Everyday Astronaut Releases Second Video Of SpaceX Starbase Facility Tour With Elon Musk

Everyday Astronaut Releases Second Video Of SpaceX Starbase Facility Tour With Elon Musk

Everyday Astronaut, Tim Dodd, is a space communicator who makes elaborate rocket science videos on YouTube to teach space enthusiasts how launch vehicles work. He also makes interesting videos about spaceflight history and space launch events. Dodd has gained fame for his vast knowledge and efficiency to teach complex subjects through videos. His hard work has gained him recognition from many people in the aerospace industry, including former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Dodd had the opportunity to interview them when SpaceX returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States in 2020. This year, Everyday Astronaut, had the chance to interview Musk again. He got an exclusive first-look at the SpaceX Starbase facility where the aerospace company is developing the Starship launch system at Boca Chica Beach, Texas. Dodd created a three-part video series of the SpaceX Starbase tour with Elon Musk.

SpaceX is working to prepare Super Heavy Booster 4 and Starship SN20 for a debut orbital flight test during which they will launch the vehicle from South Texas to orbit then splashdown off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, in the Pacific Ocean. During the tour, Dodd caught a glimpse of workers preparing the vehicle. He released Part 1 of the interview on his Everyday Astronaut YouTube channel on August 3. In less than four days the video has been viewed over 1.8 million times! One of the interesting things mentioned in Part 1 is that Starship Super Heavy’s grid fins are enormous, weigh around 3 tonnes, and are electrically powered, controlled by modified Tesla Model 3 motor. Musk also said that they have to decrease the vehicles dry mass because currently it is ‘super’ heavy (pun intended). He also said that the hardest part about designing a rocket is doing it in a cost-friendly manner. “Humanity will be a multi-planet species, if we get the cost per ton to orbit to a point where we can afford to become a space race civilization and a multiplanet species,” he said.

On Saturday, August 7, Everyday Astronaut released Part 2 of his Starbase tour with Musk. In this video, he got an exclusive look inside SpaceX’s tent structures/factory buildings. The first tent Dodd walked into hosts dozens of Raptor engines that were installed to the Super Heavy rocket this past week. Musk said that the next iteration of the Raptor engine will look very different from the one they use today. Dodd and Musk briefly discuss NASA’s Space Shuttle among other technical details to improve spaceflight safety.

Photo credit: Everyday Astronaut 

Musk also showed him a second tent where engineers build portions of the Starship spacecraft, including where they install Starship’s Thermal Protection System (TPS). He shared that workers use a mechanical system to attach the ceramic TPS heat shield to the stainless-steel Starship. They want to test if the ceramic heat tiles will expand or shrink when Starship reenters Earth’s atmosphere and see how they could improve that. Musk said they will add cameras and sensors to Starship SN20 to see if anything goes wrong during the orbital flight to improve aspects of the spacecraft.

Musk also said they do not plan to recover SN20 during the first orbital flight. “…For the first orbital launch our goal is to make it to orbit without blowing up,” Musk told Dodd, “And frankly, […] if the booster does its job and something goes wrong with the ship, I will still count that as great progress,” he said. “To be totally frank, if it takes off without blowing off the stand, Stage Zero, which is much harder to replace than the booster – that will be a victory. So, ‘please do not blow up on the stand,’” Musk added. He explained that ‘Stage Zero’ is the launch pad support structures, which include the launch tower, mount, propellant tanks, flame diverter system, among many other things surrounding the launch pad. Musk said Stage Zero is much harder to build than a ship and booster. You can watch the full 1-hour video to learn more details, linked below, courtesy of Everyday Astronaut via YouTube.

VIDEO: Elon Musk SpaceX Starbase Facility Tour – Part 2





Featured Image Source: Everyday Astronaut via YouTube

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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