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SpaceX provides update on its Starship development

SpaceX continues to work on its powerful rocket, the Spaceship, and the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, has given an update on the development work.

Musk, the current wealthiest person alive, who is also the CEO of Tesla, showed an animated video that depicted what launching the spacecraft looks like. The Starship, billed to be the tallest and most powerful rocketry system, is composed of an upper stage, called the Ship or Starship, that will explore space or deliver payloads to orbit, and the lower stage or booster, known as the Super Heavy. The former will be powered by nine Raptor rocket engines, while the latter will use more than 30 Raptors. SpaceX developed the Raptor engines in-house, and they will use methane-oxygen propellant instead of the rocket grade kerosene used by most other rockets.

Despite not yet completing an orbital flight, SpaceX is already working on version 2 of the Raptor engine. The new engine is completely redesigned and costs about half of the first generation. It also uses a fewer number of parts. Musk revealed that SpaceX could produce a maximum of six engines per week, but the number will increase in the coming weeks.

The footage shows a Starship taking off from a launch mound. After escaping from the earth’s gravitation pull, the Starship stages will separate. The booster will spend a total of six minutes in the air before returning to ‘land.’ A pair of mechanical arms on the launch tower, part of a system that Musk refers to as the Mechazilla, will grab the Super Heavy and then be lifted back on to the mound in preparation for the next flight.

The Ship will continue to its destination after separation, which could be the moon, the International Space Station, or even Mars. Depending on how far the Ship is going, it might refill before leaving the vicinity of the earth, thanks to another tanker Starship waiting in orbit with fuel. The video shows the refilling in action.

Musk wants to reuse the booster up to three times per day, meaning the launch crew has between six and eight hours to refill the propellant and carry out all safety checks before re-launching the booster.

The video shows a Starship landing on planet Mars, which Musk has dreamt of colonizing. He wants to establish a community of at least one million spacefarers on the Red Planet so that humanity might survive a potential catastrophe.

The Super Heavy produces more than double the thrust of a Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket ever sent to space. The Starship can lift more than 100 tons of payload to orbit and can be configured to transport cargo or passengers. It can transport up to 80 people per trip.

Musk promises the Starship will revolutionalize space travel, with the secret weapon being the full reusability of the spacecraft. It is expected to bring down launch cost to less than $10 million, a significant reduction from the $60 million it costs to launch a Falcon 9. SpaceX also plans to offer rideshares that smaller companies can take advantage of to put their payloads in space.

SpaceX is building a launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, known as Starbase. It is the same place it is building and testing the rocket. However, the company is held back from carrying out an orbital launch from Starbase due to a lack of approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is delaying the result of the environmental assessment for the launch activities that it is carrying out. SpaceX is optimistic that the FAA will conclude its review by the end of March. By then, the Starship will be ready after undergoing multiple tests.

NASA has agreed to pay almost $3 billion to SpaceX to use the Starship land its astronauts on the moon.

Written by HackerVibes

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