There’s really no thread here on this yet?
Look how cool it is!
It’s the oddest thing I have ever seen. Maybe not the oddest, but it’s up there.
Why did they make it like that??
They are using the rapid iterative prototyping method that lots of FRC teams use, with the goal of building a reusable rocket that can deliver a lot of mass to orbit. This test is a proof of concept of the tank design and motor/control system. The single motor in this test is not centered under the rocket, as there will be 3 motors on the final version, so you can see a tilt during the flight.
I thought it was going to blow up, but just the pad exploded.
is that stainless?
Yup, they went with SS because apparently it has a great strength to weight ratio at cryogenic temperatures.
Rockets need to hold their strength everywhere from near absolute zero (vacuum of space) to thousands of degrees (reentry heat). I think there was an early plan to make the skin porous and “sweat” water out over it during reentry, but I don’t know if that’s still the plan.
I just completely forgot about the Starship program. I thought Falcon and Dragon were it.
SpaceX’s core mission is still to colonize Mars, and the entire Falcon/Dragon business exists to support that end. If you get a tour of HQ you’ll see #OccupyMars shirts everywhere. Its insane, but cool. Building Falcon and Dragon was essentially their R&D program for “how to space”.
Personally, I’m inclined to favor this version.
Why does it look like the upper part of the engine is on fire? Is that supposed to happen?
Probably because it IS on fire.
No, it is not supposed to happen, but it isn’t uncommon either. Just a minor leak that probably won’t cause any damage. That little methane flame is nothing compared to the oxygen-rich flame on the inside of the engine.
Not impressed. Mythbusters did this years ago
If anyone is interested about the Raptor engine, Everyday Astronaut has a great in-depth explanation of it:
He also has another great video comparing the Starship + Super Heavy system against NASA’s Space Launch System that will be used for Artemis missions:
(yes, I ordered it)
Just because it’s not necessarily a new idea doesn’t mean it’s not a cool idea.
You’re not alone. I’ve got one sitting in my cart too.