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Starship

Starship is the name for the BFR and Super Heavy collectively.


Super Heavy:

Super Heavy is the 1st stage or the booster of Starship. It has 33 Raptor engines that use sub-cooled liquid methane (CH4) and liquid oxygen (LOX). It is made out of stainless steel and has fins to find its way. It separates from the BFR at T+2:00 and starts a boost backburn before getting caught by the mechanical hands of the launch tower.


Height: 69m

Diameter: 9m

Propellant Capacity: 3,400t

Thrust: 7,590tf


BFR:

BFR is the abbreviation of Big Falcon Rocket. It is the part where the crew is in. It landed on May 5th in the SN15 flight test. Unlike the Falcon 9, BFR does a belly-flip maneuver before landing. This increases the surface area causing more drag and slowing the spacecraft down. The "Belly-flip maneuver" is when BFR goes vertical from its horizontal free fall. It does this by igniting 2 of its 3 land boosters. BFR has 6 engines in total. 3 for land and 3 for space.


Height: 50m

Diameter: 9m

Propellant Capacity: 1,200t

Thrust: 1,500tf

Payload Capacity: 100-150t




Starship & Reusability:

Starship is the first in numerous areas, the most important one being reusability. We are already used to the landings performed by Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. For those who don't know, the boosters of these rockets glide and land vertically on a ship or the pad, bringing the launch cost from 90 million USD to 62 million USD. Landing the first stage was already a game changer, but is nothing compared to Starship. According to SpaceX, a Starship launch will cost around 2 million USD. This is nothing when compared to the 2 billion USD manufacturing cost of the spacecraft. A Falcon 9 is made out of 2 stages, however, only the first stage (Which is the booster) returns home. Things are different with Starship though, in Starship, both the BFR and Super Heavy perform a landing. Despite being made out of stainless steel and nearly 2 times the size, Starship is 31 times the price of Falcon 9. This also opens a huge door for earth-to-earth travel. The capacity of a Starship is predicted to be 100 people, but will probably be more for earth-to-earth transport. Another benefit of reusability is that travel between planets isn't only possible, but more affordable. For example, NASA sent astronauts to the moon for 666 million USD each, and SpaceX does this for only 200 thousand USD. SpaceX also offers earth-to-mars transport for the same price while giving the astronauts living areas and having cargo onboard. This undoubtedly opens the doors for interplanetary space travel.



Test Flight (Scrubbed):

The test flight on April 17th was scrubbed at T-0:28 due to a frozen pressurization valve on the Super Heavy booster.


Test Flight:

On April 20th the biggest and most powerful object that ever flew took off after one scrubbed launch. This object is no other than SpaceX's Starship. Starship ignited its engines at T-0:02 and fired their engines for 8 seconds before clearing the pad. Starship launched at T-0:00 and quickly reached a velocity of 838 km/h before hitting Max-Q at T+1:19. (Max-Q is the maximum dynamic pressure the rocket receives in the flight.) Right off the bat, things went wrong. At T-0:00 3 of the 33, and Max-Q 5 of the 33 Raptor Engines embedded in the Super Heavy booster failed. We were expecting a stage separation at T+1:56, however, the Super Heavy and BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) couldn't separate from each other. Everything went out of control from here. Super Heavy started its boost back burn, however, it was meant to be without the BFR. The unseperated Starship went down a free fall before self-destructing at T+3:59.



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