Musk gives update on Starship/Super Heavy


Capitalism in space: During a phone conversation at a conference earlier this week, SpaceX founder Elon Musk gave an update on the development of Starship/Super Heavy, intended to be the first completely reusable rocket.

He did not reveal much that isn’t already known but his broad overview is helpful for understand what is happening at the company’s development facility in Boca Chica, Texas. One detail of note:

Asked on Monday when SpaceX might perform the first orbital Starship launch and re-entry, Musk replied: “Probably next year.”

“I hope we do a lot of flights,” Musk continued. “The first ones might not work. This is uncharted territory. Nobody has ever made a fully reusable orbital rocket. So just having that at all is pretty significant.”

Musk also said that they plan to do a lot of orbital flights before upgrading the ship for humans. I think his experience with Dragon has influenced him on this score.

3 comments

  • geoffc

    I think other useful snippets from that call.

    Dropping from 31 to 28 engines on Super Heavy. Turns out Raptors are hitting higher thrust than initially predicted.

    Start construction of first Super Heavy prototype this week! (!!!!!)
    At the rate the can make and weld rings, that means we can start to see stuff growing like weeds very very quickly.

    Main hard part is going to be the thrust structure going from 3 engine mounts (from Starship so far, needs to get to 6) to 28. (or even 8 for the inner ring, with an outer ring of 20).

    This is going to be so much fun to watch.

  • V-Man

    I don’t want to watch it. I want to ride it.

  • Lee Stevenson

    On a kinda related note…. The CEO of RocketLab gives a great and personal interview here…
    https://theorbitalmechanics.com/show-notes/peter-beck
    He might be mostly vaporware in the ambitions he talks about…. Time will tell, but they are doing ok right now…. I recommend all the space fans have a listen! It’s a few minutes into the podcast, but the whole thing is worth listening to!

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