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Mk3 ring #4 is moved out of the IMCAR machine


The Starship, and eventually Super Heavy, are constructed of stacks of stainless steel rings.[1] These stacks are welded together to form the body of the ship which also act as the walls to the fuel tank. These rings have been created in varying fashions from Starhopper to current day. The most recent rings being created are single-weld rings using an IMCAR Vertical Steel Rolling Machine. It is believed robotic horizontal welds will be used for SN1 but it has not yet been confirmed.

Current speculations

  • Its believed approximately three rings can be manufactured from one coil of steel
  • Rough time to make a single ring stands at about 1 hour then is Xray Inspected.
  • About 10-15 minutes for the ring to be bent around the IMCAR platform.

SN1 Rings

Ring #5 being polished and buffed on 2019-12-10
Material Stainless 301
Height 72 inches (1.8m)
Diameter 9 meters
Weight ~1.6 Mg
Thickness 4mm
Created 5/XX

Current Locations

Ring Number Location Created Notes
1 Left of Halfway House (Front) 2019-11-23 Weld may be busted. Flopping in high winds.
2 Left of Halfway House (Middle) 2019-11-27 Sitting behind #1.
3 By fence 2019-12-01 May be scrapped after being dropped.
4 Left of Halfway House (Back) 2019-12-04 Polishing or some coating applied by hand to the ring on 12-11-2019. Moved to the back by the fence line and the new tent.
5 Unknown 2019-12-07 Lifted and moved to the right somewhere of the tent.
6 Destroyed 2019-12-12 Welded at 6:41 am 12-12-2019. Was chopped up, possibly due to not enough material for the full size ring from the coil.
7 Left of Halfway House 2019-12-13 12-13-2019. Inspections or measurements around the outside could be seen be seen from 5:00 AM till 5:30 AM 12-13-2019 Ring #7 being looked at 2019-12-13
8 Halfway House 2019-12-13 Formed at 11:00pm 12-13-2019. Moved in front of IMCAR platform 1:16pm 12-15-2019. Moved Out on to a ring dolly by crane. First 1 lifted from the top edge.
9 Halfway House 2019-12-15 Formed at 7:01pm 12-15-2019. Inspections check 7:20pm 12-15-2019. Moved out of tent . Has square holes cut in it around the midsection.
10 Scrapped 2019-12-16 Formed at 7:40pm 12-16-2019. Might be damaged from Coil dropped on machine. Chopped up and moved on 2020-01-06 at 10:50am.
8 + 9 Outside Halfway House 2019-12-20 Stacked Ring #9 on top of Ring #8 First stacking of Rings for Mk3.jpg
11 Halfway House 2020-01-01 Formed at 11:38am 01-01-2020. Moved to polishing on 2020-01-03.
12 Halfway House 2020-01-03 Formed at 02:12pm 01-03-2020.
13 Halfway House 2020-01-06 Formed at 03:53pm 01-06-2020.
14 Halfway House 2020-01-07 Formed at 05:27pm 01-07-2020.
15 Halfway House 2020-01-?? Formed at ??:??pm 01-??-2020.
16 Halfway House 2020-01-?? Formed at ??:??pm 01-??-2020.

Evolving ring design

Mk 1 Rings

Mark 1's rings were a patchwork of bent steel plates and were hand welded into a ring shape. It had 16 rings making up the lower half that housed the tanks which would have powered the rocket engines. The upper area had 5 rings making up the lower half of the nose cone section and would have housed the avionics for the test flight. However after the top bulkhead of the upper tank was launched 200ft during a pressure test of Mk1's lower section, this section (named Rolo) was dismantled and the upper section of Mk1 (Nosey) sits on a concrete pedestal in front of the Onion tent to this day.

Mk 2 Rings

Mark 2 followed similar design principles to Mark 1 and was partially assembled at the Florida Cocoa site, before this site's projects were abandoned.

Mk 3 Rings

Mark 3 (or SN 1) rings are created on the IMCAR, where a sheet of steel is bent into a ring shape and a single vertical weld joins the two ends. Mk 3 rings have a larger width that Mk1 and Mk2 rings did and a generally smoother appearance.


  • 2 rings were stacked and welded and multiple square holes were cut into one of the rings before the entire assembly was scraped.
  • Sir Egglon (also called bopper 1) was a test tank consisting of 2 bulkheads each with 1 ring attached to them. The two parts were stacked together and welded on 7th of January 2020. Sir Egglon was used to test the strength of welds for the tank design and burst at ??? bar of water.
  • A second test tank named bopper 2 was created shortly thereafter. This one included doubler welds at the joint between the lower ring and bottom blukhead. It was pressurized to 7.5bar at room temperature before a small leak was repaired and then pressurized to the bursting point using cryo LN2 at 8.5bar on Jan. 29, 2020. At this point Elon indicated that they were satisfied with tank design and would go ahead with building Starship SN1.
  • 3 rings were stacked together inside the Onion tent on 1. February 2020, and welded together shortly thereafter.
  • 5 rings were stacked together behind Nosey on 12:51am 13. February 2020 (rings 13-14 with top bulkhead onto rings 10-12 with common bulkhead) where rings are counted from the bottom of Rafael Adamy's Starship diagram (see reference 1).


No Spiral Welding

Spiral welding will not be used per Elon:

"Spiral-winding is great for uniform thickness. We used that for the Hyperloop vacuum tunnel. However, Starship skin thickness will vary considerably according to loads." [2]