Everything humans have been able to achieve until now has been a result of our curious nature. While we have discovered and invented some radical things on Earth, there’s a longing for interplanetary travel and space exploration that propels us forward. The billionaire technology entrepreneur, investor, and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, has a goal of initiating commercial space flights and colonising Mars, and Musk recently unveiled the SpaceX Starship rocket that will be used for ferrying humans and cargo in Moon and Mars missions.
Starship’s first orbital flight
Elon Musk unveiled the new Starship rocket at SpaceX’s rocket development site of Boca Chica, Texas. The spacecraft is aimed at being a fully reusable transportation system with a quick turnaround time that is designed to carry crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship is touted to be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle upon completion. Musk said that the first orbital flight of the Starship could happen in the next six months and following that it is likely to be used for space missions with humans onboard.
As per Reuters, Musk stood between the new Starship and the company’s first space bound vehicle Falcon 1 and said, “This is basically the holy grail of space, the critical breakthrough that’s needed for us to become a space-faring civilization is to make space travel like air travel.”
Starship’s details up on new website
Just a day after announcing the new Starship rocket, SpaceX has updated its website with more information about the launch vehicle. The website reveals more details about Starship like its height, which is stated to be 50m. The spaceship has 1200 tonnes of propellant capacity and will be capable of carrying over 100 tonnes of payload when its completed. Starship comprises of the Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy rocket, which are together referred to as simply Starship.
When Starship takes flight, it will be propelled by 37 raptor engines that the Super Heavy rocket is equipped with. .The Super Heavy will act as the first stage or booster for the Starship and it is touted to have a gross liftoff mass of over 3 million kg. SpaceX is using sub-cooled liquid methane and liquid oxygen propellants and says that the liftoff thrust produced by the booster is equivalent of about 42,000 jets.
Humans, an interplanetary species?
Elon Musk made it quite clear that he envisions humans as an interplanetary species. Last year, SpaceX planned a space tourist trip for which the billionaire Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa was chosen, along with select artists who will be sent to space in the Starship. Maezawa contributed an unspecified amount for Starship’s development to the company.
The Starship rocket comes as a culmination of SpaceX’s efforts that commenced in 2002 when the company was founded. It set a landmark when it developed and successfully demonstrated the reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy Rockets. It won’t be long before scenes from a sci-fi movie where humans have colonised Mars and are travelling through deep space could very well be a reality.
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