SpaceX's next big booster is notionally known as BFR - Big F-ing Rocket [or Big Falcon Rocket]. (Like the B-52 is the BUFF - Big Ugly Fat F-er, it is a term of enderarment).

We know that it will use a cluster of Raptor engines, running on LOX/Methane. Raptor has been changing over time but appears likely to be in the 1 Million lb thrust or higher.

We know they want it to be reusable which in their current mode of operation requires a center engine to keep thrust levels manageable for landing, so likely a cluster of 3, 5, or 9 engines.

That puts some boundaries on likely sizes of the core.

What will the BFR look like? This question may have to evolve over time as more information is released.

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    $\begingroup$ Isn't the question too speculative to be answered objectively? $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Dec 21 '14 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ @DeerHunter My thinking was an answer can evolve as information is made public. $\endgroup$ – geoffc Dec 21 '14 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ Suppose there is a question hidden here, but the best course IMHO would be to close it till more is revealed, and then nominate for reopening. Or delete for future undeletion. I'm still on the fence and have not cast my vote yet; probably worth a meta discussion. $\endgroup$ – Deer Hunter Dec 21 '14 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ In this case, i think it is too opinion based. It would be a fascinating discussion, but it is definitely going to be a discussion, and there are better places for that - the chat room or a related forum. Also, the best place to get an answer is to search for news releases. For now, there is this - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… and i know i read a news piece about the engine but i can't find it right now. $\endgroup$ – kim holder Dec 21 '14 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ Too speculative, but I'd put my money on a scaled up Falcon 9 - 9 Raptors, in a ring of 8 engines around a central one. That should give them the same any-2-engines-out redundancy as Falcon 9 and similar performance in the powered descent. Even though many items will be forced to change in the scaling up, some design decisions should be preservable. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Dec 22 '14 at 0:20

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