Musk released the strongest interstellar spacecraft for mankind, going to Mars is fast, fast and saves money
If humans look back at this moment in the future, they will see towering starships like lighthouses in the wasteland of Texas, reflecting signals that change their destiny.
Here comes the largest, most efficient, and most cost-effective starship system ever.
This is also following the first Starship launch in 2019. Musk officially held SpaceX's new launch . He shared the latest progress of Starship and the exciting future it brings.
These starships will take us to the moon, Mars, and places beyond our reach beyond our solar system.
Sounds great, but Musk describes the process this way:
We seem to see demons knocking on the door.
The strongest starship system + the latest space program
Since the unveiling of SpaceX's starship in 2019, praise and controversy have never stopped.
Musk concluded that SpaceX has made 144 successful launches and 106 successful landings in the past two years.
So many times that I have launched PTSD, and after every launch, I have to go to see what the netizens say.
In the past two years, Musk has not explicitly mentioned the information of the Starship update, but in practice it is non-stop.
The starship shown today is also very different from the earliest appearance.
The newest starship is 50 meters high, 9 meters in diameter, and 120 meters with rocket boosters.
It has a payload of 100-150 tons, and can carry 200 tons of propellant into orbit to refuel other interstellar spacecraft in space, which is also a necessary process for going to Mars.
It's covered with insulating tiles, which are expensive, and Musk mentioned that the team made them reusable at a low price and guaranteed performance would not be compromised.
The most important thing is reusability, which is also applied to the entire starship system.
SpaceX will use a robotic arm that looks like a "chopstick" to recover the rocket booster from the launch tower.
Although the booster is large, it can theoretically fly once an hour, and can go to space and back in 6 minutes.
In this way, the launch tower can be quickly launched and recovered, the old equipment can be refurbished and reused, and the spacecraft can be launched again every 6-8 hours. The Starship was originally designed to fly 3 times a day.
Their goal is to build at least one stack each month, which is a combination of a spaceship and a rocket.
Ultimately, the goal is to build a ship every 3 days.
This is a rewrite of the rules of the entire space industry, which greatly reduces the cost of aerospace material manufacturing, equipment waste, and the increasingly critical space junk.
【Super-heavy rocket engine】
Speaking of SpaceX's rockets, Musk said that the current super-heavy rocket is 69 meters high and will be the largest, strongest and most efficient rocket ever built.
It will have twice the thrust of the largest launch vehicle, the Saturn V. Familiar with Saturn 5? It's the rocket that NASA sent humans to the moon.
The engines of this super-heavy rocket have also been updated – below is the Raptor v1 engine on the left and the Raptor v2 engine on the right.
It can be seen that with a thrust of more than 100 tons and a thrust of 230 tons, the old Raptor looks like a Christmas tree, and the new Raptor is more concise and has more thrust.
In the future, its thrust will be increased to 250 tons. Musk bluntly said that the Raptor and Tesla’s automatic driving have been the ones he has spent the most time on recently.
Musk said that SpaceX can make one Raptor engine per day.
In this way, each starship will cost several million dollars to manufacture, and the cost of a single launch will be less than 10 million dollars.
[Subsequent space mission arrangement]
The launch plan in 2022 is undoubtedly the topic of most concern to everyone.
Musk said that this year SpaceX plans to conduct about 50 launches, about once a week, and hopes to carry out technical iterations every month.
On the regulatory front, SpaceX will build a second Starship launch site in Florida. They already have environmental clearances, and the FAA will likely approve them in March.
When asked by reporters when the first orbital flight test of Starship would take place, Musk said:
I'm pretty confident I'll be able to get it into orbit this year.
In terms of economic benefits, Musk has greater expectations for SpaceX. He mentioned that space exploration was too expensive because it was not recyclable:
Over time, SpaceX could produce 100 times as much output.
【Dream of building a city on Mars】
Starships were originally built primarily for humans to colonize Mars.
At the press conference, Musk also mentioned his vision of taking a starship to Mars-
The "Starship" can transport a large amount of materials, build a self-sufficient "Mars City" on Mars, and gradually break away from the supply of the mother planet (Earth).
Self-sufficiency is the most difficult thing to achieve, and the reusability of equipment is the key. In addition, although Mars is very similar to the earth, it is still a vicious and barbaric land. Musk introduced their journey to Mars with a smile:
The biggest selling point of this space travel is that it is very hard, very difficult, and very easy to die.
He then said that although it is difficult, SpaceX will complete the project of building a city on Mars as soon as possible.
In the live broadcast of the journey to Mars, the thrusters help the interstellar spacecraft to lift off, and then return to the earth for recycling and reuse, and the interstellar spacecraft are connected to each other in space.
After they landed on the Martian base, in this barren and cold land, people are wearing silver aviation equipment, looking at the fruits of their harvest.
Behind the seemingly crazy Starship project, many people on the one hand admire Musk's courage, and on the other hand, there are endless voices of jokes and criticism.
How to make these hopes come true, SpaceX's actual actions are actually more worthy of our attention.
A Brief History of Musk's Starship: Constantly Exploding, Constantly Rising
This may be the most comments made by netizens on the Starship in the past two years.
From July 26, 2019, the earliest starship prototype "starhopper" (starhopper) was launched, and the 20-meter free suspension test began.
Since then, the higher the altitude, the more explosions.
MK1, SN1, SN3, SN4, SN7, SN7.1, SN8, SN9, SN10, SN11, SpaceX bombed a total of 10 starships.
Some of them failed the pressure test, some failed the welding technique, some failed the low temperature test of the fuel tank, some failed the liquid nitrogen filling test, some suddenly exploded after static ignition, and some exploded on the ground. , and some even exploded in situ after a successful landing…
During the live broadcast of SN11, the screen suddenly paused, the camera signal was also lost, and the commentator's voice came :
SN11 is not coming back, no more waiting for it to land.
Amid the explosions and bright flames, every step SpaceX took was sonorous and tragic.
People joked that this was "a starship of flowing water, a battle of iron guns" .
However, Musk is still quite optimistic. After SN8 hit the ground and exploded, Musk tweeted happily, "We have got all the data we need, congratulations to the SpaceX team!"
Commentators witnessed the countless pieces of the starship that SN11 exploded falling from the sky, and Musk said it was a successful failure, "at least the crater was in the right place."
In his view, "high productivity can solve a lot of problems."
Indeed, few airlines can launch as often as he does monthly .
When people complained about the cheap stainless steel shell of the starship, but behind it was the SpaceX team that produced the rocket efficiently and in batches-SN11 came to the launch pad just a week after the launch of SN10.
At the same time, every bombing made up for the previous deficiencies. Hundreds of technologies such as fuel, thrust, engine, airframe, and landing are constantly improving.
The rate of this progress is proportional to the frequency of launches, and the probability of success is getting higher and higher.
After SN11, Musk directly replaced the previous version and jumped to the new SN15——
On the day of the launch, the three "Raptor" engines advanced and climbed. After 10 kilometers, the air was closed, and the attitude was adjusted to start the landing. Finally, the landing was successful, and cheers sounded.
So far, SpaceX has finally achieved the most difficult safe landing capability.
Today, the newest starship is in front of us, and the ultimate version is getting more and more within reach.
Before everyone gets on the "starship"
The Starship system is at the heart of Musk's journey to Mars.
SpaceX estimates that the final version of the Starship will require about 20 prototypes to test.
Now that SN21 and SN22 are nearing completion, it is worth noting that Starlink has been installed on starships since SN15.
In addition to the well-known Falcon rocket and manned dragon spacecraft that SpaceX has previously known, the Starlink project is another important work of SpaceX.
It has been extremely popular since its inception. Musk hopes to eventually launch 42,000 satellites to establish a satellite network covering the world to provide broadband services to users on earth, making it easy to travel even in inaccessible places. go online.
Starship + Starlink also heralds the combination of wireless communication + space transportation, and the Starlink Internet will be everywhere in the space journey.
Although the recent turmoil surrounding Musk has continued, NASA has previously expressed concerns about the Starlink plan to deploy tens of thousands of satellites, believing that it may increase the probability of space collisions. The recent eruption of solar radiation also caused more than 40 SpaceX satellites scrapped.
Musk, as a figure in the topic storm, was recently elected as an academician of the National Academy of Engineering, which has caused waves of controversy.
But aside from the halo of Musk himself, we still have the greatest expectations for space exploration, expecting future generations to live well before the worst results on Earth.
From NASA to major private space companies, the space race has become more intense.
Aerospace industry consultancy NSR expects the suborbital market to be worth $2.8 billion by 2028, with total revenue reaching $10.4 billion over the next decade; the orbital market will reach $610 million, with total revenue reaching $3.6 billion over the next decade.
NASA, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin… There are many expectations and cynicism behind the attention of these space companies. More importantly, behind the competition, everything is moving fast.
Musk mentioned that Space X's future plans are as follows-
- Launch at least two cargo ships to Mars in 2022 to provide energy, mining technology and life support systems for future spacecraft.
- The plan to carry astronauts to Mars will be completed in 2024, and before 2050, it will take 9 years to send 1 million people to Mars.
- In the future, 1,000 starships will be launched to Mars every year, 3 times a day on average, and a starship will seat 100 people, all of whom will become new Mars residents.
Polarized doubts and pursuits will continue, and it is always good to actively explore when conditions permit.
Musk's statement this time seems to be a lot more realistic:
With regard to exploring the Milky Way, we are free to go and not go, but I think we should all have the possibility to go.
It's like there's only a small wave of people going to the moon – when they go, it's like humans go.
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