A technical presentation of the new SpaceX spacecraft Starship / BFS from SpaceX is planned in March-April 2019
Link to the picture (update from 01/05/2019)
Thanks to comrade Chris (Robotbeat), we have many answers from Ilon Mask about the new SpaceX spacecraft. So, the user on Twitter wrote a Mask post with photos of obscure designs in Texas and asked if there was anything to show us. As it turned out, the test part of Starship is in full swing. Extremely successful was another user - space lover, Everyday Astronaut. He asked many questions to which Musk responded.
Thesis about what became known from tweets Mask:
In Boca Chica, a part of the upper stage is built (it’s Starship / BFS), which will carry out test jump flights. According to the Grasshopper principle, on which the landing for the 1st stage of the Falcon 9 was worked out.
This test ship is made of 300 series stainless steel. Compared to Atlas, other alloys and a new design / architecture are used for the current ship. In this case, Starship is resistant to deformation, even when located on the launch pad is not under pressure.
Musk will conduct a technical presentation of the Starship after the test ship flies out (which is being built in Boca Chica). He expects it to be in March or April 2019. It was noted that this is earlier than planned (end of 2019).
Plating and section alloys are made by contractors to the SpaceX specification. Cast parts are manufactured by SpaceX themselves at their foundry in Hawthorne (cryogenic cooling).
In San Pedro (in the new room, in the docks of Los Angeles) sections are made for the Starship (version 1 mark), which will make orbital flights.
The current test ship will be 9m in diameter, but the height is lower than the final version of Starship should be. And the lower part, the Super Heavy block will be made full-size already, both in width and in height.
The output of the first-generation Starlink high-speed Internet satellites will be carried out on Falcon family launch vehicles (it’s not specified exactly 9, so options with FH are possible), and the second and older ones are on Starship. It was also said that all future projects will have an integral part of “Star” or “Link”.
It is confirmed that the Raptor is a closed-circuit rocket engine with full gasification of components. It was also reported that significant changes were made to its design. They will need considerable time to achieve a design pressure in the combustion chamber of 300 bar. Now preparing for the tests next month. Musk also chided ULA for using the RD-180, but noted its excellent characteristics.
On the proposal to use electric tube pumps, the answer was categorical, because we need a huge amount of power that the latter cannot supply. For example, for 1 engine Raptor'a need 100 thousand hp power.
Starship itself will be able to start from the Earth without an accelerating unit / 1st stage (Super Heavy), but without a payload (not a very rational idea), due to too deep a gravity well and the thick atmosphere of our planet. Start from the satellites of the planets and Mars will be done by the starship itself without an accelerator.
The SpaceX team of metallurgists developed the SX 500 superalloy, which should withstand up to 827 bar (12000 psi) when operating in a hot gaseous environment enriched with oxygen. Under these conditions, almost any metal ignites like a match. Their foundry is almost fully functional, which will soon allow using this alloy for Raptor engines.
In the summer of this year, Musk has already reported that they are working on this alloy.
In addition, here are some videos from Boca Chica.
And finally, you need to understand that if Musk promised, he will do it, not the fact that in full, and the time must be shifted to the right (EST is not Eastern Standard Time, but Elon Standard Time). That is, it may happen that the initial plans for test launches will take place at the end of the year.
On reddit collected all tweets of answers Mask.
Circling the assembly place on the drone. Video from Facebook .
What is happening now
Render steps, so to speak, so it should look like in the end.