Musk has plans to increase the launch rate


WASHINGTON — SpaceX could attempt to land a Starship booster as soon as the vehicle’s fifth flight as Elon Musk outlined plans to increase both the flight rate and the performance of the launch vehicle.
If the company holds to that schedule, the launch would take place less than two months after the vehicle’s third flight.
On the third flight, Starship broke up during reentry.
Musk said he wanted to have at least two consecutive successful controlled splashdowns of Starship in the ocean before attempting a landing at Starbase.
“My guess is probably next year when we will be able to reuse Starship.” SpaceX is working to accelerate production of Starship vehicles to support higher flight rates.
Before the March launch, company officials said they had four pairs of ships and boosters at Starbase for upcoming launches.
He noted that, along with the increased production of Starship vehicles, the company was building a second launch tower at Starbase and expected to have its first launch tower at Cape Canaveral, Florida, operational by the middle of next year.
He estimated the Starship cost per launch could fall to as low as $2 million to $3 million.


Washington: SpaceX has revealed plans to boost the launch vehicle’s performance and flight rate, and as early as the vehicle’s fifth flight, Elon Musk may try to land a Starship booster.

The video of a presentation that SpaceX’s founder and CEO gave at its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on April 6 was shared on social media. The presentation appears to have been recent. The Starship vehicle, which was built and launched there, was the main topic of discussion.

The fourth Starship/Super Heavy launch, according to Musk, is scheduled to occur “in about a month or so.”. This is in line with remarks made by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell on March 19 at the Satellite 2024 conference, when she stated that the flight was planned for early May subject to the receipt of an updated Federal Aviation Administration launch license. Less than two months would pass between the launch and the vehicle’s third flight if the company sticks to its original schedule.

The upper stage of the Starship is intended to make a “controlled splat” into the ocean after navigating the “high heating regime” of reentry, according to him, on the fourth flight. Starship broke apart during reentry on the third flight.

According to Musk, SpaceX also plans to land the Super Heavy booster “on essentially a virtual tower” in the Gulf of Mexico on its next flight, bringing it back intact. That would enable the business to try returning the booster to Starbase for a landing.

He declared, “We will actually try on Flight 5 to come back and land on the tower if the landing on the virtual tower works.”. Although it is very much a success-oriented schedule, it is feasible. “.

Musk expressed optimism that SpaceX would be successful in landing a booster back on the tower this year and that it would be supported by two enormous arms known as “Mechazilla.”. “We have about an 80 to 90 percent chance of actually catching the booster with the Mechazilla arms this year,” he stated. “.

It is going to take longer to recover the Starship upper stage, or ship. Before attempting a landing at Starbase, Musk stated he wanted to see at least two successful controlled splashdowns of Starship in the ocean. “We don’t want to dump debris over the United States or Mexico. s. “, he uttered. We should be able to repurpose Starship by next year, I would venture. “.

In order to accommodate more frequent flights, SpaceX is attempting to quicken the production of Starship vehicles. Company representatives stated they had four pairs of ships and boosters at Starbase for future launches prior to the March launch. During the presentation, Musk stated that this year, the company would produce “roughly six” more cars.

“Next year, that rate of production will rise significantly.”. He said, “That’s why we’re building the giant factory that’s planned for Starbase.”.

He stated that the company was building a second launch tower at Starbase in addition to increasing the production of Starship vehicles, and that it planned to have its first launch tower operational by the middle of next year at Cape Canaveral, Florida. “It is likely that we will conduct development launches, test new ideas, and build rockets here at Starbase. Post-development, most launches would likely occur from the Cape.” he stated. “.

The payload capacity will increase in tandem with the higher production rate. From 230 to 280 metric tons of force, and “ultimately” to more than 330 metric tons of force, Musk described enhancements to the Raptor engine.

The “Starship 2” would have a slightly longer booster and ship in addition to the engine upgrades. According to Musk, that will be capable of launching over 100 metric tons into orbit in a fully reusable configuration. In a fully reusable mode, a future “Starship 3,” which would stand approximately 25 meters taller than Starship 2, could launch over 200 metric tons into orbit. When either Starship version would go into service was not disclosed by him.

Because of complete reusability, Musk asserted that the future Starship 3 would launch for less money than SpaceX’s original rocket, the Falcon 1 small launch vehicle, which cost roughly $10 million. As low as $2 million to $3 million, he predicted, could be the cost of launching a Starship.

According to him, these figures are almost unfathomable. “Nobody ever imagined that this could happen. To do this, though, we’re not violating any laws of physics. “.

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