Questions tagged [spacex-starship]

Questions regarding SpaceX's Starship, formerly the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) upper stage or BFS

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Can we use magnets to land a spaceship (Starship)?

Can we use magnets to land a spaceship (Starship)? We could give the landing legs a magnetic flat surface or something and then the controller can reduce the magnetic strength or in other words, ...
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7 votes
1 answer
183 views

How many cargo flights are needed before Starship can carry people?

I have seen mention that the Starship will need to have a track record of a certain number of flights before it can carry people. I suppose NASA sets this number. I don't know if it's an absolute ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Would it be possible to get a modified SprHvy booster to orbit, then send a full stack with Starship on a "standard" config. Then mate them in orbit?

Ok, so the idea is to get a modified Superheavy booster to orbit minus Starship. Then send a Starship to orbit on a standard configuration and mate the first booster with the recently arrived Starship....
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6 votes
1 answer
197 views

With and without refilling at LEO, how much more than the landers weight of the Venera 9 mission could a Starship deliver near a pole of Venus?

Venera 9 was a Soviet space mission to Venus that consisted of an orbiter and lander with a launch mass of 4936 kg and with an entry mass of 1560 kg. It was the first spacecraft to return an image ...
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3 votes
1 answer
228 views

What is the lowest the cost of launch can get to?

The cost of launch has been dramatically reduced by companies such as SpaceX building parts in house. Once that lowered the cost of launch as much as it could, they moved onto reusing the first stage, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
218 views

Starting refueled in LEO, how much payload could a heat-protected Starship softly land on Mercury after a gravity assist from Venus?

This question may be a crucial follow-up to this one because in this answer it is calculated that the payload to Mercury without a gravity assist would probably be minimal, so if already a moderate ...
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  • 7,052
18 votes
3 answers
3k views

If one Starship can transport 100 people to Mars, how many could it safely land near Mercury's north pole after one Hohmann-like transfer?

Personally, I would rather live near Mercury's north pole than anywhere on Mars mainly because: The permanently shadowed craters harbor abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials Mercury ...
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  • 7,052
3 votes
2 answers
258 views

Can Starship reach orbit without superheavy, now upgraded as of Jan 2022 to 9 engines and stretched tanks?

Can Starship reach orbit without superheavy, now that it's been upgraded as of Jan 2022 to 9 engines (added 3 vacuum raptors) and stretched tanks? Back in 2018 Elon said on twitter that the earlier ...
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21 votes
2 answers
4k views

Elon Musk's ITS Travel Time to Mars Estimate

The average travel time to Mars has been quoted to be around nine months (~ 270 days). This assumes current propulsion methods and when Mars and Earth are near each other. Musk has been quoted to say ...
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8 votes
1 answer
199 views

How much equipment will be required to mine 600 tons of water ice on Mars?

Assuming that Starship needs to fully refuel on the Martian surface to return to Earth, that will require about 260 tons of methane->66 tons of hydrogen->600 tons of water, which you would need ...
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2 votes
0 answers
139 views

How will SpaceX build a SuperHeavy launch mount at LC39A, an active launch pad?

We have seen how fast SpaceX built the Boca Chica launch mount. We also saw the approach of building the base, then lifting segments built offsite (At the gas well site) to assemble them. However, as ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are there any studied landing sites on Mars for a crewed landing?

I am currently working on a research project regarding the distribution of Calcium Perchlorate on the surface of Mars' effect on the human body, and for this I would like to look at the concentrations ...
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3 votes
2 answers
396 views

Could SpaceX Super Heavy (Starship) Booster reach Earth orbit without starship on top?

I'm thinking about orbital fuel tanks for low earth orbit, and even Mars orbit in the event fuel farms on Mars take longer to build than anticipated. That said, Can SpaceX put a nosecone on its Super ...
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2 votes
0 answers
40 views

At what rate will starship's fuel boil off during a Mars trip? [duplicate]

During the coast to mars, how much fuel will boil off, and how would this be handled?
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13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Has SpaceX chosen to drop the Transpiration cooling of Starship? If so, why?

Earlier, there was news about a proposed concept for Starship to include "transpirational cooling" in its reentry heat shield design. These days there is less news about this and tests so ...
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  • 411
4 votes
1 answer
218 views

Has a single Falcon 9 ever launched twice in a day?

Musk says in this Tweet on Nov 9, 2019, "If we build as many Starships as Falcons, so ~100 vehicles & each does 100 tons to orbit, that’s a capacity of 10 million tons of payload to orbit ...
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3 votes
1 answer
147 views

How is the Mechazilla 'claw' on the Starship Launch Tower different from earlier launch tower connections?

Launch towers have various umbilicals, arms, and stabilizers connected to a rocket prior to launch. How is the Mechazilla 'claw' on the Starship Launch Tower different from the earlier launch tower ...
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4 votes
1 answer
240 views

Starship reentry velocity on return from Mars: What are the options

What are the reentry velocity options available to Starship on return from Mars? I assume the approach will be significantly faster than a Hohmann transfer orbit due to timing of transfer windows and ...
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  • 6,410
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

How are vacuum optimized engines tested without disintegrating them?

SpaceX recently test fired vacuum optimized raptor engines of starship. Doesn't vacuum optimized engines disintegrate when operated in atmosphere? If yes, what additional modifications are made to the ...
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16 votes
1 answer
1k views

How does SpaceX plan to supply or recycle respiratory gasses?

If Starship carries 100 passengers to Mars, they will consume about 6 metric tons of oxygen and produce about 10 tons of CO2 on each leg of the trip. Much more if they exercise. CO2 could be converted ...
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4 votes
2 answers
603 views

Starship: Methane and Oxygen can't both be liquid, except in a narrow temperature range. Is this a problem for interplanetary voyages?

On an extended spaceflight in Starship, the liquid propellant and oxidizer will tend towards the same temperature. The tanks can be refrigerated by boiling off contents, but your mileage may vary ...
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  • 6,410
2 votes
1 answer
249 views

Pressure inside Starship CH4 and LOX header tanks during entire Earth-Mars trip and landing on Mars?

What should be the pressure inside Starship CH4, LOx header tanks during the entire Earth-Mars trip and landing on Mars ? The main CH4, LOx tanks should be under 6 bar pressure, because that is the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
167 views

Why are the metal tubes of Mechazilla base thinner than the tubes of its claw?

From here and other sources. You can see that the lines at the left ("claw") are thicker than lines ar right ("base.") Why? Intuitively, it seems that it should be the opposite.
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5 votes
0 answers
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Why so many thermal insulation tiles on Starship are marked broken?

From the photos it seems that about 40% of the tiles were marked with orange strips at some moment, while another 30% with green strips as misaligned. Why the percentage is so high? Why they could not ...
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  • 3,057
4 votes
5 answers
383 views

Post-flight analysis of SpaceX Starship 20 heat shield tiles

If Starship 20 will not be recovered, how will SpaceX evaluate the performance of the heat tiles? If a couple of heat tiles fall off and the Starship bursts into flames, how can SpaceX figure out ...
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  • 327
1 vote
1 answer
203 views

Would SpaceX Starship be able to slow down enough to enter orbit or land on Pluto-like objects?

The probes that use current technology to get to Pluto or other outer solar system objects cannot slow down enough for orbit insertion, so they can only flyby. But would Starship be able to slow down ...
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  • 3,057
3 votes
1 answer
183 views

Can Starship become the cheapest rocket even in expendable version? [closed]

Given SpaceX is streamlining the mass production of Starships and raptors, can it turn out that Starship would become the cheapest rocket compared to other rockets for its load even if used as ...
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  • 3,057
22 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why is it not concerning from a cost perspective to have so many engines on Starship?

Starship is meant to imitate (to a degree) the affordability of passenger jets. This applies to Earth-to-Earth travel as well as space travel. Jetliners started with 4 engines, but have since migrated ...
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  • 1,079
18 votes
5 answers
5k views

Exactly why does Starship need to be this big for interplanetary travel?

As discussed in several answers to Isn't Starship way too big? Starship's unusual size is due to it being intended for missions to the Red Planet. But why? Even a smaller ship could satisfy the ...
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  • 1,079
1 vote
0 answers
140 views

What if the Starship fins were fixed?

The body flaps on Starship have the responsibilty of controlling attitude during atmospheric flight. They are also needed to deal with the large moments created by carrying payloads in the nose. ...
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  • 1,079
2 votes
1 answer
368 views

Why will the final version of Starship be almost empty after its first launch?

It has been announced that SpaceX Starship SuperHeavy will need 16 launches with the tankers to refuel Lunar Starship. Why is the Starship going to be empty after reaching orbit, since the booster is ...
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  • 161
1 vote
2 answers
192 views

How can SpaceX receive data from Starship during re-entry communications blackout

Surviving re-entry will be one of the initial critical aspects of the Starship development program. If there are locations on the vessel where the heat-shield fails, leading to its destruction how ...
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15 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can the Starship booster stand vertically without falling over?

How can the Starship booster stand vertically without falling over? In my day to day experience, similar long objects (simple objects that can be easily found in thehouse) tend to fall easily with a ...
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  • 409
12 votes
1 answer
499 views

Which star could Starship reach soonest?

We've been mocking Starship because it's not going to fly to another star, but according to this solar system delta v map it only takes 5.63 km/s from a Moon transfer orbit to Sun escape velocity. A ...
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  • 401
6 votes
0 answers
211 views

Can a spacecraft be "too large to dock" to the ISS?

A comment below Is Starship planned to fly directly to the ISS without first stage? Is it even possible? says: to my best knowledge, the Starship will never be near the ISS. it is too large to dock ...
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3 votes
1 answer
228 views

How could Starship "deep space variants" improve payload performance by "orders of magnitude" (Elon Musk)?

Replying to Scott Manley's tweeted table of payload mass for a given geocentric C3, Musk tweeted: We could stretch the Falcon Heavy upper stage & increase this a lot, but FH already covers all ...
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  • 148k
3 votes
1 answer
318 views

How do SpaceX intend to transport their starship/super heavy?

One of the design constraints of the Falcon 9, its skinniness, is to allow it to be transported by truck back to the launch site. Falcon 9 is 3.7 metres in diameter, whereas Starship and the super ...
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  • 6,067
6 votes
0 answers
117 views

Other than safety qualifications, was there any technical/engineering reason why propulsive landing was cancelled for the DragonV2?

The Dragon V2 cannot perform a propulsive landing. But the Starship will be making propulsive landings. Why?
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  • 365
3 votes
1 answer
336 views

Use of Starship Fuel Tanks in a Space Station

In this question, as to whether Reuse of fuel tanks as habitats is possible, it's mentioned that there were plans to do this for Skylab and for the Shuttle tanks. However this is asking specifically ...
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1 vote
0 answers
51 views

how does the crew deplane/deship to the surface [duplicate]

When SpaceStarship lands Mars, the crew will be almost 50 meters above the surface. How will they get out with all their equipment?
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7 votes
0 answers
148 views

What was the thin, black object that was moving around the engine bay of SpaceX Starship SN15?

SpaceX Starship SN15 flew and landed successfully but, A few minutes into the flight, a long, thin seemingly black object was seen moving around the engine bay What was this object? What is it used ...
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  • 1,621
4 votes
0 answers
263 views

What was the cause of the fire on the SpaceX Starship SN15

SpaceX Starship SN15 had a successful test flight and touchdown but a few minutes after it landed, a small fire was seen to break out next to the Fins. Why did this break out? What was the cause of ...
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  • 1,621
2 votes
1 answer
269 views

Why Starship prototype live video feed often fails but rocket telemeteries work consistently?

On board Starship prototype cameras seemed to fail during test launches very often. However, during such video dropouts, the rocket telemeteries are still received without a hitch, so satellite uplink ...
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  • 1,029
1 vote
3 answers
140 views

Starship and Raptor

All these SN-flights...seems that Raptor and the surrounding system is still in development and is pretty unreliable. So why go through all the trouble of flying until the Raptors are more mature?
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19 votes
2 answers
4k views

What can the ISS do that a SpaceX Starship could not?

The SpaceX Starship (lunar and/or crew-rated version, upper stage only) is expected to have more habitable volume than the International Space Station. On the other hand, the ISS is around 400 tons, ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
327 views

Was someone killed in the SpaceX Starship SN10 explosion? [closed]

At timestamp 2:44 in this video: There can be seen something that looks like a person on fire running and then falling to the ground. Was someone killed or injured in ...
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  • 3,057
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

What solution does SpaceX plan so to make it possible for the crew to get out from Starship on other planets, considering the cabin's elevation?

What solution does SpaceX plan so to make it possible for the crew to get out from Starship on other planets, considering the cabin's elevation? Will they use some kind of rope ladder?
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  • 3,057
4 votes
2 answers
657 views

Does Starship reuse actually serve a purpose for Mars, or only LEO/Earth-to-Earth?

(In this question, Starship refers to the reusable 2nd stage, not the full stack w/ Super Heavy). I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that I'm not sure a reusable Starship actually ...
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  • 419
5 votes
1 answer
205 views

What are we going to do on the moon?

I understand that (after the early stage), we will assemble a gateway and have starship flights to the moon. But I am not sure if we know what will we be carrying to the moon? A 100-ton payload, of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Lunar starship descent motors' tank design

Just recently nasa has announced the lunar starship as the winner of the Artemis lunar lander contract which i have to say I'm very excited about. In the latest render however, the nose cone of the ...
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