Sunday, September 29, 2019

The SpaceX Starship Announcements

Personally, I only watched the short version.  I had been intending to watch the whole thing live last night, then got distracted by putting together my post.  When I remembered and switched to YouTube, it had been going for over an hour.  Use this link if the embed doesn't work.

If you want the full thing, 1 hour, 25 minutes, use this link.

Having the presentation on Saturday puzzled me a little, but Elon explains why this date was chosen in the first couple of minutes.  This is the 11th anniversary of the first orbital flight by SpaceX.  As he says, if they hadn't succeeded, it would have been the end of SpaceX.  Shut the doors and go home.

Just to be clear about what we're talking about:

Saturn V, Starship, and Falcon 9.


  1. I watched the full video this morning. What an exciting time!

    1. I was just listening to the full video. A lot of amazing facts in there.

      I've got it to hand to SpaceX. They are relentless innovators, never stopping or even slowing down. They're saying the worldwide launch capacity now is about 200 tons to low earth orbit, and are unveiling a rocket that will carry 150 tons itself. That rocket can be reused a few times daily. It absolutely dwarfs worldwide launch capacity by itself.

      I especially loved his description of why they switched to stainless steel for the Starship. You hear that and wonder why they're the first.

      There's a management school saying that goes something like, "if people in your organization say, 'we've always done it that way', that's a sure sign it's the wrong way to do thing". They give that saying life.

    2. Why stainless now? Well, for one thing 301 Stainless is cheaper now than ever before.

      But most of it has been the constant 'reduce reduce reduce' measures to weight that started from day 1 with the Redstone-Mercury. "We have a missile that can lift X weight. Your capsule weighs X+500lbs. Reduce or no fly."

      Now Musk is talking about popping engines out at a rate that is unheard of. With that production, SpaceX can go, "We'll just add more engines."

      Crazy. Craaaaazy.

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  3. Modular. Reusable. Cheap. Safe. Effective.

    We'll see how much of that they can pull off, and how quickly. But he is nothing if not ambitious. If you don't aim for the stars (or Mars), you will never get there.

  4. Why do I get this feeling that Musk is an escapee from "Girl Genius"? I mean, all he has to do is say, "We're doing this, for SCIENCE!!!"

    Darned Madboys and Sparks...

  5. I am amazed at Elon Musk and SpaceX. I watched the whole presentation yesterday (30 Sep). Elon is very knowledgeable about his products. And he is very knowledgeable about his goals.

    The whole explanation of how SpaceX came to 301 Stainless Steel was great; especially after I spent 30 years in aerospace and defense hearing all that went on there. When you move from expendable launch vehicles to reusable launch vehicles, the numbers change.

    This is as exciting as the 1960's with respect to space flight.

    Beans, I think Elon is more like a grown up Tom Swift.

    1. A little more that hit me just after I clicked on Publish.

      I like his witticisms:

      "Rapid Rocket Reusability"

      "A long schedule is a wrong schedule; a tight schedule is a right schedule"