SpaceX Starship is the designation of the next series of craft in the SpaceX stable. Development is currently underway on two prototypes in the company’s Texas and Florida facilities. This is something that sometimes happens in the industry.
Two teams are working independently on each rocket. This lifts morale by achieving a state of inner competition and more heads working on the craft is not a bad idea.
This new craft will be fully reusable in its second stage as well as a space vehicle. It has been created for the purpose of transport cargo or passengers with a projected max number of 100 passengers.
SpaceX Starship Testing Phase
Elon Musk has stepped forward and said that both the prototypes would be ready for testing in 2-3 months. Which is much sooner than anyone expected, as the scale version designated as Starhopper is still in the testing phase itself.
Starhopper hit a bit of a snag when it was engulfed in flames during a test fire scenario a few days ago. It is believed the damage was superficial, but further testing has been halted for the moment until SpaceX gets a firm grip on the situation.
The new timeline dictated by Elon Musk will have the Starship prototypes conduct test flights in a couple of months. Test orbital flights will follow these in the early months of 2020. If nothing goes wrong and the schedule sticks then SpaceX will be in for some speedy progress.
SpaceX Starship Characteristics
- Retropropulsive landing and reusable launch technology
- Airline grade landing reliability
- Automated docking
- On-orbit fuel transfer capable
- Stainless steel structure with cryogenic treatment
- Flexible design
The SpaceX Starship project has been built for longer missions in space and will even act as a sort of fuel hub for smaller SpaceX craft if need be. Space agencies have designs on colonizing the solar system in the future. The groundwork for this will take place in this century, and spacecraft technology is evolving for added endurance and flexibility.