SpaceX plans to launch the Starship Mk1 in just a few months.
Humans have always dreamt of space, but the way up into space is cumbersome and extremely expensive. Thus, it is not a surprise that no company is willing to take it up. However, there are visionaries like Elon Musk. The Tesla founder is pushing the development of private and commercial flights into space with his space company SpaceX . The spacecraft prototype SpaceX Starship Mk1, which has just been launched, is ready for a test flight in one to two months. It should be able to travel 20 kilometers high in the air and then safely come back to earth. These are not reveries but a long-overdue steps in space travel.
According to SpaceX, the cost of one mission would be $2 Million instead of hundreds of millions we spend today on each space flight. That is one of the benefits of a reusable rocket engine. Also the fuel consumption per trip would be only $900,000 which is way less than any space mission so far. SpaceX is now flying and landing the first stages of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets regularly. According to SpaceX, there is a lot of work yet to be done with the second stages of the Falcon rocket series to ensure complete reusability of future generations of the rockets.
Elon Musk: “I’m in love with steel”
The shown prototype of the Starship Mk1 Looks like a huge shiny silo than a spaceship. Above all, it is the material in question that it is built with. SpaceX does not rely on carbon composites and aluminum-based materials, like NASA, but stainless steel. The two advantages of building the steel giant are excellent thermal properties and a reasonable price. Certain stainless steel does not become brittle and brittle in extreme cold in space, even extremely hot temperatures on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere are not a problem. Thus, according to Musk, ideally, the reuse of spaceships is possible, which justifies the enormous costs of production. Speaking of costs, one tonne of carbon composites costs around $ 130,000, while a tonne of stainless steel costs only $ 2,500. “Honestly, I’m in love with steel,” says Musk. No wonder.
SpaceX Starship Mk1: Rocket without declaration of war
SpaceX goes in the production of the required technology very soon. The goal until the beginning of 2020 is one rocket propulsion per day. The benefits will not only be comparatively cheap flights into space, but also faster travel between distant cities will be possible. According to Musk, a spaceship from New York to Tokyo, including takeoff and landing, takes about 30 minutes – that’s a distance of almost 11,000 kilometers. According to Musk, “It’s basically an intercontinental missile that lands. Nothing arrives faster than an ICBM – just without the atomic bomb, but with a landing”. It remains to be seen, though, whether Elon Musk and SpaceX staff are really going to revolutionize space travel in the next few months.