As part of the U.S. military’s industrial base, SpaceX is one of the US’ critical manufacturing sectors, thus is exempted from lockdown. Everything is going as planned. Well, not quite, since the third Starship space vehicle collapsed.
Last Friday, at the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas, prototype SN3 surrendered under cryogenic liquid nitrogen pressure. Last week was the due date for Starship to reach orbit, as Musk declared he wanted last September.
Although SN3 behaved under ambient temperatures and next week was expected to get to the next phase of a test-firing of its propulsion system, the liquid nitrogen got the best of it. it’s SpaceX third prototype that can’t hold the pressure.
On November 20, Mk1 exploded under similar circumstances. Then it was time for SN1 to follow the same course on February 28th. A “thrust puck” was to blame for that second failure.
Future SpaceX plans
SN4 is already under construction at the company’s facility in South Texas. Let’s hope the fourth prototype will be luckier than its predecessors.
Also, SpaceX is building a new headquarters in Los Angeles. Starship spacecraft will use Kennedy Space Center in Florida as a launching point.
Super Heavy will be able to deliver into low-orbit no less than 100 metric tons of payloads. And 21 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit. SpaceX is also currently developing an in-orbit refueling system. That’s a gas station that will allow Starship to take that 100 metric tones of payloads to the Moon’s surface or Mars’s.
And the wildest dream of all is to transport people on the Moon or to Mars. About 100 people will enjoy a luxurious trip to space. “The crew configuration of SpaceX Starship includes private cabins, large common areas, centralized storage, solar storm shelters, and a viewing gallery,” says the first Starship payload user’s guide.