SpaceX Starship SN8 prototype during a flight test at Boca Chica, Texas, December 2020
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cost per launch||US$2 million (aspirational)|
|Height||122 m (400 ft)|
|Diameter||9 m (30 ft)|
|Mass||5,000,000 kg (11,000,000 lb) (with payload)|
|Payload to LEO|
|Mass||+100,000 kg (220,000 lb)|
|Volume||1,100 m3 (39,000 cu ft)|
|Family||SpaceX launch vehicles|
|First stage – Super Heavy|
|Length||72 m (236 ft)|
|Diameter||9 m (30 ft)|
|Empty mass||180,000 kg (400,000 lb) (estimated)|
|Gross mass||3,580,000 kg (7,890,000 lb) |
|Propellant mass||3,400,000 kg (7,500,000 lb)|
|Thrust||65,000 kN (15,000,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||330 s (3.2 km/s)|
4 / LOX
|Second stage – Starship|
|Length||50 m (160 ft)|
|Diameter||9 m (30 ft)|
|Empty mass||120,000 kg (260,000 lb)|
|Gross mass||1,320,000 kg (2,910,000 lb)|
|Propellant mass||1,200,000 kg (2,600,000 lb)|
|Thrust||c. 12,000 kN (2,700,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||380 s (3.7 km/s) (vacuum)|
4 / LOX
The SpaceX Starship system is a proposed fully reusable, two-stage-to-orbit super heavy-lift launch vehicle under development by SpaceX. The system is composed of a booster stage, named Super Heavy, and a second stage, also referred to as "Starship".:16:20–16:48 The second stage is being designed as a long-duration cargo, and eventually, passenger-carrying spacecraft. The spacecraft will serve as both the second stage and the in-space long-duration orbital spaceship.
Engine development started in 2012, and Starship development began in 2016 as a self-funded private spaceflight project. Testing of the second stage Starship began in 2019 as part of an extensive development program to prove out launch-and-landing and iterate on a variety of design details, particularly with respect to the vehicle's atmospheric reentry. Integrated system testing of a proof of concept for the second stage began in March 2019 with a prototype nicknamed Starhopper, which made low-altitude, low-velocity flight testing of vertical launches and landings. This was followed by two additional full-size tank prototype versions (SN5 and SN6), which also made low-altitude test flights in August and September 2020. On 9 December 2020, Starship prototype SN8 performed the first high-altitude test flight, demonstrating most of the atmospheric re-entry maneuvers. The test was deemed a success, although a hard landing caused the explosion of the prototype. More prototype Starships have been built and more are under construction as the iterative design progresses. All test articles have a 9 m (30 ft)-diameter stainless steel hull.
In June 2019, SpaceX indicated they could potentially launch commercial payloads using Starship as early as 2021. In April 2020, NASA selected a modified crew-rated Starship system as one of three potential lunar landing system design concepts to receive funding for a 10-month-long initial design phase for the NASA Artemis program.
The name of the vehicle changed many times after its first announcement and during the first several years of development. In its final iteration, the combination of Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy booster is called the "Starship system" by SpaceX in their payload users guide. Sometimes, as on the SpaceX website, the term "Starship" is used as a collective term for both the Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy booster.
At least as early as 2005, SpaceX used the codename, "BFR", for a conceptual heavy-lift vehicle, "far larger than the Falcon family of vehicles", with a goal of 100 t (110 tons) to orbit. Beginning in mid-2013, SpaceX referred to both the mission architecture and the vehicle as the Mars Colonial Transporter. By the time a large 12-meter diameter design concept was unveiled in September 2016, SpaceX had begun referring to the overall system as the Interplanetary Transport System.
With the announcement of a new 9-meter design in September 2017, SpaceX resumed referring to the vehicle as "BFR". Musk said in the announcement, "we are searching for the right name, but the code name, at least, is BFR". SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell subsequently stated that BFR stands for "Big Falcon Rocket". However, Elon Musk had explained in the past that although BFR is the official name, he drew inspiration from the BFG weapon in the Doom video games. The BFR had also occasionally been referred to informally by the media and internally at SpaceX as "Big Fucking Rocket". At the time, the second stage/spacecraft was referred to as " ". The booster first stage was also at times referred to as the " ". In November 2018, the spaceship was renamed Starship, and the first stage booster was named Super Heavy.
The term "Super Heavy" had also been previously used by SpaceX in a different context. In February 2018, at about the time of the first Falcon Heavy launch, Musk had suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy—a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy".
The launch vehicle was initially mentioned in public discussions by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in 2012 as part of a description of the company's overall Mars system architecture, then known as "Mars Colonial Transporter" (MCT). By August 2014, media sources speculated that the initial flight test of the Raptor-driven super-heavy launch vehicle could occur as early as 2020, in order to fully test the engines under orbital spaceflight conditions; however, any colonization effort was then reported to continue to be "deep into the future".
In mid-September 2016, Musk noted that the Mars Colonial Transporter name would not continue, as the system would be able to "go well beyond Mars", and that a new name would be needed. The name selected was "Interplanetary Transport System" (ITS). In September 2017, at the 68th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress, SpaceX unveiled an updated vehicle design.
In September 2018 Musk showed another redesigned concept for the second stage and spaceship with three rear fins and two front canard fins added for atmospheric entry, replacing the previous delta wing and split flaps shown a year earlier. He also announced a planned 2023 lunar circumnavigation mission, a private spaceflight called dearMoon project. The two major parts of the launch vehicle were given descriptive names in November 2018: "Starship" for the upper stage and "Super Heavy" for the booster stage, which Musk pointed out was "needed to escape Earth's deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)".
In January 2019, Musk announced that the Starship would no longer be constructed out of carbon fiber, and that stainless steel would be used instead, citing several reasons including cost, strength, and ease of production. Later in May, the Starship design changed back to just six Raptor engines, with three optimized for sea-level and three optimized for vacuum. Later that month, an initial test article, Starhopper, was being finished for untethered flight tests at the SpaceX South Texas launch site, while two "orbital prototypes" without aerodynamic control surfaces were under construction, one in South Texas and one on the Florida Space Coast. The following month, SpaceX publicly announced that discussions had begun with three telecommunications companies for using Starship, rather than Falcon 9, for launching commercial satellites for paying customers in 2021. No specific companies or launch contracts were announced at that time.
Starhopper made its initial flight test in July 2019, a "hop" of around 20 m (66 ft) altitude, and a second and final "hop" in August 2019, reached an altitude of ~150 m (490 ft) and landing around 100 m (330 ft) from the launchpad.
In September 2019 Musk unveiled Starship Mk1, a more advanced test article. The Mk1 was destroyed in a tank pressure test in November, and SpaceX ceased construction on the Mk2 prototype in Florida and moved on to work on the Mk3 article. Adopting a new "serial number" nomenclature, the Mk3 article was renamed Starship SN1 by SpaceX to signify the major evolution in building techniques: the rings were now taller and each was made of one single sheet of steel, drastically reducing the welding lines (thus failure points). The worksite in Texas was also significantly expanded.
In February 2020, SN1 was also destroyed during pressurization. The company then focused on resolving the problem that led to SN1's failure by assembling a stripped-down version of their next planned prototype, SN2. This time the test was successful and SpaceX began work on SN3. However, in April 2020, SN3 was also destroyed during testing due to a test configuration error. At that time, construction of SN4 was underway.
On 26 April 2020, Starship SN4 became the first full-scale prototype to pass a cryogenic proof test. On 5 May 2020, SN4 completed a single engine static fire with one mounted Raptor engine and became the first full Starship tank to pass a Raptor static fire. SN4 would complete a total of 4 short static fires (2 to 5 seconds long) before being destroyed in a massive explosion due to a propellant leak from the quick disconnect mechanism.
On 4 August 2020 Starship SN5 completed a 150 meter flight test, landing at an adjacent landing site, thus becoming the first full-scale prototype to perform a successful flight test. SN9 was the first prototype to be built entirely of the type 304L stainless steel.
While the Starship program had a small development team for several years, and a larger development and build team since late 2018, Musk declared in June 2020 that Starship was by then the top SpaceX priority, except for anything related to reduction of Crew Dragon return risk for the upcoming Crew Dragon Demo-2 flight to the ISS, and remained so in September 2020.
In July 2020, SpaceX procured two deepwater oil rigs from Valaris plc for $3.5 million each. These semi-submersible platforms, renamed Deimos and Phobos after the two moons of Mars, will be modified into two floating launch platforms for Super Heavy/Starship orbital launches. As of January 2021, refit is underway on Deimos at the Port of Brownsville, and Phobos at the Port of Galveston. Current plans are for both the first stage (Super Heavy) booster and the second stage (Starship) to be landed on land, unlike the many sea landings seen with their Falcon 9 boosters.
On 9 December 2020, SN8 flew a largely successful 12.5 km flight test, which included the first 3-engine flight test, the first test of the body flaps during its novel "bellyflop" descent, and the first test of the "flip maneuver" landing burn at the end of the free-fall phase.[full citation needed] However the fuel header tank pressure was low during the landing burn, leading to a high touchdown velocity which destroyed SN8.
On 2 February 2021, SN9 attempted a 10 km (6.2 mi) flight, but once again exploded on landing after one of the raptor engines failed to ignite.
Starship upper stage
The upper stage of Starship is intended to function both as a second stage to reach orbital velocity on launches from Earth, and also be used in outer space as an on-orbit long-duration spacecraft. This is in contrast to most previous launch vehicle and spacecraft designs. Starship is being designed to be capable of reentering Earth's atmosphere from orbital velocities and landing vertically, with a design goal of rapid re-usability without the need for extensive refurbishment.
According to Musk, when Starship is used for beyond Earth orbit (BEO) launches to Mars, the functioning of the overall expedition system will necessarily include propellant production on the Mars surface. This is necessary for the return trip and to reuse the spaceship to keep costs as low as possible. Lunar destinations (circumlunar flybys, orbits and landings) will be possible without lunar-propellant depots, so long as the spaceship is refueled in a high-elliptical orbit before the lunar transit begins. Some lunar flybys will be possible without orbital refueling as evidenced by the mission profile of the dearMoon project.
The SpaceX approach is to tackle the hardest problems first, and Musk sees the hardest problem for getting to sustainable human civilization on Mars to be building a fully-reusable orbital Starship, so that is the major focus of SpaceX resources as of 2020. For example, it is planned for the spacecraft to eventually incorporate life support systems, but as of September 2019[update], Musk has stated that it is yet to be developed, as the early flights will all be cargo only.
As of September 2019[update], the Starship upper stage is expected to be a 9 m (30 ft) diameter, 50 m (160 ft) tall, fully reusable spacecraft with a dry mass of 120 t (120 long tons; 130 short tons) or less, powered by six Raptor engines.
Starship is designed with the ability to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and retropropulsively land on a designated landing pad. Landing reliability is projected by SpaceX to ultimately be able to achieve "airline levels" of safety due to engine-out capability. The spacecraft is also designed to be able to perform automatic rendezvous and docking operations, and perform on-orbit propellant transfers between Starships.
Starship is also designed with the goal to reach other planets and moons in the solar system after on-orbit propellant loading. While retropropulsion is intended to be used for the final landing maneuver on the Earth, Moon, or Mars, 99.9% of the energy dissipation on Earth reentry is to be removed aerodynamically, and on Mars, 99% aerodynamically even using the much thinner Martian atmosphere, where "body flaps" are used to control attitude during descent and optimize both trajectory and energy dissipation during descent.
As envisioned in the 2017 design unveiling, the Starship is to have a pressurized volume of approximately 825 m3 (29,100 cu ft), which could be configured for up to 40 cabins, large common areas, central storage, a galley, and a solar flare shelter for Mars missions.
The methane/oxygen-propellant Raptor engines will be the main propulsion system on Starship. Starship will use three sea-level optimized Raptor engines and three vacuum-optimized Raptor engines. The sea-level engines are identical to the engines on the Super Heavy booster. Transport use in space is expected to use a vacuum-optimized Raptor engine variant to optimize specific impulse (Isp) to approximately 380 s (8,300 mph; 3.7 km/s). Total Starship thrust will be approximately 11,500 kN (2,600,000 lbf).
Starship will use pressure fed hot gas reaction control system (RCS) thrusters using methane gas for attitude control, including the final pre-landing pitch-up maneuver from belly flop to tail down, and stability during high-wind landings up to 60 km/h (37 mph). Initial prototypes are using nitrogen cold gas thrusters, which are substantially less mass efficient, but are expedient for quick building to support early prototype flight testing.
- Spaceship: a large, long-duration spacecraft capable of carrying passengers or cargo to interplanetary destinations, to LEO, or Earth-to-Earth spaceflight.
- Satellite delivery spacecraft: a vehicle able to transport and place spacecraft into orbit, or handle the in-space recovery of spacecraft and space debris for return to Earth or movement to another orbit. In the March 2020 users guide, this was shown with a large cargo bay door that can open in space to facilitate delivery and pickup of cargo.
- Tanker: a cargo-only propellant tanker to support the refilling of propellants in Earth orbit. The tanker will enable launching a heavy spacecraft to interplanetary space as the spacecraft being refueled can use its tanks twice, first to reach LEO and afterwards to leave Earth orbit. The tanker variant, also required for high-payload lunar flights, is expected to come only later; initial in-space propellant transfer will be from one standard Starship to another.
- Lunar-surface-to-orbit transport: a variant of Starship without airbrakes or heat shielding that is required for in-atmosphere-operations. Additionally, the ship will be equipped with a docking port on the nose, additional landing engines (installed much higher up to reduce dust clouds during landing) and have white paint (as opposed to the bare steel planned for regular Starships). On 30 April 2020, NASA selected SpaceX to develop a human-rated lunar lander for the Artemis program, therefore requiring SpaceX to develop an approach for a direct lunar landing.
The spaceship design is expected to be flexible. For example, a possible design modification to the base Starship – expendable three-engine Starship with no fairing, rear fins, nor landing legs in order to optimize its mass ratio for an interplanetary exploration with robotic probes.
Materials and construction
Starship has a stainless steel structure and tank construction. Its strength-to-mass ratio should be comparable to or better than the earlier SpaceX design alternative of carbon fiber composites across the anticipated temperature ranges, from the low temperatures of cryogenic propellants to the high temperatures of atmospheric reentry Some parts of the craft will be built with a stainless steel alloy that "has undergone [a type of] cryogenic treatment, in which metals are ... cold-formed/worked [to produce a] cryo-treated steel ... dramatically lighter and more wear-resistant than traditional hot-rolled steel."
The spacecraft will also have a thermal protection system against the harsh conditions of atmospheric reentry. This will include hexagonal ceramic tiles that will be used on the windward side of Starship. Earlier designs included a double stainless-steel skin with active coolant flowing in between the two layers, or with some areas additionally containing multiple small pores that would allow for transpiration cooling.
Starship Human Landing System
A modified version known as the Starship Human Landing System (Starship HLS) was selected by NASA in April 2020 for potential use for long-duration crewed lunar landings as part of NASA's Artemis program. The Starship HLS variant is being designed to stay on and around the Moon and as such both the heat shield and air-brakes—integral parts of the main Starship design—are not included in the Starship HLS design. The variant will use high-thrust methox RCS thrusters located mid-body on Starship HLS during the final "tens of meters" of the terminal lunar descent and landing, and will also include a smaller crew area and a much larger cargo bay, be powered by a solar array located on its nose below the docking port. SpaceX intends to use the same high-thrust RCS thrusters for liftoff from the lunar surface.:50:30 If built, the HLS variant would be launched to Earth orbit via the Super Heavy booster and would use orbital refueling to reload propellants into Starship HLS for the lunar transit and lunar landing operations. In the 2020 mission concept, a NASA Orion spacecraft would carry a NASA crew to the lander where they would depart and descend to the surface in Starship HLS. After Lunar surface operations, it would ascend using the same Starship HLS vehicle and return the crew to the Orion. Although not confirmed yet, the vehicle in theory could be refueled in orbit to carry more crews and cargo to the surface.
SpaceX is one of three organizations developing their lunar lander designs for the Artemis program over a 10-month period in 2020–2021, starting in May 2020. If SpaceX completes the milestone-based requirements of the design contract, then NASA will pay SpaceX US$135 million in design development funding. The other teams selected were the 'National Team'—led by Blue Origin but including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper (with US$579 million in NASA design funding) and Dynetics, including SNC and other unspecified companies (with US$253 million in NASA funding). At the end of the ten-month program on 28 February 2021, NASA had planned to evaluate which contractors would be offered contracts for initial demonstration missions and select firms for development and maturation of their lunar lander system designs. However, on 27 January 2021, NASA informed each of the HLS contractors that the original ten-month program would be extended two months to end on or before 30 April 2021.
Prototypes and testing
The SpaceX testing philosophy, referred to as "test, fly, fail, fix, repeat", is evident in the Starship development and testing program. SpaceX is willing to regularly test prototypes to destruction, counting the data gathered as a successful part of the overall process. This allowance for failures, willingness to build flight articles in view of the public, and fast cadence of prototype construction makes the Starship design process unique in the spaceflight industry.
In the first two years of development, from December 2018 to December 2020, SpaceX built and tested 11 prototypes. These include MK1, SN1, SN3, SN4, SN7, SN7.1 and SN8 which were tested to destruction; MK2 and SN2 which were retired before flight; Starhopper, SN5 and SN6 which were flight tested and retired. In 2021 SpaceX has continued building and testing prototypes including SN7.2 and SN9 with SN10 in place for upcoming tests.
The construction of the initial test article—the Starship Hopper or Starhopper—began in early December 2018 and the external frame and skin was complete by 10 January 2019. Constructed outside in the open on a SpaceX property just 3.2 km (2.0 mi) from Boca Chica Beach in South Texas, the external body of the rocket rapidly came together in less than six weeks from half-inch (12.5 mm) steel. Originally thought by onlookers at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Site to be the initial construction of a large water tower, the stainless steel vehicle was built by welders and construction workers in more of a shipyard form of construction than traditional aerospace manufacturing. The full Starhopper vehicle is 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and was originally 39 m (128 ft) tall in January 2019. Subsequent wind damage to the nose cone of the vehicle resulted in a SpaceX decision to scrap the nose section, and fly the low-velocity hopper tests with no nose cone, resulting in a much shorter test vehicle.
The low-altitude, low-velocity Starhopper was used for initial integrated testing of the Raptor rocket engine with a flight-capable propellant structure, and was slated to also test the newly designed autogenous pressurization system that is replacing traditional helium tank pressurization as well as initial launch and landing algorithms for the much larger 9-metre (30 ft) diameter rocket. SpaceX originally developed their reusable booster technology for the 3-meter-diameter Falcon 9 from 2012 to 2018. The Starhopper prototype was also the platform for the first flight tests of the full-flow staged combustion methalox Raptor engine. Only one engine was installed but Starhopper could have been fitted with up to three engines to facilitate engine-out tolerance testing.
Starhopper was also used to flight test a number of subsystems of Starship to begin to expand the flight envelope of the Starship design. Starhopper testing ran from March to August 2019 with all Starhopper test flights at low altitude.
The maiden flight test of the Starhopper test vehicle, and also the maiden flight test of any full-flow staged combustion rocket engine, was on 25 July 2019, and attained a height of 18 m (59 ft). This was not a full-duration burn but a 22-second test. It accidentally ignited nearby vegetation. SpaceX is developing their next-generation rocket to be reusable from the beginning, just like an aircraft, and thus needs to start with narrow flight test objectives, while still aiming to land the rocket successfully to be used subsequently in further tests to expand the flight envelope. The second and final untethered test flight of the Starhopper test article was carried out on 27 August 2019, to a VTVL altitude of 150 m (490 ft).
Construction of the Mark 1 (Mk1) in Boca Chica, Texas and Mark 2 (Mk2) in Cocoa, Florida began in December 2018. Planned for high-altitude and high-velocity testing, the prototypes were described to be taller than the Starhopper, have thinner skins, and a smoothly curving nose section. Like Starhopper, the vehicles measured 9 m (30 ft) in diameter but were full-height at approximately 50 m (160 ft), making them the first full-size Starship prototypes. On 20 November 2019, the Starship Mk1 was partially destroyed during max pressure tank testing, when the forward LOX tank ruptured along a weld line of the craft's steel structure, propelling the bulkhead several meters upwards. The upper bulkhead went airborne and landed some distance away from the craft. No injuries were reported. After the incident, SpaceX decided not to repair and retest Mk1. Both Mk1 and Mk2 were retired and focus turned to the Mk3 and Mk4 builds which were designed for orbit.
The prototype in Texas (Mk3) was renamed to SN1 (serial number 1). It was destroyed in February 2020 during a pressure test when the tank ruptured near the thrust puck. The thrust puck serves as both the lower dome of the fuel tank and the mount for the raptor engines. After this incident, SpaceX built SN2 as a scaled down test tank to focus testing on the structure of the thrust puck. SN2 successfully passed the pressure and cryogenic tests proving the design changes. SpaceX returned to full size prototype testing with SN3 which failed the cryogenic proof test. During testing the LOX (Liquid Oxygen) Tank experienced a loss of pressure and collapsed due to bad commanding in the test sequence. SN4 successfully completed a cryogenic pressure test on 26 April 2020. but exploded a few weeks later after a successful engine test when SpaceX tested a new "quick disconnect" design as part of ground support equipment testing. After passing all pad tests, SN5 completed a 150 m hop on 4 August 2020, descending to a nearby landing pad. This marked the first successful launch and landing of a prototype with full-height propellant tanks. SN6 performed the same flight test plan just one month later.
High-altitude prototypes include installation of the nose cone and aerodynamic surfaces allowing testing of ascent, controlled engine cutoff, vehicle reorientation, controlled descent, the flip maneuver and landing. Several high-altitude prototypes (SN9–SN18) were undergoing testing (SN9) or were under construction (SN10–SN18) by January 2021. SN8 had passed cryogenic tests, preburner and static fire tests. A flight of SN8 to an altitude of 12.5 km took place on 9 December 2020. After successful ascent, various test maneuvers—followed by a successful and novel skydiver-like horizontal descent and vehicle rotation back to vertical for a propulsive landing attempt—lower than expected pressure in the methane header tank following the rapid rotation resulted in inadequate final deceleration and a hard landing, resulting in an explosion on the landing pad and total destruction of the test vehicle. SN9 also has passed cryogenic tests, and static fire tests. SN9's flight took it to 10 km, on 2 February 2021. The flight went well up until the landing, where one of the raptor engine on SN9 did not light causing a failure to counteract the momentum of the landing flip maneuver. This failure caused SN9 to slam into the ground diagonally.
Starship prototypes are subjected to several tests on the launch stand before flight testing. These include the ambient pressure test, cryogenic proof test, and static fire of the engines. During the ambient pressure test the test article's propellant tanks are filled with benign air-temperature nitrogen gas. This test checks for leaks, verifies basic vehicle valve and plumbing performance, and ensure a basic level of structural integrity. The ambient pressure test is followed by the cryogenic proof test where the vehicle's oxygen and methane tanks are loaded with liquid nitrogen. This also tests structural integrity but adds the challenge of thermal stresses to ensure that Starship can safely load, hold, and offload supercool liquids. SN9 was the first prototype to arrive at the test stand with engines already installed. For previous test articles with thrust structures, a hydraulic ram was attached to the thrust puck to simulate the thrust of one, two, or three Raptor engines. SN4 was the first full scale prototype to pass the cryogenic proof test. Finally a static fire test is performed by loading liquid oxygen and liquid methane and firing the raptor engines briefly while Starship is held down on the test stand.
Since 2019, prototypes of the upper stage of Starship have been flown 7 times. Prototypes of Starship that performed suborbital flights include Starhopper, SN5, SN6, SN8, and SN9. All test flights launched from the Boca Chica launch site in Texas.
|Flight No.||Date and time of takeoff (UTC)||Vehicle||Launch site||Suborbital apogee||Outcome||Duration|
|1||5 April 2019||Starhopper||Boca Chica, Texas||~1 m (3 ft 3 in)||Success||~3 seconds|
|Tethered hop which hit tethered limits. With a single Raptor SN2 engine.|
|2||25 July 2019||Starhopper||Boca Chica, Texas||20 m (66 ft)||Success||~22 seconds|
|First untethered flight test. Single Raptor engine, SN6.|
|3||27 August 2019 22:00||Starhopper||Boca Chica, Texas||150 m (490 ft)||Success||~58 seconds|
|Single Raptor engine, SN6. Starhopper was retired after this launch, with some parts being reused for other tests.|
|4||4 August 2020 23:57||Starship SN5||Boca Chica, Texas||150 m (490 ft)||Success||~45 seconds|
|Single Raptor engine, SN27. A successful 150-meter flight was completed on 4 August 2020.|
|5||3 September 2020 17:47||Starship SN6||Boca Chica, Texas||150 m (490 ft)||Success||~45 seconds|
|Single Raptor engine, SN29. A successful test hop took place on 3 September 2020.|
|6||9 December 2020 22:45||Starship SN8||Boca Chica, Texas||12.5 km (7.8 mi)||Destroyed on landing||6 minutes, 42 seconds|
|Three Raptor engines, SN30, SN36, and SN42. The vehicle successfully launched, ascended, performed the skydive descent maneuver, relit the engines fueled by the header tanks, and steered to the landing pad. Low pressure in the fuel header tank caused engine issues, resulting in a hard landing and destruction of SN8. However, Elon Musk stated that all the vital telemetry data was acquired from the flight and he seemed pleased with the outcome, tweeting "hell yeah!!" and "Mars, here we come!!"|
|7||2 February 2021 20:25||Starship SN9||Boca Chica, Texas||10 km (6.2 mi)||Destroyed on landing||6 minutes, 26 seconds|
|Three Raptor engines, including SN45 and SN49.[i] Test flight on 2 February 2021, during landing, one of the engines failed to ignite, resulting in a hard landing that destroyed SN9.|
|8||NET 1 March 2021||Starship SN10||Boca Chica, Texas||high altitude||Planned|
|SN10 was moved to the launch site to begin its preflight tests on 29 January 2021. A static fire occurred on 23 February but an engine swap was needed. A subsequent static fire occurred on 25 February 2021.|
- There is no known reliable source for the other raptor SN.
Super Heavy booster
The booster stage Super Heavy is expected to be 72 m (236 ft) long and 9 m (30 ft) in diameter with a gross liftoff mass of 3,680,000 kg (8,110,000 lb).
It is to be constructed of stainless steel tanks and structure, holding subcooled liquid methane and liquid oxygen (CH
4/LOX) propellants, powered by ~28 Raptor rocket engines that will provide 72,000 kN (16,000,000 lbf) total liftoff thrust. The specification propellant capacity of Super Heavy was shown as 3,400,000 kg (7,500,000 lb) in May 2020, 3% more than estimated in September 2019.
The Super Heavy external design changed throughout 2019/2020 as the detailed design was iterated and the Raptor engines were tested and achieved higher power levels. In September 2019, a design change for the booster stage to have six fins that serve exclusively:26:25–28:35 as fairings to cover the six landing legs, and four diamond-shaped welded steel grid fins to provide aerodynamic control on descent, was discussed. In August 2020, as the first build of "booster prototype 1" was to get underway, Musk noted that the leg design had been modified to just four landing legs and fins, to improve supersonic engine plume re-circulation margins.
In September 2016, Elon Musk described the possibility of landing the ITS booster on the launch mount. He re-described this concept in September 2017 with the Big Falcon Booster (BFB). In 2019, Musk announced that the booster would initially have landing legs to support the early VTVL development testing of Super Heavy. More recently, Musk had again expressed the long term goal of landing on the launch mount. In December 2020, Musk added the possibility of catching the booster by the grid fins using the launch tower arm, eliminating the need for landing legs entirely and simplifying recovery processes.
Starship is intended to become the primary SpaceX orbital vehicle. SpaceX intends to eventually replace its existing Falcon 9 and SpaceX Dragon 2 fleet with Starship, which is expected to take cargo to orbit at far lower cost than any other existing launch vehicle.:24:50–27:05 In November 2019, Elon Musk estimated that fuel will cost US$900,000 per launch and total launch costs could drop as low as US$2 million.
Starship is an architecture designed to do many diverse spaceflight missions, principally due to the very low marginal cost per mission that the fully-reusable spaceflight vehicles bring to spaceflight technology that were absent in the first six decades after humans put technology into space.:30:10–31:30 Specifically, Starship is designed to be used for:
- Earth-orbit satellite delivery market. In addition to the commercial launch market that SpaceX has been servicing since 2013, the company intends to use Starship to launch the largest portion of its own internet satellite constellation, Starlink, with more than 12,000 satellites intended to be launched by 2026, more than six times the total number of active satellites on orbit in 2018. An orbital launch of Starship could place ~400 Starlink satellites into orbit with a single launch, whereas the Falcon 9 flights in 2019-2020 can launch only ~60.
- Long-duration spaceflights to outer space, beyond the earth-moon system.
- Sending crew such as space tourists to the International Space Station, the Lunar Gateway, and other orbital installations.
- Mars transportation, both as cargo ships as well as passenger-carrying transport.
- Long-duration flights to the outer planets of the Solar System, for cargo and astronauts.
- Reusable lunar lander, for use transporting astronauts and cargo to and from the Moon's surface and Gateway in lunar orbit via Starship Human Landing System (Starship HLS); as well as more advanced heavy cargo lunar use cases that are envisioned by SpaceX but are not any part of the HLS variant that NASA has contracted with SpaceX for early design work.:13:34–20:10
- Long-haul Earth transport
In 2017, SpaceX mentioned the theoretical possibility of using Starship to carry passengers on suborbital flights between two points on Earth. Any two points on Earth could be connected in under one hour, providing commercial long-haul transport competing with long-range aircraft. SpaceX however announced no concrete plans to pursue the two stage "Earth-to-Earth" use case.
Over two years later, in May 2019, Musk floated the idea of using single-stage Starship to travel up to 10,000 km (6,200 mi) on Earth-to-Earth flights at speeds approaching Mach 20 (25,000 km/h; 15,000 mph) with an acceptable payload saying it "dramatically improves cost, complexity and ease of operations". In June 2020, Musk estimated that Earth-to-Earth test flights could begin in "2 or 3 years", i.e. 2022 or 2023, and that planning was underway for "floating superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, Moon and hypersonic travel around Earth".
SpaceX has been developing the Starship with private funding, including the Raptor rocket engine used on both stages of the vehicle, since 2012. In 2020, SpaceX has contracted with NASA to do limited early design work for 10 months on a human lunar lander variant Starship—Starship HLS—that might be used to land astronauts on the lunar surface as part of the NASA Artemis program after 2024.
The development work on the new two-stage launch vehicle design is privately funded by SpaceX. The entire project is possible only as a result of SpaceX's multi-faceted approach focusing on the reduction of launch costs.
The full build-out of the Mars colonization plans was envisioned by Musk in 2016 to be funded by both private and public funds. The speed of commercially available Mars transport for both cargo and humans will be driven, in large part, by market demand as well as constrained by the technology development and development funding.
In 2016, SpaceX CEO Musk said that the company had no expectation of receiving NASA contracts for any of the development work SpaceX was doing. He also indicated that such contracts, if received, would be good.
In 2017, the company settled on a 9-meter diameter design and commenced procuring equipment for vehicle manufacturing operations. In late 2018, they switched the design from carbon composite materials for the main structures to stainless steel, further lowering build costs. By late 2019, SpaceX projected that, with company private investment funding, including contractual funds from Yusaku Maezawa who had recently contracted for a private lunar mission in 2023, they have sufficient funds to advance the Earth-orbit and lunar-orbit extent of flight operations, although they may raise additional funds in order "to go to the Moon or landing on Mars".
Beginning in 2019, SpaceX began to offer specific services to potential future customers using Starship/Super Heavy/Raptor technology, and such product offerings have resulted in revenue to the company from this line of technologies. In June 2019, SpaceX indicated they could potentially launch commercial payloads using Starship as early as 2021, which often results in the recognition of revenue before a flight is launched. In April 2020, NASA announced they would pay SpaceX US$135 million for design and initial development over a 10-month design period of a variation of the Starship second-stage vehicle and spaceship—a "Starship Human Landing System", or Starship HLS—as one of the potential Lunar human landing systems for the NASA Artemis program; NASA is paying US$579 million and US$253 million to other contractors developing competing lunar landing designs. In October 2020, NASA awarded SpaceX US$53.2 million to conduct a large scale flight demonstration[when?] to transfer 10 metric tons of cryogenic propellant between tanks on the Starship vehicle.
The Starship vehicle design has been criticized for not adequately protecting astronauts from ionizing radiation on Mars missions; Musk has stated that he thinks the transit time to Mars will be too brief to lead to an increased risk of cancer, saying "it's not too big of a deal". The lifetime cancer risk increase caused by the dose incurred on a multi-year Mars mission has been estimated to amount to a 5% increase in total cancer risk, a number which can be greatly reduced through simple shielding measures.
- List of Starship flights
- List of crewed spacecraft
- Mars to Stay – Mars colonization architecture proposing no return vehicles
- Space colonization – Concept of permanent human habitation outside of Earth
- Space exploration – Discovery and exploration of outer space
- Sheetz, Michael (1 September 2020). "Elon Musk says SpaceX's Starship rocket will launch "hundreds of missions" before flying people". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
- Wall, Mike (19 November 2019). "SpaceX's Starship May Fly for Just $2 Million Per Mission, Elon Musk Says". Space.com. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- @elonmusk (16 March 2020). "Slight booster length increase to 70 m, so 120 m for whole system. Liftoff mass ~5000 mT" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Starship". SpaceX. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- @elonmusk (26 September 2019). "Mk1 ship is around 200 tons dry and 1400 tons wet, but aiming for 120 by Mk4 or Mk5. Total stack mass with max payload is 5000 tons" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Starship : service to Earth orbit, Moon, Mars, and beyond". SpaceX. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
- Lawler, Richard. "SpaceX's plan for in-orbit Starship refueling: a second Starship". engadget.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
- Foust, Jeff (1 September 2020). "Musk emphasizes progress in Starship production over testing". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Elon Musk (29 September 2017). Becoming a Multiplanet Species (video). 68th annual meeting of the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia: SpaceX. Retrieved 14 December 2017 – via YouTube.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Musk, Elon (17 September 2018). First Private Passenger on Lunar BFR Mission. SpaceX. Retrieved 18 September 2018 – via YouTube.
- Cummings, Nick (11 June 2020). Human Landing System: Putting Boots Back on the Moon. American Astronautical Society. Retrieved 12 June 2020 – via YouTube.
- Boyle, Alan (19 November 2018). "Goodbye, BFR... hello, Starship: Elon Musk gives a classic name to his Mars spaceship". GeekWire. Archived from the original on 28 December 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
Starship is the spaceship/upper stage and Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth's deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons)
- Berger, Eric (29 September 2019). "Elon Musk, Man of Steel, reveals his stainless Starship". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 28 December 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- Berger, Eric (15 May 2019). "SpaceX plans to A/B test its Starship rocketship builds". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 19 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- Gray, Tyler (28 May 2019). "SpaceX ramps up operations in South Texas as Hopper tests loom". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- Foust, Jeff (9 December 2020). "Starship prototype makes first high-altitude flight, explodes upon landing". SpaceNews. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- Berger, Eric (9 December 2020). "So, it turns out SpaceX is pretty good at rocketing". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- Clark, Stephen (5 August 2020). "SpaceX clears big hurdle on next-gen Starship rocket program". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 6 August 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- Henry, Caleb (28 June 2019). "SpaceX targets 2021 commercial Starship launch". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 23 July 2020. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- "SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics will build human lunar landers for NASA's next trip back to the Moon". techcrunch.com. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- Baylor, Michael (21 September 2019). "Elon Musk's upcoming Starship presentation to mark 12 months of rapid progress". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 21 June 2020. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
While the names of the vehicles have changed numerous times over the years, the spacecraft is currently called Starship with its first stage booster called Super Heavy.
- "Starship Users Guide, Revision 1.0, March 2020" (PDF). SpaceX. March 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
SpaceX's Starship system represents a fully reusable transportation system designed to service Earth orbit needs as well as missions to the Moon and Mars. This two-stage vehicle – composed of the Super Heavy rocket (booster) and Starship (spacecraft)
- Jeff Foust (14 November 2005). "Big plans for SpaceX". The Space Review. Archived from the original on 24 November 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
- https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2005/11/spacex-set-maiden-flight-goals/ SPACEX set maiden flight – goals] Archived 31 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine, NASASpaceFlight.com, 18 November 2005, accessed 31 January 2019.
- Steve Schaefer (6 June 2013). "SpaceX IPO Cleared For Launch? Elon Musk Says Hold Your Horses". Forbes. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Foust, Jeff (29 September 2017). "Musk unveils revised version of giant interplanetary launch system". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 8 October 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
- William Harwood (29 September 2017). "Elon Musk revises Mars plan, hopes for boots on ground in 2024". Spaceflight Now. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
The new rocket is still known as the BFR, a euphemism for 'Big (fill-in-the-blank) Rocket'. The reusable BFR will use 31 Raptor engines burning densified, or super-cooled, liquid methane and liquid oxygen to lift 150 tons, or 300,000 pounds, to low Earth orbit, roughly equivalent to NASA's Saturn V Moon rocket.
- "Artist's Rendering of the BFR". SpaceX. 12 April 2017. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Mike Wall. "What's in a Name? SpaceX's 'BFR' Mars Rocket Acronym Explained". space.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Heath, Chris (12 December 2015). "Elon Musk Is Ready to Conquer Mars". gq.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- Fernholz, Tim (20 March 2018). Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 244. ISBN 978-1328662231. Archived from the original on 22 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
SpaceX would build a huge rocket: the BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket – or, more crudely among staff, the Big Fucking Rocket
- Slezak, Michael; Solon, Olivia (29 September 2017). "Elon Musk: SpaceX can colonise Mars and build moon base". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Burgess, Matt (29 September 2017). "Elon Musk's Big Fucking Rocket to Mars is his most ambitious yet". Wired UK. London: Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on 12 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Space Tourists will have to wait as SpaceX plans bigger rocket Archived 19 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Stu Clark, The Guardian, 8 February 2018
- "Making Life Multiplanetary: Abridged transcript of Elon Musk's presentation to the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia" (PDF). SpaceX. September 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- SpaceX signs its first passenger to fly aboard the Big Falcon Rocket Moon mission Archived 15 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine CatchNews, 14 September 2018
- Dave Mosher (24 December 2018). "Elon Musk: SpaceX to launch a Starship spaceship prototype this spring". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 15 January 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- Dave Mosher (19 November 2018). "NASA 'will eventually retire' its new mega-rocket if SpaceX, Blue Origin can safely launch their own powerful rockets". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on 15 January 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- Matthew Broersma (28 December 2018). "SpaceX Starts Construction of Mars Rocket Prototype". Silicon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 January 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- Lawler, Richard (20 November 2018). "SpaceX BFR has a new name: Starship". engadget.com. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Here are four things we learned from Elon Musk before the first Falcon Heavy launch". 5 February 2018. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
- "Huge Mars Colony Eyed by SpaceX Founder". Discovery News. 13 December 2012. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- Bergin, Chris (29 August 2014). "Battle of the Heavyweight Rockets -- SLS could face Exploration Class rival". NASAspaceflight.com. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
- Berger, Eric (18 September 2016). "Elon Musk scales up his ambitions, considering going "well beyond" Mars". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- Eric Ralph (14 September 2018). "SpaceX has signed a private passenger for the first BFR launch around the Moon". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- "Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Send Yusaku Maezawa (and Artists!) to the Moon". Wired. 18 September 2018. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- D'Agostino, Ryan (22 January 2019). "Elon Musk: Why I'm Building the Starship out of Stainless Steel". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (22 May 2019). "3 sea level optimized Raptors, 3 vacuum optimized Raptors (big nozzle)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Berger, Eric (26 July 2019). "SpaceX's Starship prototype has taken flight for the first time". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 4 August 2019. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- Foust, Jeff (27 August 2019). "SpaceX's Starhopper completes test flight". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
- "SpaceX's Starship is a new kind of rocket, in every sense". The Economist. 5 October 2019. Archived from the original on 11 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Wall, Mike (30 September 2019). "'Totally Nuts'? Elon Musk Aims to Put a Starship in Orbit in 6 Months. Here's SpaceX's Plan". Space.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Eric Ralph (2 December 2019). "SpaceX Starship hardware mystery solved amid reports of Florida factory upheaval". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 3 December 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Musk, Elon (2 March 2020). "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". @elonmusk. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- Jeff Foust. "Third Starship prototype destroyed in tanking test". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
- Musk, Elon (9 March 2020). "SN2 (with thrust puck) passed cryo pressure and engine thrust load tests late last night". @elonmusk. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- "Starship SN3 failure due to bad commanding. SN4 already under construction". NASASpaceFlight.com. 5 April 2020. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
- Ralph, Eric. "SpaceX's Starship rocket just breathed fire for the first time (and survived)". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 7 May 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- "SpaceX's Starship explosion explained by Elon Musk". teslarati.com. 2 June 2020. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020.
- Baylor, Chris. "LAUNCH! Starship SN5 has launched on a 150 meter test hop at SpaceX Boca Chica. Under the power of Raptor SN27, SN5 has conducted what looks like a successful flight!". twitter.com. NasaSpaceFlight. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- Musk, Elon. "Mostly 304L, some 301. Broke at 301 to 304 interface. SN9 will be all 304. Also, we're making some tweaks to the 304 alloy mixture". twitter.com. elonmusk. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
- Sheetz, Michael (7 June 2020). "Elon Musk tells SpaceX employees that its Starship rocket is the top priority now". CNBC. Archived from the original on 9 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
- Sheetz, Michael (19 January 2021). "SpaceX bought two former Valaris oil rigs to build floating launchpads for its Starship rocket". CNBC. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Burghardt, Thomas (19 January 2021). "SpaceX acquires former oil rigs to serve as floating Starship spaceports". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- Mosher, Dave (16 June 2020). "Elon Musk: 'SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports' for its Starship rocket to reach the moon, Mars, and fly passengers around Earth". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- Starship SN8 High-Altitude Flight Recap (video). SpaceX. 23 December 2020. Event occurs at 1:29. Retrieved 24 December 2020 – via YouTube.
- @elonmusk (9 December 2020). "Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Sheetz, Michael (2 February 2021). "SpaceX's Starship prototype again explodes on landing attempt after successful launch". CNBC. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
- Elon Musk (28 September 2019). Starship Update (video). SpaceX. Event occurs at 1:45. Retrieved 30 September 2019 – via YouTube.
- Musk, Elon (1 March 2018). "Making Life Multi-Planetary". New Space. 6 (1): 2–11. Bibcode:2018NewSp...6....2M. doi:10.1089/space.2018.29013.emu.
- berger, Eric (5 March 2020). "Inside Elon Musk's plan to build one Starship a week and settle Mars". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
Musk tackles the hardest engineering problems first. For Mars, there will be so many logistical things to make it all work, from power on the surface to scratching out a living to adapting to its extreme climate. But Musk believes that the initial, hardest step is building a reusable, orbital Starship to get people and tons of stuff to Mars. So he is focused on that.
- Elon Musk wants to move fast with SpaceX's Starship Archived 1 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine. Stephen Clarke, Space Flight Now, 29 September 2019.
- SpaceX's Big Starship Reveal Raised More Questions Than Answers. Archived 5 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine Jonathan O'Callaghan, Forbes, 30 September 2019
- Elon Musk Unveils His Starship, Plans to Fly It in a Matter of Months. Archived 8 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine Joel Hruska, Extreme Tech, 30 September 2019
- "Orbital refilling is critical for high payload to moon or Mars. Initially just Starship to Starship, later dedicated tankers". Archived 5 September 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Elon Musk, Twitter, 21 July 2019, accessed 22 July 2019.
- Paul Wooster (20 October 2019). SpaceX - Mars Society Convention 2019 (video). Event occurs at 47:30-49:00. Retrieved 25 October 2019 – via YouTube.
Vehicle is designed to be able to land at the Earth, Moon or Mars. Depending on which ... the ratio of the energy dissipated aerodynamically vs. propulsively is quite different. In the case of the Moon, it's entirely propulsive. ... Earth: over 99.9% of the energy is removed aerodynamically ... Mars: over 99% of the energy is being removed aerodynamically at Mars.
- @elonmusk (5 August 2020). "We will do several short hops to smooth out launch process, then go high altitude with body flaps" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 6 August 2020 – via Twitter.
- "UPCOMING TEST : Starship high-altitude flight test". spacex.com. 7 December 2020. Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
- Wang, Brian (31 August 2019). "SpaceX Orbital Starship Aiming for 20 Kilometer Flight in October and Orbital Attempt After". Next Big Future. Archived from the original on 5 January 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
- A conversation with Elon Musk about Starship Archived 1 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Tim Dodd, 1 October 2019, accessed 12 June 2020
- https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1015648140341403648 Archived 2 June 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Elon Musk, 18 July 2018, accessed 12 June 2020
- "Starship users guide" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
- Ralph, Eric (1 April 2019). "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk proposes Starship, Starlink tech for Solar System tour". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
- Ralph, Eric (24 December 2018). "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk: Starship prototype to have 3 Raptors and "mirror finish"". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
- Ralph, Eric. "SpaceX tests ceramic Starship heat shield tiles on Starhopper's final flight test". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 24 September 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- Could do it, but we developed low cost reusable tiles that are much lighter than transpiration cooling and quite robust Archived 24 September 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Elon Musk, 24 September 2019, accessed 24 September 2019
- Thin tiles on windward side of ship and nothing on leeward or anywhere on booster looks like lightest option Archived 11 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Elon Musk, 24 July 2019, accessed 25 July 2019
- Gebhardt, Chris (3 April 2019). "Starhopper conducts Raptor Static Fire test". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
- SpaceX Starship Will "Bleed Water" From Tiny Holes, Says Elon Musk Archived 24 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine. Kristin Houser, Futurism. 22 January 2019.
- Eric Ralph (23 January 2019). "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk explains Starship's "transpiring" steel heat shield in Q&A". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- Cummings, Nick (11 June 2020). Human Landing System: Putting Boots Back on the Moon. American Astronautical Society. Event occurs at 35:00–36:02. Retrieved 12 June 2020 – via YouTube.
for the terminal descent of Starship, a few tens of meters before we touch down on the lunar surface, we actually use a high-thrust RCS system, so that we don't impinge on the surface of the Moon with the high=thrust Raptor engines. ... uses the same methane and oxygen propellants as Raptor.
- Musk, Elon. "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". twitter.com. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020.
- "NASA Selects Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX Human Landers for Artemis". NASASpaceFlight.com. 1 May 2020. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- Potter, Sean (30 April 2020). "NASA Names Companies to Develop Human Landers for Artemis Missions". NASA. Archived from the original on 11 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- NextSTEP H: Human Landing System, NASA, 27 January 2021, retrieved 31 January 2021.
- Berger, Eric (30 April 2020). "NASA awards lunar lander contracts to Blue Origin, Dynetics—and Starship". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 13 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
Bergin, Chris (9 December 2020). "From hops to hopes – Starship SN8 advances test program into the next phase". Nasa Spaceflight. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
Challenges with any test program can be expected. However, coupled with SpaceX's allowance for failures as part of its "Test, Fly, Fail, Fix" mantra, such setbacks have not proven to be critical in Starship's advances.
- Dodd, Tim (10 November 2020). "Starship SN8 &7c; 12.5-kilometer hop". Everyday Astronaut. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
Arevalo, Evelyn (26 January 2021). "SpaceX pressure tests the Starship SN7.2 tank at the South Texas Launch Site". Tesmania. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
Today, January 26, SpaceX is testing a Starship propellant dome tank known as 'SN7.2', at the Boca Chica Beach launch pad. January 26 UPDATE: Elon Musk shares SN7.2 Passed initial pressure test.
- Commercial Space Transportation Experimental Permit -- Experimental Permit Number: EP19-012, FAA, 21 June 2019, accessed 29 June 2019 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Ralph, Eric (12 March 2019). "SpaceX begins static Starhopper tests as Raptor engine arrives on schedule". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 6 January 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Gebhardt, Chris (18 March 2019). "Starhopper first flight as early as this week; Starship/Superheavy updates". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Musk, Elon (6 February 2020). "Unmodified water tower machines do not work well for orbital rockets, as mass efficiency is critical for the latter, but not the former. Hopper, for example, was made of 12.5 mm steel versus 4 mm for SN1 orbital design. Optimized skins will be". @elonmusk. Archived from the original on 8 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- Berger, Eric (8 January 2019). "Here's why Elon Musk is tweeting constantly about a stainless-steel starship". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- Baylor, Michael (2 June 2019). "SpaceX readying Starhopper for hops in Texas as Pad 39A plans materialize in Florida". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
- Burghardt, Thomas (25 July 2019). "Starhopper successfully conducts debut Boca Chica Hop". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
- Jeff Foust (15 October 2017). "Musk offers more technical details on BFR system". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
[The] spaceship portion of the BFR, which would transport people on point-to-point suborbital flights or on missions to the moon or Mars, will be tested on Earth first in a series of short hops. ... a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers altitude and lateral distance ... fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don't need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.
- Foust, Jeff (12 March 2018). "Musk reiterates plans for testing BFR". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
Construction of the first prototype spaceship is in progress. "We are actually building that ship right now", he said. "I think we will probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year'
- "SpaceX's Starship hopper steps towards first hop with several cautious tests". Teslarati. 29 March 2019. Archived from the original on 30 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- Foust, Jeff (24 December 2018). "Musk teases new details about redesigned next-generation launch system". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 22 August 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "FAA | Commercial Space Data | Permitted Launches". FAA. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 7 August 2019. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Starship Hopper Causes Massive Fire!!!". Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019 – via www.youtube.com.
- Baylor, Michael (27 August 2019). "SpaceX's Starhopper completes 150 meter test hop". NASASpaceFlight. Archived from the original on 2 December 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (22 December 2018). "We're building subsections of the Starship Mk1 orbital design there in [San Pedro]" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (10 January 2019). "Should be done with first orbital prototype around June" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (22 May 2019). "Mk1 and Mk2 ships at Boca and Cape Canaveral will fly with at least three engines, maybe all six" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Kanter, Jake (11 January 2019). "Elon Musk released a photo of his latest rocket, and it already delivers on his promise of looking like liquid silver". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 12 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
- 'Totally Nuts'? Elon Musk Aims to Put a Starship in Orbit in 6 Months. Here's SpaceX's Plan. Archived 1 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine Mike Wall, Space.com, 30 September 2019
- "Watch SpaceX's Starship Mk1 partially explode during test". cnn.com. 21 November 2019. Archived from the original on 23 November 2019. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
- Grush, Loren (20 November 2019). "SpaceX's prototype Starship rocket partially bursts during testing in Texas". The Verge. Archived from the original on 21 November 2019. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
- Spaceflight, Mike Wall 2019-11-20T23:16:59Z. "SpaceX's 1st Full-Size Starship Prototype Suffers Anomaly in Pressure Test". space.com. Archived from the original on 21 November 2019. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
- "SpaceX's Starship SN1 prototype appears to burst during pressure test". Archived from the original on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
- "Starship SN3 failure due to bad commanding. SN4 already under construction". NASASpaceFlight. 5 April 2020. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
- "Starship passes key pressurization test". spacenews.com. 27 April 2020. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 September 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Starship SN8 High-Altitude Flight Recap". YouTube. SpaceX. 23 December 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- Bergin, Chris (25 October 2020). "Starship SN8 preparing for a second Static Fire test". Archived from the original on 29 October 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
Ralph, Eric (30 December 2020). "SpaceX's next Starship gets frosty to prepare for first launch". Teslarati. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
... what is generally known as an ambient temperature pressure test, filling Starship SN9's propellant tanks with benign air-temperature nitrogen gas. Used to check for leaks, verify basic vehicle valve and plumbing performance, and ensure a basic level of structural integrity ... SpaceX started loading its oxygen and methane tanks with liquid nitrogen around 2:30 pm CST (UTC-6). While used similarly to verify structural integrity like an ambient pressure test, a 'cryo proof' adds the challenge of thermal stresses to ensure that Starship can safely load, hold, and offload supercool liquids. ... In a first, Starship SN9 was transported to the launch pad last week with two of three central Raptor engines already installed and had that missing third engine installed within a few days of arrival. SN9 is also the first Starship to attempt its first proof tests with any Raptor – let alone three – installed.
Ralph, Eric (15 January 2021). "SpaceX returns to Starship program roots with new 'test tank' prototype". Teslarati. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
... went through similar testing but included the use of a hydraulic ram designed to simulate the thrust of one, two, or three Raptors on the 'thrust puck' those engines would otherwise attach to.
Leman, Jennifer (27 April 2020). "SpaceX's Starship Prototype Finally Nailed a Crucial Test". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
... the tank had aced its cryogenic proof test—a feat that has eluded previous full-scale prototypes.
- "Starship SN8 12.5-Kilometer hop". Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Berger, Eric (26 July 2019). "SpaceX's Starship prototype has taken flight for the first time". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
- Baylor, Michael (27 August 2019). "SpaceX's Starhopper completes 150 meter test hop". NASASpaceFlight. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- "SpaceX Starhopper Rocket Prototype Aces Highest (and Final) Test Flight". space.com. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- 150 Meter Starhopper Test. SpaceX. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019 – via YouTube.
- Mosher, Dave (7 August 2019). "SpaceX may cannibalize its first Mars rocket-ship prototype in Elon Musk's race to launch Starship". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Ralph, Eric (27 August 2019). "SpaceX scrubs Starhopper's final Raptor-powered flight as Elon Musk talks finicky igniters". Teslarati. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Ralph, Eric (4 August 2020). "SpaceX Starship leaps towards Mars with picture-perfect hop debut". Teslarati. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
- @NASASpaceflight (4 August 2020). "LAUNCH! Starship SN5 has launched on a 150 meter test hop at SpaceX Boca Chica" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Baylor, Michael (4 August 2020). "Starship SN5 conducts successful 150-meter flight test". NASASpaceflight. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
- @thesheetztweetz (30 July 2020). "SpaceX test fires its Starship prototype SN5" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Clark, Stephen (5 August 2020). "SpaceX clears big hurdle on next-gen Starship rocket program". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- @NASASpaceflight (3 September 2020). "IGNITION! Starship SN6 Hop Test! Under the power of Raptor SN29, SN6 has completed a near-mirror test of SN5's hop! SUCCESS Again!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @elonmusk (8 August 2020). "[In regards to the future flight of SN5] Not sure yet, but hopefully. Will need leg and other repairs. Probably SN6 flies before SN5. We need to make flights simple and easy — many per day" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "SN6 begins test campaign as future Starships hatch plans for SpaceX's next leap". nasaspaceflight.com. 16 August 2020.
- @elonmusk (3 September 2020). "Starship SN6 flew a similar hop to SN5, but it was a much smoother and faster operation" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @NASASpaceflight (23 August 2020). "STATIC FIRE! Starship SN6 fires up Raptor SN29 at Boca Chica!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "NOTAM". Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- @elonmusk (12 September 2020). "SN8 Starship with flaps and nosecone should be done in about a week. Then static fire, checkouts, static fire, fly to 60,000 ft and back" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @elonmusk (26 September 2020). "Nosecone and front flaps next week. SN9 next month. First flight is to 12.5 km or ~39,400 ft" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Bergin, Chris (9 December 2020). "From hops to hopes - Starship SN8 advances test program into the next phase". NASASpaceFlight.com. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
- @elonmusk (9 December 2020). "Successful ascent, switchover to header tanks & precise flap control to landing point!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Bergin, Chris (18 October 2020). "Starship SN8 pressing to Static Fire and nosecone installation firsts". NASASpaceflight. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
- @elonmusk (14 October 2020). "Will be less roomy with 3 vacuum rocket engines added [Image of the bottom of SN8 with 3 raptors installed]" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @elonmusk (9 December 2020). "Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Cotton, Ethan. "Starship SN9: 10 kilometer flight". Everyday Astronaut. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- What's really going on with Elon Musk, the FAA, and Starship?, Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 29 January 2021, retrieved 30 January 2021.
- Starship SN9 High-Altitude Flight Test (YouTube). SpaceX. 2 February 2021.
- SpaceX (21 January 2021). "Starship SN9 High-Altitude Flight Test". flickr.com. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
View of SN9 engine bay, showing Raptor SN45
- Baylor, Michael. "Starship SN9 History". nextspaceflight. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
- What's holding up the next test of SpaceX's Starship? Elon Musk blames the FAA., Washington Post, 28 January 2021, accessed 30 January 2021.
- Bergin, Chris (28 January 2021). "Starship SN9 fails to gain FAA green light for Friday attempt". NASA Space Flight. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
- @DJSnM (2 February 2021). "One of the engines never lit and there wasn't enough thrust to stop in time:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Starship SN9 High-Altitude Flight Test". 2 February 2021. Archived from the original on 2 February 2021.
- Cotton, Ethan (22 February 2021). "When will SN10 launch? Live Updates". Everyday Astronaut. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
- Baylor, Michael. "Starship SN10 History". Next Spaceflight. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
- Malik, Tariq (29 January 2021). "SpaceX has two Starship prototypes on the pad at the same time". Space.com. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
- "Starship SN10 Static Fires, but requires engine swap – Super Heavy waiting in the wings". 22 February 2021.
- Mack, Eric. "Elon Musk: SpaceX starting on 'Super Heavy' booster for Starship rocket bound for Mars". cnet.com. Archived from the original on 8 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- Groh, Jamie. "SpaceX debuts Starship's new Super Heavy booster design". teslarati.com. Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
- Musk, Elon (17 March 2019). "Full size". Archived from the original on 22 June 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- "Elon Musk: Super Heavy will have 31 engines, not 37". twitter.com. Archived from the original on 8 May 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
- Musk, Elon (23 May 2019). "First flights would have fewer, so as to risk less loss of hardware. Probably around 20". Archived from the original on 21 September 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (3 October 2019). "Welded steel" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Groh, Jamie (28 September 2019). "SpaceX debuts Starship's new Super Heavy booster design". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- "Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (30 August 2020). "Booster design has shifted to four legs with a wider stance (to avoid engine plume impingement in vacuum), rather than six" (Tweet)". twitter.com. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- Elon Musk (28 September 2016). "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species". SpaceX. Archived from the original on 9 January 2020. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- Gaynor, Phillip (9 August 2018). "The Evolution of the Big Falcon Rocket". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- Jeff Foust (15 October 2017). "Musk offers more technical details on BFR system". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
[Musk wrote,] "The flight engine design is much lighter and tighter, and is extremely focused on reliability"
- Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (26 March 2019). "Yes, otherwise propellant usage for an atmospheric entry would be very high and/or center of mass would need to be very tightly constrained. Yes, but we're going to skip that at first to avoid fragging launch pads" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (7 February 2019). "Prob wise for version 1 to have legs or we will frag a lot of launch pads" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "SpaceX Super Heavy block 1 will have landing legs as Starship". Archived from the original on 1 September 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
- Ralph, Eric (30 December 2020). "SpaceX Starship boosters could forgo landings entirely, says Elon Musk". Teslarati. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
- Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (30 December 2020). "We're going to try to catch the Super Heavy Booster with the launch tower arm, using the grid fins to take the load" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (30 December 2020). "[Catching SuperHeavy] saves mass & cost of legs & enables immediate repositioning of booster on to launch mount — ready to refly in under an hour" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Ralph, Eric (9 November 2020). "SpaceX begins assembling first Starship Super Heavy booster in South Texas". Teslarati. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
- "SpaceX aims to conduct the first orbital Starship test flight in 2021". 5 September 2020.
- Chris Gebhardt (29 September 2017). "The Moon, Mars, and around the Earth – Musk updates BFR architecture, plans". Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "Elon Musk says SpaceX's Starship could fly for as little as $2 million per launch". 6 November 2019. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- Smith, Rich (8 December 2018). "A Renamed BFR Could Be Key to SpaceX's Satellite Internet Dream". The Motley Fool. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Elon Musk [@elonmusk] (12 May 2018). "SpaceX will prob build 30 to 40 rocket cores for ~300 missions over 5 years. Then BFR takes over and Falcon retires. The goal of BFR is to enable anyone to move to the moon, Mars, and eventually outer planets" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Sheetz, Michael (18 March 2019). "Super fast travel using outer space could be $20 billion market, disrupting airlines, UBS predicts". CNBC. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- Elon Musk (28 September 2017). Starship | Earth to Earth (video). SpaceX. Event occurs at 1:45. Retrieved 30 March 2019 – via YouTube.
- Neil Strauss (15 November 2017). "Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 11 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- Ralph, Eric (30 May 2019). "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to use Starships as Earth-to-Earth transports". Teslarati. Archived from the original on 30 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- Mosher, Dave (16 June 2020). "Elon Musk: 'SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports' for its Starship rocket to reach the moon, Mars, and fly passengers around Earth". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- Bergin, Chris; Gebhardt, Chris (27 September 2016). "SpaceX reveals ITS Mars game changer via colonization plan". NASASpaceFlight. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- "Marcia Smith on Twitter: "Musk: no expectation of any future NASA contracts. If get them good, if not, not so good, but no expectation"". 27 September 2016. Archived from the original on 2 September 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
- Hall, Loura (13 October 2020). "2020 NASA Tipping Point Selections". NASA. Archived from the original on 19 October 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- The biggest lingering questions about SpaceX's Mars colonization plans Archived 27 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Loren Grush, The Verge. 28 September 2016. Quote: "The radiation thing is often brought up, but I think it's not too big of a deal".
- SpaceX is quietly planning Mars-landing missions with the help of NASA and other spaceflight experts. It's about time. Archived 6 March 2019 at the Wayback Machine Dave Mosher, Business Insider. 11 August 2018. Quote: "Keeping the human body healthy in space is another challenge that Porterfield said SpaceX needs to figure out".
- Elon Musk's future Starship updates could use more details on human health and survival. Archived 8 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine Loren Grush, The Verge. 4 October 2019,
- Elon Musk's Starship may be more moral catastrophe than bold step in space exploration. Archived 27 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine Samantha Rolfe, University of Hertfordshire, The Conversation. 2 October 2019. Quote: "I'm not sure that it is fair or ethical to expect astronauts to be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation that could leave them with considerable health problems—or worse, imminent death".
- The first Mars settlers may get blasted with radiation levels 8 times higher than government limits allow. Archived 10 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine Skye Gould and Dave Mosher, Business Insider. Quote: "Ambient radiation damage is not significant for our transit times" - Elon Musk.
- SpaceX's Elon Musk explains how his big rocket's short hops will lead to giant leaps. Archived 10 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine Alan Boyle, Geek Wire. 14 October 2019. Quote: "Ambient radiation damage is not significant for our transit times", Musk replied. "Just need a solar storm shelter, which is a small part of the ship".
- December 2013, Mike Wall 09. "Radiation on Mars 'Manageable' for Manned Mission, Curiosity Rover Reveals". Space.com. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SpaceX Starship.|