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Musk teases Starship in round Twitter posts

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During a deluge of Tesla and The Boring Company tweets, SpaceX's founder, CEO and chief rocket designer Elon Musk most recently held the Big Falcon Rocket "Starship".


Jason Rhian

December 30, 2018

  SpaceX Starship Big Falcon Rocket Image Credit SpaceX

Illustration of Starship / Big Falcon Rocket released by SpaceX as the company is preparing to test the massive new vehicle. Image Credit: SpaceX

Among a deluge of Tesla and The Boring Company tweets, SpaceX's founder, CEO and chief rocket designer Elon Musk last held Big Falcon Rocket " Starship ."

. Keeping the original name of the Big Falcon Rocket may have generated controversy when it comes to naming a rocket (the sentence behind "F" gave rise to a debate), Musk's latest tweets have touched on something significantly bigger – what the new rocket will be consisted of off.

When it comes to the newly doubled Starship itself, the material seems to be stainless steel. While the stainless steel is not new, it was invented in 1913 by Henry Brearly. Musk noted the positive aspects of the material in a December 24, 2018 tweet: " Useful strength / weight of full hard stainless at cryo is slightly better than carbon fiber, room temperature is worst, high temp is much better. "

  SpaceX Starship Big Falcon Rocket image courtesy of SpaceX Elon Musk

Picture tweeted by SpaceX's Elon Musk of test hardware that will be used to prepare the new Starship vehicle for any orbital flight. Photo Credit: Elon Musk / SpaceX

So what kind of color has Musk chosen to cover the massive new vehicle? No. " Skin gets too hot for color. Stainless mirror finish. Maximum reflectivity."

Concerning the temperatures a vehicle meets when returning to Earth's atmosphere (NASA's current retirement fleet of shuttle buses encounter the extremities up To 3000 degrees Fahrenheit / 1.649 degrees Celsius) is crucial that the screen is up to work. For this task, it seems that Starship can use a regeneratively cooled heat shield.

The heaters used on NASA's Space Shuttle Party (constructed and built by Rockwell International) were designed to last for each orbiter's planned lifetime – 100 missions. The shuttle also used thermal blankets and other systems and procedures to reduce the stress associated with the atmosphere.

Heat shields used on previous spaceships have been mostly single use. Ablative heat shields, for example, are burned away and take the heat with them.

Musk is discussed with regeneratively-cool protection Starship by states : " The Leeward side needs nothing, the wind side will be activity cooled with remaining (cryo) liquid methane, so it will appear floating silver also on the hot side. "

SpaceX has benefited from materials developed by NASA for thermal protection. The most obvious is PICA-X, which is a derivative of NASA's heat shield of phenolic impregnated carbon Ablator (PICA).

Just as was done on NASA's shuttle, Starships rocket engines must be protected during the critical period of reentry. Musk seemed to consider the matter in a tweet at Christmas in response to questions he was asked: " No, Raptors must be protected under atmospheric entry. Although it may not be …" Musk said that three raptor engines would be used for the "jumps" flight test that could take place as early as 2019.

Starship is a vehicle that has undergone several design changes that prompted a question of how late design changes seem to enable the company to produce Starship faster. Musk said he would find out how this process works sometime in the March / April time frame. He also claimed that these changes could give a 60 percent chance of Starship being in circulation as early as 2020 .

As noted by Tech Explorist's Amit Malewar, the Big Falcon Rocket system would use a 219-foot (67 meter) long rocket booster that Musk has called "Super Heavy."

Video published on YouTube by Scott Manley

Tagged: Big Falcon Rocket Elon Musk Lead Stories RAPTOR SpaceX Starship

Jason Rhian

Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for sales outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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