Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship 2022 March Update Is Here: SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle has many potential uses and capabilities that will enable companies and organizations to access space like never before. Engineers are developing the fully-reusable Starship launch system at the Starbase facility located in Boca Chica Beach, Texas.
Reusability enables SpaceX to reduce the cost of spaceflight and enable a sustainable human presence in space long-term. The company has already performed multiple test flights with Starship prototypes, they are now getting ready to conduct the first full-scale orbital flight test with a Super Heavy rocket.
Super Heavy is designed to propel Starship to orbit, powered by up to 29 methane-fueled Raptor engines. It is set to become the world’s most powerful and largest rocket in history! Starship will be a versatile launch vehicle that will revolutionize space exploration.
Some of SpaceX’s plans for Starship and potential uses include: Cargo Starship The first use for Starship will be transporting massive amounts of payload to space. The 160-foot-tall stainless-steel spacecraft will be capable of launching over 100 tons of cargo to orbit, enabling companies to launch entire constellations of satellites in a single mission.
These satellite constellations take years to complete with the rockets that are currently in operation. Starship will be a cost-effective option to deploy payload. With a single launch, a Starlink broadband fleet of 400 satellites can be launched to orbit.
Researchers might also use Starship launch services to deploy a fleet of satellites that feature advanced Earth-observation technology that could enable researchers to study climate-change, monitor weather, among other applications.
SpaceX has continued to work on Ship 22, adding hinges to the nosecone barrel, indicating that the barrel could be repurposed to be a cargo bay door pathfinder. Starship operational flights will initially be focused on cargo missions, and you can imagine how many Starlinks they’d be able to push uphill inside this!
The last time a cargo bay pathfinder was spotted was in July 2021, when a nosecone barrel was cut open along with part of the nosecone itself. At the time, Elon noted that the exact payload bay door dimensions were yet to be determined and that the volume was roughly 1,000 cubic meters.
Starship will push the boundaries of space exploration. It will be capable of transporting up to 100 passengers inside its 1,000 cubic meter pressurized cabin. “The crew configuration of Starship includes private cabins, large common areas, centralized storage, solar storm shelters and a viewing gallery,” SpaceX says.
No spacecraft in history has been capable of transporting that many passengers. Humanity has not set foot on the Moon in 50 years, SpaceX aims to change that with Starship.
NASA signed a Human Landing System (HLS) deal with SpaceX to develop a lunar-optimized Starship that will be capable of landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024. Each spacecraft will be habitable, enabling astronaut crews to use Starship as a building block to set-up a permanent base on the lunar surface.
Once SpaceX achieves the milestone of returning humanity to our closest celestial neighbor, SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to colonize Mars. Starship will enable the first astronauts to set foot on the Red Planet.