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SpaceX has announced that Starship will be able to lift around 100 to 150 tons of cargo into Leo. When the spacecraft is landing or taking off you don’t want the payload just floating insecurely in a large empty space.

Has SpaceX released any information on how they are going to secure the payload?

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  • $\begingroup$ "SpaceX has announced that Starship will be able to lift around 100 to 150 tons of cargo into Leo" – In fact, SpaceX recently updated their website to now say "up to 150t re-usable and up to 250t expendable". $\endgroup$ Mar 16, 2023 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag 250t Wow that is just amazing!! Sea dragon could possibly lift 500t if it were ever built. $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2023 at 5:28

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SpaceX has released a user guide which is only version one and dated March 2020 but lists the planned mounting arrangement as

As a baseline, Starship is compatible with heritage Falcon 937-mm, 1194-mm, 1666-mm and 2624-mm clampband interface requirements, including the ability to host multiple payloads side by side given the large diameter available.

These are described in more detail in the Falcon 9 guide as

The standard mechanical interface between SpaceX-provided Falcon launch vehicle hardware and customer-provided hardware is a 1575-mm (62.01 in.) diameter bolted interface, at the forward end of the launch vehicle payload attach fitting. This interface is designed to conform to the EELV 1575-mm (62.01 in.) diameter medium payload class mechanical interface defined in the EELV Standard Interface Specification Rev. C June 2017.

The load bearing capability of a 62 or 103 inch EELV does not appear to be easily located online but looking at the bolt hole patterns could be quite substantial without issue noting intention for vertical integration with the vehicle.

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