SpaceX is building Starships at a good tempo and may finally build them faster then they scrap them. The Falcon 9s have always been stored horizontally and erected at the launch pad. I’ve never seen a Starship in anything but a vertical configuration.

Has anyone ever witnessed one horizontal?

Has anyone heard any plans to store them or move them horizontally?

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    $\begingroup$ What would the benefits be for horizontal storage? $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2020 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ It’s just easier to build low structures. Tall buildings with open centers are far more architectural complex and expensive. Moving an object like a rocket upright requires nearly level terrain, low speeds, concern about wind, etc. $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2020 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Up to this day, SpaceX stores Falcon 9 rockets horizontally and there are two fundamental reasons for that. First of all, it is much easier to work on lower objects (horizontal rocket) as they test and check each booster before taking it to the launchpad. The second reason is that lower buildings are cheaper and easier to build as their gravity center is lower and the building process is easier.

However, Starship may be different. It is estimated to weight about 4400t at launch (with fuel, in storing condition it will be less, however a lot more than Falcon 9 which is about 550t). The storing system depends on the fact will they be able to develop a technology that will be able to effectively and safely transition rocket from horizontal to a vertical position. The other factor is that Starship and Superheavy are designed to have as many flights as possible. So most probably they will land and launch frequently(as we can conclude from the position of launchpad and landing pad), as a result, they will most probably be designed for being carried while vertical.

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    $\begingroup$ The fueled masses are greatly misleading, and the problem is more the height...Starship and Superheavy would only weigh a couple hundred tons, but would need to be properly supported during the transition. Also, Starship is 9 m across. Even horizontal, the upper surfaces would be several stories off the ground, so having it horizontal is no longer as effective at providing ease of access. The actual construction work has so far been done on vehicles in the vertical orientation, it's reasonable that servicing would be as well. $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2020 at 18:58

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