20 thoughts on “Starship Upgrades”

    1. I look forward to SpaceX eventually putting together a Starship Crash super-cut like they did after they sorted out landing the Falcon 9 myself.

      1. Problem is the Falcon 9 blooper rail was nearly free to produce. This has to be pouring metholox on piles of very cold cash and lighten it on fire.
        Still no where close to his target of 2 Starships per week and at this rate Blue Origin will be in orbit before that happens.

        1. It’s only a waste if SpaceX ultimately fails with Starship. And, the only thing worse than failure would be to have not even tried. On the other hand, if SpaceX succeeds, having crashed a handful of prototypes won’t even appear as a small bump on the road to creating a Saturn V class rocket that is fully reusable.

        2. SpaceX probably hasn’t spent much money on the test flights compared to what the competition is spending for less progress.

        3. If you had bothered to read the article, the speculation is that development is proceeding faster than expected, with three initially-planned prototypes not being required. Thus development costs are actually lower than originally planned.

          Of course, that assumes a level of reading comprehension and thinking ability you’ve never displayed in the past.

  1. Bob Zimmerman is writing the obituary for SLS.

    A bit like reading the obituary of Vlad Țepeș. A very apt analogy.

  2. I liked Zimmerman’s piece, and I very much hope he’s right.

    Some of the info was new to me, like Falcon Heavy being given the Gateway mission. That is a shocker; Gateway was always a “give SLS a mission” porkfest, and to see this come so close in timing to the change on the Europa mission makes me think something is up, too.

    Fingers crossed.

  3. Bob wrote:

    “Twenty-eight billion dollars for a single unmanned launch after a decade of development: Seems a pretty bad deal if you ask me.”

    Seems like a pretty good deal if you are Boeing and NASA/MSFC, and have the work ethic of a 30 year old living in his mother’s basement (but I repeat myself).

  4. Starship doesn’t have to be fully functional to take over from SLS at a fraction of the price. An expendable SuperHeavy (all landing hardware removed) topped by a Starkicker stage (tankage and engines of Starship) could put 300 metric tons (660,000 pounds) in low earth orbit, or send 100 metric tons through TLI. That’s enough to put a fully fueled Orion + National Team stack in low lunar orbit.

    My personal preference would be to award HLS in leader/follower format, with Dynetics as leader (because the lander is small, fully reusable now that the drop tanks have been abandoned, and SNC is the primary subcontractor) and SpaceX as follower (because we’re going to need a tanker fleet and large, crew-optional cargo lander anyway). If Jeff Bezos wants to build his rockets and moon landers. he can pay for them, and let us know when he decides to get a round tuit.

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