both parts of the spacecraft are reusable.
It was at the end of September 11 years ago that was committedSpaceX’s first successful launch of the Falcon 1 spacecraft. At the current presentation, Musk noted that the main goal of the company is to colonize the planets and transform the Earth into interplanetary civilization.
The current speech of the Mask took place against the background of the prototypeStarship (model Mk1), created in a record five-month period and designed to conduct a test flight of 20 km with a landing at the spaceport. The prototype has three Raptor engines. The Mk2 model is already under construction in Florida (Coco), and the Mk3 will be created in Boca Chica. The Coco team is also gearing up to start assembling the Mk4. It is the Mk3 and Mk4 models that will be equipped with a modification of the Raptor engines, designed to operate in airless outer space.
Elon Musk sets tight deadlines. The first launch in Super Heavy orbit in the Mk3 and Mk4 versions will take place over the next six months. And by the beginning of 2020, the Mk5 and Mk6 models should be created.
The latest presentation shows that the updatedStarship's design and construction have not undergone global changes. The main improvements concerned the flight control system using aerodynamic wings, which are responsible for the pitch, yaw and rotation of the ship. The number of rocket tail fins was also reduced by two (previously there were three).
Starship missile warhead gained overstreamlined silhouette, and thermal protection will be made of ceramic, not stainless metal. Only the warhead of the rocket, which enters the atmosphere, receives protection. Case length 50 meters, diameter 9 meters. 6 Raptor engines are installed. The Starship mass is about 200 tons, and with tanks full - 1400 tons. The maximum mass of SuperHeavy and Starship with fuel and payload is about 5,000 tons. Up to 150 tons of payload will be launched into orbit during launch.
Musk claims that Starship can commit to3 sorties and landings per day, for putting a payload of 150 tons into orbit of the Earth. The launch from the Moon and Mars Starship can take place on its own engines, and in all Super Heavy can get up to 37 pieces of Raptor. SpaceX now manufactures one Raptor in two weeks, but in 2020 the assembly speed will be reduced to 2 days.
SpaceX engineers to refuel Starship in spacedeveloped a project for a tanker that will be filled with fuel, which will be extracted at SpaceX's earthly plants by converting CO2 from air to methane (fuel) and water to liquid oxygen (oxidizing agent).
Passengers or colonists when flying to Mars Starship will be able to take up to 100 people. A ticket for tourists will cost only 500 thousand dollars round trip.