Questions tagged [spacex-starship]

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

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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 ...
FontFamily's user avatar
9 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 ...
Ashvin's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
3k views

How does SpaceX plan to deal with boiloff on the trip to Mars?

Both BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) booster and BFS (Big Falcon Spaceship) are to run on Raptor engines, fueled with liquid methane and liquid oxygen - cryofuels. The trip to Mars will take at least a couple ...
SF.'s user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
635 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 ...
darsie's user avatar
  • 421
4 votes
1 answer
548 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 ...
Woody's user avatar
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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 ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
12k views

What are SpaceX's Starship's header tanks?

In the Everyday Astronaut video A conversation with Elon Musk about Starship after about 13:00 Musk shows Dodd a cell phone video that he shot in the top(?) of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
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How will the crew exit Starship when it lands on Mars?

When SpaceStarship lands Mars, the crew will be almost 50 meters above the surface. How will they get out with all their equipment?
XPlatformer's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are SpaceX Starship/BFR proposed abort modes?

From the different renderings of Starship no escape systems can be seen. What will the different abort modes both during launch and landing be like? What happens for example if the first stage ...
GuruGuruSandwich's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Starship Flame trench

During static fires of the Starship engines the exhaust goes everywhere creating a dust cloud, hitting everything with sand. Why does Spacex in Boca Chica not have a flame trench at the Starship test ...
John Watts's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why doesn't the BFR/Starship have a launch escape system?

This question let me wonder whether SpaceX' Starship has a launch escape system. It really seems to have none. The obvious question is why not, it sounds pretty negligent to me not to have some kind ...
Giovanni's user avatar
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27 votes
4 answers
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Why is SpaceX building the Big Falcon Ship before the Big Falcon Rocket?

I believe that SpaceX is planning on building the BFS (Big Falcon Spacecraft) before the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket), which serves as the first stage for the second-stage BFS. Does anyone know why they ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 8,954
23 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why isn't SpaceX constructing the Super Heavy launch mount on top of the water?

With SpaceX creating their launch facility in Boca Chica Texas, right next to the water, why would they bother building a huge launch pad to withstand the blast, as opposed to building it on top of ...
David's user avatar
  • 1,001
19 votes
5 answers
8k views

Why doesn't Starship have four landing legs?

A counterpart to the question Why doesn't the Falcon-9 first stage use three legs to land? This excellent answer states that the first stage of the Falcon-9 uses four legs because four legs are ...
Star Man's user avatar
  • 5,908
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why will Superheavy/Starship have a landing pad so close to the launch pad?

According to this image (taken from this answer) The landing zone is situated right next to the Starship pad. In contrast, the Falcon 9 landing pads are much much further at 28°29′09″N 80°32′40″W on ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
  • 5,324
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why has SpaceX changed Starship from carbon fiber composite to stainless steel?

Recently, there was news that SpaceX changed the material used for the BFS/Starship (upper stage of the BFR) from initially planned carbon fiber to metal which seems quite counter-intuitive as carbon ...
alecxe's user avatar
  • 399
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why was the SpaceX Starship SN10 slanted when it landed?

Why was the SpaceX Starship SN10 slanted when it landed? Was the landing pad uneven? Or did the Starship land a little way away from it? Or was this caused due to hull damage?
Đαrkraι's user avatar
  • 1,636
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the details of the SSTO Mars profile for the BFR?

In this link and on other occasions, SpaceX has indicated that the BFR would land on Mars, "top off the tanks" as the article says, and then launch back to Martian orbit. SSTO doesn't work on Earth ...
Chris B. Behrens's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is SpaceX's Starship single stage to orbit?

A recent Space.com article says: We should see the (Space-X Starship) Mk1 in action soon. SpaceX aims to fly the vehicle to an altitude of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) in October, then ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why were 4 engines shutdown prematurely during Booster 9's static fire?

Recently (August 7), Booster 9 conducted a static fire test where it only ignited 29 of 33 engines. This is the big static fire, there not another one. I have found that they were shutdown prematurely ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
209 views

SpaceX Starship refueling in Mars orbit

I was wondering if the propellant required to leave Earth orbit, accelerate to Mars' orbital velocity and then perform orbital insertion will leave the starship with enough propellant to perform a ...
Scott's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
3 answers
860 views

Zero gee rice cooker for BFR's trip around the Moon; how would that work?

Because of where I'm currently living, I've gotten used to using a small rice cooker regularly. @Tristan has pointed out that cooking dried rice, or dried beans in boiling water could not be done in ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
4 answers
839 views

Is Starship planned to fly directly to the ISS without first stage? Is it even possible?

I'm having difficulty understanding how/if Starship and/or Super Heavy could be used to deliver crew to LEO. Is it expected to deliver astronauts to the ISS Crew-Dragon-style, but without the 2nd ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 3,117
2 votes
1 answer
322 views

What might the description "tiny glass vermicelli at a microstructure level" refer to? (SpaceX Starship heat shield tiles)

In the Starship Update at about 21:05 Musk says: We’ve gone through various iterations of heat shield, there’s a lot of ways to skin a cat here. Ultimately we ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
37 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can a spaceship land on an icy body using retropropulsion? wouldn't the ice melt?

Can a spaceship, say Musk's BFR, actually land on the ice surface of Titan, or Europa, or Enceladus? It seems to me that the hot exhaust gases would make the surface melt where the rocket is trying to ...
thomasjestin's user avatar
29 votes
6 answers
11k views

Isn't Starship way too big?

The Shuttle was designed with a huge payload of 20 tons. This was supposed to not be a problem since: the reusability would drive down costs until satellite operators dropped expensive space hardware ...
Abdullah's user avatar
  • 2,645
28 votes
5 answers
9k views

Why has a rocket system like Starship never been proposed before? It does not seem to use any new science, materials or fuels

I wonder why nobody ever proposed a space launch system like Starship. Methane as a fuel and all the theory behind are well known, so why? Is it solely because of IT progress that made returning the ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 3,117
24 votes
4 answers
5k views

Can someone explain the SN10 landing failure in layperson's terms?

The things I can't understand from what Elon tweeted are: "engine was low on thrust due (probably) to partial helium ingestion" There are only tanks for liquid oxygen and CH4 - where did ...
Maharshi's user avatar
  • 547
22 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why 31 engines for the BFR?

I understand the philosophy of using relatively many smaller engines so that a single engine failure has minimal impact on the mission (provided you can keep the shrapnel from shredding the others) ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why isn't SpaceX's Starship "trial and error" development strategy an open source project?

Some large community of space enthusiasts is working hard on simulating or extrapolating data on the SpaceX Starship. But this data isn't publicly available. So why don't they release it as an open ...
jkztd's user avatar
  • 4,218
18 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why was Space X's Starship blown up?

I understand that thousands of small rocket fragments will cause less damage when they fall than an intact rocket. But at the time Starship was detonated, I believe it was over the ocean, and not ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
  • 1,042
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Was there an anomaly during SN8's ascent which later led to the crash?

In SpaceX'S video, there is a conflagration inside the engine enclosure which seems irregular at around 1:49:49. The engine far left of the engine camera stops working and a few seconds later some ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does the Starship methane header tank have so many holes in it?

This picture from Elon shows us the methane header tank positioned inside the main tank. I understand that one of the reasons for header tanks is to keep them pressurized when the main tanks do not ...
PunchyRascal's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

What happened to the SpaceX Starship SN11? Why did it crash?

What happened to the SpaceX Starship SN11? As per the live streams held on YouTube, I want to know what really happened to SpaceX Starship SN11 The live streams show a lot of smoke and others show ...
Đαrkraι's user avatar
  • 1,636
12 votes
1 answer
553 views

Could SpaceX's Starship's landing and restart process work on Titan?

Gravity on Saturn's moon Titan is much weaker and the atmosphere is far denser than either Earth's or Mars', which Starship seems to have been designed for. Could an unmanned Starship do an Earth-...
HannesH's user avatar
  • 223
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Range of BFR as single stage

The depictions of the BFR for earth to earth travel include the 1st stage booster. I would think if you are just going ballistic, the upper stage would have enough delta V to go it alone, for closer ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Starship lift power to moon

Starship is one of the candidates in the Artemis program. I have heard it would require additional refueling before it gets to the Moon. It is a bit surprising since Beresheet got to the Moon with ...
user2679290's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Capacity of the BFR tanker -- how many flights to fully refuel the spaceship?

So, the current plan for the BFR has the spaceship massing 85 tons and carrying 50 tons of cargo plus around 1000 tons of fuel and oxidiser (according to wikipedia), most of which is presumably ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
  • 19.3k
8 votes
2 answers
765 views

Why are the rocket plumes on SN10 different colors?

At about 7:53 (T+2:30) in this official video of the SpaceX Starship SN10 test flight, the engines are shown in the lower right, with clearly different colors in the plumes. The one on the right is ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 1,154
7 votes
1 answer
757 views

Why did Starship separation fail?

After seeing the live stream: https://www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=starship-flight-test I was curious why the separation failed . The first stage went normally. Then it failed to ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
518 views

How will BFS maneuver during aerobraking?

Pictures of SpaceX's "Big Falcon Spaceship" (BFS) delta wing don't seem to show presence of any aerodynamic control surfaces. How will it's attitude be controlled when encountering the atmosphere? To ...
jkztd's user avatar
  • 4,218
7 votes
2 answers
856 views

Active liquid cooling for heat shield

I have not found much about active liquid cooling for heat shields using cryogenic fuel. It has been mentioned but not researched in depth. It may never have been done. Now that the Starship seems to ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

How will SpaceX's Starship accommodate its 100 passengers from the effects of micro-gravity?

According to this Wikipedia article, Starship will take on average 115 days (3.8 months) to get to Mars and 150 days maximum (4.9 months). with an average trip time to Mars of approximately 115 ...
Star Man's user avatar
  • 5,908
6 votes
1 answer
248 views

How will they mitigate the effect microgravity has in the BFR on manned trip to mars?

Very curious to know this, since it doesn't look like the BFR will utilize centrifugal force to emulate gravity as far as I know.
John Ledyard's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
258 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 ...
Cornelis's user avatar
  • 7,493
6 votes
0 answers
249 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
0 answers
140 views

How much pressure would the raptor engines experience when Starship does an atmosphere entry burn at Mars?

The Starship second stage has 3 sea level engines and 3 vacuum engines. When doing the atmosphere entry burn to mars, how many Bars will the raptor engines experience? I'm thinking that because of the ...
moshevi's user avatar
  • 479
6 votes
2 answers
368 views

Drawbacks and advantages of two slidable & rotatable control surfaces for BFS sized spaceships

BFS (SpaceX's Big Falcon Spaceship) is in development and has seen between 2016 and 2018 three major design modifications. January 2018 I asked here how BFS planned to manoever during aerobraking. ...
jkztd's user avatar
  • 4,218
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why can't SpaceX Starship perform the same landing procedure as the Falcon 9 does?

I know... Elon Musk calls the redesign of the BFR "unintuitive". I'm just trying to get ahead of the Starship introduction and hop test presumably in March/April timeline. But isn't it better to use ...
Taher's user avatar
  • 63
4 votes
0 answers
255 views

SN11 was launched in fog. Why not wait for better conditions?

The fog certainly frustrated the external observers, but it doesn't seem ideal from SpaceX perspective either. All the external observers were very distant from the launch/landing site and would be ...
Roger Wood's user avatar
  • 3,844