Elon Starship Statements

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Starship statements by Elon, SpaceX and Sources for reference as it can be hard to find them on Twitter or other places on the internet


SpaceX@SpaceX [See link for clip]

Completed a full duration test fire of the Raptor Vacuum engine at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas 7:21 PM · Sep 24, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @Neopork85 @SpaceX and @MarcusHouseGame

Most likely, all flaps will fold after landing to reduce wind tip over force. There may be some cases where flaps deployed help stability (change in wind direction), in which case one or more flaps will extend. 1:53 PM · Sep 21, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @elonmusk @Neopork85 and 2 others

We really need better legs for Starship. They’re coming. 1:54 PM · Sep 21, 2020

Matt 🚀🌌@MatthewCable6 Replying to @elonmusk and @ErcXspace

It's nuts now! SN8, 9, 10 and 11! what SN Starship do you think could reach orbit first when SpaceX begins to do orbital tests?

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Just a guess, but probably mid teens. Booster & stacking on orbital pad are likely limiting factors. We’ll build several ships just to improve the production system.

Sept. 14 2020


EricX

You know it’s Endgame when SN8 does this. [Simulation]

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Pretty accurate simulation, although SN8 will use 3 Raptors. If SN8 craters, SN9 & SN10 are close behind. High production rate allows for fast iteration.

Sept. 14 2020


Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN8 Starship with flaps & nosecone should be done in about a week. Then static fire, checkouts, static fire, fly to 60,000 ft & back.

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @elonmusk

One way or another, excitement guaranteed! Support of greater Boca, Padre, Brownsville community is very much appreciated.

Sep 12, 2020


SpaceX@SpaceX

The first Raptor Vacuum engine (RVac) for Starship has shipped from SpaceX’s rocket factory in Hawthorne, California to our development facility in McGregor, Texas

[Pic of 2 Raptors] 154 KB 5:17 PM · Sep 4, 2020 Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @SpaceX

Worth noting that thrust is only slightly higher with the big bell nozzle version. Larger bell is primarily for efficiency in vacuum. Aiming for 380+ sec Isp for RVac long-term. Initially likely to be ~372. Sep 4 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Turns out you can make anything fly haha

[SEE SPACEX SN6 FLIGHT CLIP] 10:02 PM Sept. 3 2020


Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @austinbarnard45

Starship SN6 flew asimilar hop to SN5, but it was a much smoother & faster operation

4:40 PM · Sep 3, 2020


Marcus House@MarcusHouseGame Replying to @elonmusk @Neopork85 and 7 others

Thanks for the reply on that. Is there currently a Super Heavy thrust structure being built? I can only imagine the design that needs to go into making something that can support the huge thrust of 30+ Raptors.

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Yes. This is the hardest part of the booster design. Aug 29, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @Neopork85 @SpaceX and 7 others

Booster design has shifted to four legs with a wider stance (to avoid engine plume impingement in vacuum), rather than six Aug 29, 2020

Scott Manley@DJSnM

I think @elonmusk enjoys watching rocket nerds making guesses about construction at Boca Chica.

1:04 PM · Aug 22, 2020· Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @DJSnM

They’re quite accurate!

Viv Dragon@flcnhvy

Any update on this year’s Starship event? Still aiming for September? Rocket

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Neuralink this month & Tesla next month, SpaceX probably October. We will have made a lot of progress by then. Might have a prototype booster hop done by then.

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut

For just a booster hop you could probably get away with 3 or 6 Raptors only... But it’ll be a while before you have 2 dozen + similar and capable engines for an orbital booster, right?

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Only need 2 engines

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Raptor reached 230 mT-F (over half a million pounds of thrust) at peak pressure with some damage, so this version of the engine can probably sustain ~210 tons. Should have a 250+ ton engine in about 6 to 9 months. Target for booster is 7500 tons (16.5 million pounds) of thrust.

Owen Sparks Earth globe americas@OwenSparks Aug, 2020 Replying to @elonmusk @PPathole and 3 others

Would starship be able to lay down on the surface of moon / mars to make a permanent habitat if needed? Linear seems better than vertical for long term use.

Elon Musk@elonmusk

No

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut Aug 25,2020 Replying to @elonmusk @dauqhx and @universal_sci

How will lunar starship refuel? It needs to go back to Earth orbit, and then get refueled by multiple tankers to do that round trip each time right? Can’t make methane on the moon sans a large cow farm, right? 😂

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Starship propellant is ~78% oxygen, so an O2 plant on the moon would be enough. Otherwise, we could brute-force it with tankers to low Earth orbit. That’s probably faster.

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut

Didn’t know it was still this much of a debate. Water tower or launch pad? (When will you people stop thinking SpaceX is building water towers all the time) :Face with tears of joy: Water Tower 19.8% Orbital Pad 47.6% Both! 13.5% What? 19.1% 20,958 votes · 14 hours left

Aug 24, 2020 Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @Erdayastronaut

Orbital launch mount

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Raptor engine just reached 330 bar chamber pressure without exploding!

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN40 is about to be tested & has several upgrades over 330 bar engine. For reference, 330 bar on Raptor produces ~225 tons (half a million pounds) of force.

Aug 17, 2020


Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @KenKirtland17 @torybrunoand 6 others

Here is a graphic I made of America's Fairings! Looks like we're going to be bringing some big stuff to space (and the Moon).
All the fairings shown are scale to one another [ULA - SpaceX Falcon and Starship - Blue origin comparison graphic shown]

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Starship fairing will actually have more height than shown here. Dome will be flatter & more of tip is accessible. Usable volume ~1000 cubic meters.

5:28 PM · Aug 13, 2020· Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut Replying to @elonmusk @KenKirtland17 and 6 others

Will there still be a header tank up in the nose on later Starships?

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Yes, integrated with the tip of the nose

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN7 will be new alloy test tank taken to burst pressure. SN8 will have body flaps & nosecone.

11:17 AM · Aug 11, 2020


SpaceX@SpaceX

Starship takes flight [SPACEX VIDEO CLIP]

Aug 4, 2020


HiSTORIC LAUNCH Aug 4, 2020 Pranay Pathole@PPatholeReplying to @elonmusk @TrevorMahlmann and @arstechnica

What's next, Elon? 20km hop?

Elon Musk@elonmusk

We’ll do several short hops to smooth out launch process, then go high altitude with body flaps

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Progress is accelerating

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Mars is looking real

Aug 4, 2020


Elon Musk@elonmusk Aug 2, 2020

When space travel becomes as common as air travel, the future of civilization will be assured

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @NASASpaceflight

Scrubbed for the day. A Raptor turbopump spin start valve didn’t open, triggering an automatic abort. We’ll figure out why & retry tomorrow.

5:44 PM · Aug 3, 2020


Elon Musk@elonmusk

Starship SN5 just completed full duration static fire. 150m hop soon.

1:05 PM · Jul 30, 2020 Elon Musk@elonmusk

Static fire drone photo

1:31 PM · Jul 30, 2020


Teslarati@Teslarati

SpaceX begins building upgraded Starship prototype (Photos by @BocaChicaGal)
A Starship part spotted on July 20th confirms that SpaceX is already well into the process of building a significantly upgraded full-scale prototype. Following in the footsteps of five or six...

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @Teslarati and @BocaChicaGal Jul 21, 2020

We’re rapidly changing alloy constituents & forming methods, so traditional names like 304L will become more of an approximation

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth

Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com@SpaceXFleet

SpaceX is hiring for Offshore Operations Engineers in Brownsville.

From the post: "Work as part of a team of engineers and technicians to design and build an operational offshore rocket launch facility" With thanks to @CowboyDanPaasch for the scoop. https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/4764403002?gh_jid=4764403002 Russ Parrish@russ_parrish

Refurb oil platforms with a hyperloop to transport from land?!

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Pretty much Jun 16

In reference to SN7 test tank: Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @SciGuySpace

Tank didn’t burst, but leaked at 7.6 bar. This is a good result & supports idea of 304L stainless being better than 301. We’re developing our own alloy to take this even further. Leak before burst is highly desirable.

3:06 PM · Jun 15, 2020


LabPadre@LabPadre

Manhole size rupture on #Starship SN7 test tank but it still stands. They're getting closer to perfection. #SpaceX #BocaChica #Texas

Elon MuskElon Musk@elonmusk

No problem, we can buff it out

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Maybe some Flextape Jun 15

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @jamesrtyrrell

Actually, we’re on SN30 for Raptor

1:39 PM · Jun 10, 2020


Elon Musk@elonmuskReplying to @SciGuySpace

Quite a piece! I should credit Soviet/Russian engine work in the 80’s as being a factor in deciding to switch from H2 to CH4. They demonstrated excellent performance on test stands, with Isp up to 380 secs.

10:52 AM · Jun 10, 2020· Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @elonmusk and @SciGuySpace

Combined with SpaceX deep subcooling of propellants to near liquefaction temp of N2, use of common dome (CH4 & O2 liquid at similar temps) & higher T/W of engines enables de facto higher delta-V than an H2/O2 stage

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut

What ever happened to Raptor upperstage for FH? I assume it’s higher TWR and higher min throttle would crush about any payload, and adding another prop / manufacturing complexity wouldn’t likely be worth it. But there sure were talks of it for a while with the Air Force.

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut Replying to @elonmusk and @SciGuySpace

I know you’d never add unecessary complexity in the manufacturing line, but I’m still surprised you never made a closed cycle Merlin Vacuum to get closer to that 380 mark. Especially with SpaceX’s experience with ox rich preburners now with Raptor Rocket

Elon Musk@elonmusk

We could never reach 380 Isp with RP/kerosene. CH4 has higher Isp potential on paper, but even better in practice. With CH4, you can reach >99% of max theoretical combustion efficiency, but RP is ~97% on a good day & requires desooting of turbines between flights.

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut ·Jun 8

How different will Lunar Starship be from a standard atmospheric Starship? Like those thrusters on top seem like a pretty big shift from a standard Starship... are they still methalox? Related to SuperDraco in any way?

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @Erdayastronaut

Forward thrusters are to stabilize ship when landing in high winds. If goal is max payload to moon per ship, no heatshield or flaps or big gas thruster packs are needed. No need to bring early ships back. They can serve as part of moon base alpha.

Elon Musk@elonmusk Jun 6

Starship Production Complex Boca Chica, Texas

Chris B - NSF@NASASpaceflight · Jun 6

Amazing how much the place has grown. Any more additions we can look forward to? Like another High Bay, some more big tents, etc?

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @NASASpaceflight

Giant high bay coming soon

4:57 PM · Jun 6, 2020·Twitter for iPhone Chris B - NSF@NASASpaceflight · Jun 6 Replying to @elonmusk

Oh my! And we thought the High Bay currently being used to stack Starship was impressive. Something for Super Heavy stacking I assume? KSC VAB scale? Astonished face

Elon Musk@elonmusk · Jun 6

Yeah, for Super Heavy stacking

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut · Jun 6

Holy moly!!! How tall will the building be? 80m tall-ish? Thinking face

Elon Musk@elonmusk · Jun 6

81m

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN4 passed high pressure (7.5 bar) & engine thrust load at cryo 9:48 PM · May 9, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Starship SN4 passed static fire

8:26 PM · May 5, 2020


SpaceX@SpaceX

SpaceX has been selected to develop a lunar optimized Starship to transport crew between lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon as part of @NASA’s Artemis program! https://go.nasa.gov/3f0o3ux [See pic of Moon Starship with side thrusters]· 10:09 AM · Apr 30, 2020

SpaceX@SpaceX

With large habitable and storage volume, Starship is capable of delivering significant amounts of cargo for research and to support robust operations on the lunar surface to enable a sustainable Moon base

SpaceX@SpaceX

Last year, NASA announced Starship as eligible for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative – to deliver payloads between Earth and the Moon, and to enable humans to return to the Moon

SpaceX@SpaceX

And just last month, NASA selected SpaceX to deliver supplies to Gateway!
Quote "TweetSpaceX@SpaceX · Mar 27
SpaceX will launch a variant of Dragon, optimized to carry more than 5 metric tons of cargo to Gateway in lunar orbit https://twitter.com/JimBridenstine/status/1243604344748101634"

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @HarryStoltz1 and @JaneidyEve

Static fire with Raptor hopefully later this week 10:15 PM · Apr 26, 2020

Replying to @elonmusk @HarryStoltz1 and @JaneidyEve

Raptor as in one or three?

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Just one. SN5 will get three.

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve

Congrats! 🚀 What bar strength did it reach!? 9:59 PM · Apr 26, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

4.9 bar. Kind of a softball tbh, but that’s enough to fly!

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN4 passed cryo proof! 😅 9:44 PM · Apr 26, 2020

Pranay Pathole @PPathole Replying to @elonmuskand @Cardoso

Will SN4 be doing a 150m hop or 20km?

8:35 AM · Apr 26, 2020· Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @PPathole and @Cardoso

150m 8:36 AM · Apr 26, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN4 passed ambient pressure test 8:21 AM · Apr 26, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Aiming for cryo pressure test tonight 8:27 AM · Apr 26, 2020

Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut

😍 this might be the best picture of an mVac we’ve ever seen!!! Hilarious to think this is a “simple” engine as far as rocket engines go Face with tears of joy jeeeeez! Congrats on the 100th!!!

@SpaceX and @elonmusk 4:46 PM · Apr 24, 2020 Quote Tweet SpaceX@SpaceX

Falcon 9’s second stage engine at our Hawthorne headquarters before shipping to Texas – it is the 100th second stage engine SpaceX has built

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Merlin is very simple compared to Raptor

Yuri@yourfavgas Replying to @elonmusk

Are you confident enough that a landing starship can get the skydive maneuver right on the first try? Seems risky with fuel farm being so close to landing pad. Or aiming for soft water landing first? 5:12 PM · Apr 24, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

No, good chance of RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event, but landing pad is separated from launch pad

Mary @BocaChicaGal

SN5 nosecone has been stacked in the high bay at SpaceX Boca Chica. Star-struckRocket

@NASASpaceflight Elon Musk@elonmusk

These won’t be strictly coupled to ship serial number. Might be on SN5 or might just be used as a manufacturing pathfinder.

Toby Li@tobyliiiiiiiiii Replying to @elonmusk

What Is the latest SN number for the raptor engine? 7:00 PM · Apr 15, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN26

Michael Baylor@nextspaceflight @Erdayastronaut

Will SN4 hop to 20 km or just 150 m if the pressure tests and static fire goes well? 7:29 PM · Apr 15, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN4 won’t get flaps, so can only do flights with engine on. Just did a reset this week on flap, actuator & static aero design. Either SN5 or SN6 will get flaps.

Yuri@yourfavgas Replying to @elonmusk @Erdayastronaut and 3 others

Thrust section seems intact, any plans to reuse it, or just build a new one? 12:23 AM · Apr 5, 2020

@Erdayastronaut and 3 others

Hard to hide anything from the Internet! Yeah, we’re going to reuse much of the thrust section. 12:24 AM · Apr 5, 2020

Austin Barnard🚀@austinbarnard45

StarShip SN3 has ruptured due to cryogenic pressurization testing, on to SN4.🚀 (Source:@LabPadre) 12:34 AM · Apr 3, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

We will see what data review says in the morning, but this may have been a test configuration mistake 2:13 AM · Apr 3, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @spaceXcentricand @LabPadre

Some valves leaked at cryo temp. Fixing & will retest soon. 7:36 PM · Apr 2, 2020

Eric Berger@SciGuySpace

Starting to get chilly in South Texas with liquid nitrogen being pumped into SN3 for a pressure test (see frost ring). Live video below:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=iw5bYl8v3nY 3:09 PM · Apr 2, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN3 passed ambient temperature pressure test last night, now doing cryogenic

Elon Musk@elonmuskReplying to @kimitalvitie

Yes, v close! Nice work. Those are V0.9 legs, so major upgrades coming. Need wider span, longer stroke & ability to auto-level for uneven ground or leaning into high winds. 2:12 PM · Apr 1, 2020

2:12 PM · Apr 1, 2020· Everyday Astronaut@Erdayastronaut Replying to @elonmusk and @kimitalvitie

Yes!!! Auto leveling!!! That’s going to be key for other planetary bodies!!! Will SN4 probably still just use these for now though? Good enough for these controlled environments :Ok hand: 2:14 PM · Apr 1, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Yeah 2:15 PM · Apr 1, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

The legs extend & telescope out, so are longer than they seem, but not as long as they will be for SN4+ [about SN3] 8:11 AM · Mar 31, 2020

Replying to @elonmusk

Now on launch stand [Two Pics on Twitter] 11:27 AM · Mar 30 2020

C3LT@C3LT_Games@elonmusk

Is Starship development still on track?
Why was a new Dragon variant proposed for Lunar Gateway resupply missions?

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Hopefully, Starship will have enough flight history to substitute for Dragon for NASA missions too 11:36 AM · Mar 30, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN3 [Two pictures] · March 26, 2020

Rafael Adamy@fael097 Replying to @elonmusk

A recent ArsTechnica article mentioned Starship will be 17 steel rings + nosecone. Is that correct? Independent measurements suggest it should have 20 rings.

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Pretty close. Design is evolving rapidly. Would be great to flatten domes, embed engines & add ~1.5 barrel sections of propellant for same total length. Also, current legs are a bit too small. 9:55 pm · Mar 17, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Some parts will use 304L, as it has higher toughness at cryo temps. Will move to internally developed alloys probably end of year. 6:18 PM · Mar 14, 2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Sleeving SN2 dome in the high bay 12:55 AM · Mar 3, 202

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @flcnhvy and @JaneidyEve

We’re stripping SN2 to bare minimum to test the thrust puck to dome weld under pressure, first with water, then at cryo. Hopefully, ready to test in a few days. · 12:49 AM · Mar 2, 2020

SpaceX@SpaceX

Third Raptor test stand activated at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. In the past year, the Raptor team has accumulated over 3,200 seconds of testing across 18 engines, including multiple full-power firings

SpaceX@SpaceX Last year, we completed a 150 meter hop with one Raptor engine, and the Starship team is gearing up for more spaceflight activities in Boca Chica, Texas · Feb 27, 2020

Testing Raptor in vertical configuration (on the giant tripod) should allow us to simplify some aspects of the engine design Elon Musk@elonmusk · Feb 27

Viv Dragon@flcnhvy

Will the fins still be actuated by electric motors & batteries? If yes, does utilizing Plaid powertrain & upcoming new Tesla battery tech that you’ve teased mean a significant improvement in efficiency & power?

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @flcnhvy

Yes · Feb 25

Pauline@justpaulinelol Replying to @elonmusk

Still 3 Raptors planned or other plans? · Feb 25,2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

3 on SN2 · Feb 25

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Starship SN1 tank preparing for Raptor attachment & static fire · Feb 25,2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

SN2 tank integration starts this week with much less circumferential pucker. Thanks Fronius! · Feb 25,2020

Pranay Pathole@PPathole Replying to @elonmusk and @JohnHanzl

I wonder if having the O2 header tank in the tip is strategic to allow the boil-off to be consumed by the occupants? Conversely, keeping the CH4 header tank and associated piping away from the occupants is better for safety. · Feb 20,2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

It’s mostly to balance the ship during entry. After delivering satellites, the front is light & back is heavy due to engines & landing legs. · Feb 20,2020

Elon Musk@elonmusk

High bay for stacking Starship engine bay, propellant tanks & fairing (fka nosecone) sections is almost done! · 2:29 AM · Feb 20, 2020

DropletSydEVBattery@sydney_ev

Will starship be moved to launch pad vertically? What is NASA doing with their old Shuttle and Saturn crawler carriers?

Elon Musk@elonmusk Replying to @sydney_ev

Attach wheels to the landing legs & tow Starship to the launch pad · Feb 20

Stephen Ross@pentaquarky Replying to @elonmusk and @Erdayastronaut < NEED LINK, could not re-find

How do you keep the oxygen in liquid form? Insulated header tank? · 9:57 PM · Feb 19, 2020·

Replying to @pentaquarky and @Erdayastronaut

The whole nose tip has to have heat shielding for atmospheric entry at Mach 25+ anyway, so is effectively already insulated well in orbit · Feb 19,2020

9/22/2019 tweet:SpaceX Foundry is used exclusively for advanced alloys/shapes for Raptor, incl our superalloy, SX500


TESLARATI@Teslarati · Sep 9, 2019

SpaceX tests ceramic Starship heat shield tiles on Starhopper's final flight test. Although it flew under the radar in the heat of the moment, SpaceX’s final Starhopper test flight – completed on August 27th – happened to include an unusual bit of test hardware – eight (give or...

Elon Musk@elonmusk · Sep 9, 2019

The hex tiles are actually mechanically attached, which is important to allow for very high temp on back side of tile that would destroy any adhesive. Marshmellow-looking thing is a rope seal.