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Starship #11 moves to launchpad

Capitalism in space: Less than a week since the flight and destruction of Starship prototype #10 post flight, SpaceX has now moved Starship #11 to the launchpad.

There is no firm word on when they will attempt to fly this prototype, but based on past history, they will likely do at least one static fire test this week and schedule the flight for next week. All will depend of course on weather and on the results of the static fire test. For example, with #10 they found they needed to replace one engine after the first static fire test.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

10 comments

  • eddie willers

    Is there a more exciting company in the world?

    This must be like watch RCA in the roaring Twenties.

  • geoffc

    They were cryotesting on Tuesday. Move in on Monday. Start testing on tuesday. Bets of flight? Engines already installed, static fire then fly! Woo Hoo!

    Lots of heat shields on SN11, like on SN10. Notice the left flap has a small patch on the non-airflow side.

  • V-Man

    They have to figure out the header tank pressurization issue before they can fly. Apparently helium gets into the engine and this caused the low thrust on the last landing.

  • Jeff Wright

    They will work you to death-but there, engineers are loved. That makes all the difference.

  • Jay

    We are all impressed by the tests and progress SpaceX is making, but is anyone else impressed with the rate of the construction of these prototypes? In the beginning these prototypes appeared and were tested every six or so months, then a new one every month, and now two weeks later after SN10, they are static firing SN11.
    Building all these prototypes will make construction of the production model a snap.

  • Ray Van Dune

    “Building all these prototypes will make construction of the production model a snap.”

    Jay, you hit the nail on the head. I foresee the StarShip becoming componentized to the point where different thrust, tankage, and cargo / passenger sections can be assembled lego-like to build a range of models. The construction techniques being developed should also lead to a just-in-time spaceship capability. It is even possible that modularity will allow sections to be swappable, allowing users to configure and re-configure!) their own Starships from among an inventory of components! Pretty crazy I know but I think that’s where things could go!

  • Ray Van Dune

    Ps. I mean “pretty crazy” like rockets that land on their tails, like God and Robert Heinlein intended!

  • A. Nonymous

    Elon stated in a presentation/interview early on that they weren’t building a rocket, they were building a factory that makes rockets. This has been an emphasis from the very beginning, and it’s heartening to see how far they’ve come.

  • Jeff Wright noted: “They will work you to death . . . ”

    ‘I know a guy, who knows a guy’ who works at SpaceX. He agrees. You work all the time, but you are also visibly, and rapidly, building a positive future. And you’re likely under 35, which helps.

  • Jay

    Ray,
    I never thought I would ever see J.I.T. construction and spaceship in the same sentence!

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