49

Starship alone is not capable of orbital flight, but it is capable of high suborbital flights sufficient for testing reentries. The booster's only use is as a first stage for Starship. It could only be put into use immediately if a Starship has been developed and built to stack on top of it. And it is expected to be much quicker and easier to develop than ...


9

In simplified terms, the list of minimum requirements for completing the missions Starship is set to do is much longer and more complex than that for Superheavy. For Earth Orbit or Lunar missions, the Starship absolutely needs to: Launch Perform orbital insertion Rendezvous and Dock Maintain life support / functionality in long-term spaceflight Orbital ...


6

I mean what is he going to do with the ship alone? Develop it. Test it. Verify it. Perform suborbital flights. Remember that SpaceX is also toying with the idea of offering point-to-point passenger service on Earth. (Personally, I believe that will not happen, though.) Is it even capable of orbital flight on its own? No, but for testing launch and landing ...


5

Do you mean the trail of white vapor coming from the lower side as shown in the image below? That is pre planned and you can actually see something similar when a Falcon 9 (or most other rockets) is preparing for a launch. As I understand it, its from the LOX (liquid oxygen) boiling off as it warms up inside the tanks. The gas is pulled from the tanks ...


3

The 3 vacuum engines will be used for Trans Mars Injection (TMI) since they are more efficient in vacuum. While each one is off centered, firing all 3 will make it balanced, so this makes the most sense. For landing, it will be a bit trickier. I haven't seen anything publicly, but I suspect they will use the vacuum engines for part of the time, and the 3 sea ...


2

An important point to understand: it is not as simple as "just put this stage on that booster." Real life is more complicated than Kerbal Space Program. There is a lot of design, test, and certification work that has to be done before using a certain stage combination -- time that is better spent working on Starship -- so the SuperHeavy booster is ...


2

The breakthrough idea and most demanding engineering task of Starship/SH is complete re-usability of the orbital vehicle. If you tried to reach orbit with Super Heavy alone-- it's not designed for this and so I'm not sure it's even possible-- it would just be a large expendable booster, which might well be more expensive to operate than the partially-...


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