SpaceChampion Posted May 30, 2019 Share Posted May 30, 2019 Old thread: https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/149825-spacexs-big-falcon-topic-2/ Starlink sats are expected to dim quite a bit as they push themselves with their Krypton Ion Thrusters to higher orbits, and separate by hundreds of miles from each other. But SpaceX people are huge astronomy supporters of course and will do whatever it takes to reduce the albedo of the sats from interfering with ground astronomers' views of the night sky. I'm not really worried. Latest updates about Starship and Super Heavy: Starship "Hopper" prototypes are being constructed by separate teams in Cape Canaveral, Florida and Boca Chica, Texas to compete with each other (internally to SpaceX) on improving the design and construction methods, and ultimately will have a fly-off this year, fairly soon probably. June 20th Musk is expected to give an update about the whole Starship / Super-Heavy design and plans for Mars. Super-Heavy (the first stage booster for Starship) will begin construction in a few months. This is likely to be very similar to the Falcon 9 booster so a quicker development cycle for it than Starship. Musk on twitter discussed they've changed the engine configuration and design of the wings/flaps and legs again. Starship will have 3 large-bell vacuum Raptor engines and 3 smaller bell sea-level Raptor engines. A big surprise to even SpaceX engineers is Starship can be used on its own (without Super-Heavy) for point-to-point travel on Earth if they add 2-4 more Raptor engines, going on the order of 10,000 km away on a single Mach 20 hop (getting to orbit takes about Mach 25). This reduces the complexity of point-to-point travel and saves a lot of money not having to use Super-Heavy for it, as well as considerably speeds up reuse due to reduced complexity of ground operations between flights. Refuel and go? Would make point-to-point travel on Earth extremely viable. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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