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SpaceX's Starship Career Day event took place yesterday at their launch facility located in Texas' Boca Chica Beach. Hundreds showed up with the dream to be part of the Mars colonization effort. Elon Musk, Chief Engineer and Founder of SpaceX was present. He talked to a local television news reporter about the stainless-steel Starship flight vehicle that is under construction sharing that he has been working at Boca Chica's assembly factory alongside SpaceX teams for weeks at a time, "I work in the factory and go sleep in the little village over there," referring to a very small community that is isolated and neighboring the SpaceX facility.
"As you can see we are building a real production facility for Starship and great progress," he said. Production is moving quickly, during the job fair employees where actively building structures at the assembly site. The job fair aimed to hire production crews to fill up four shifts for 24/7 operations that will speed up production more in order to have a fully assembled Starship SN1 ready by March or April. SN1 will be the first Starship prototype to perform high-altitude flights starting at 20 kilometers. The first production line of Starship will be a series of stainless-steel prototypes.
The final version of Starship will have the capacity of carrying 100 humans and has an integrated payload section that can carry over 100 tons. It will stand 50 meters tall with 9 meters in diameter and have the capability to perform long-duration flights, with propellant capacity of up to 1,200 tons. The bottom third of Starship will contain the propellant and 6 Raptor engines, including 3 sea level Raptors, for atmospheric flight and 3 vacuum optimized Raptors, for propulsion in space. The Raptor engine could produce more than 200 tons of thrust at full throttle.
Musk explained at Starship Career Day event that Starship needs the Super Heavy rocket booster to get out of Earth's atmosphere and gravity. The rocket will have 6 landing legs, a diameter of 9 meters, and a height of 68 meters. Super Heavy will take Starship to space with the power of 41 Raptor engines (only some could be ignited according to mass of flight). Together, the thrust capability could reach about 72 meganewtons (MN), which will make SpaceX's Starship the world's most powerful rocket.
Developing reusable spacecraft has been the company's goal for a long time, so they aim to use all the knowledge and technology they have developed over the years to develop a Starship that will be fully reusable. "If successful it will be the first fully reusable space launch vehicle," he said reusability is "extremely important" to make spaceflight accessible to everyone. Musk stated:
"This is extremely important opening access to space to humanity making it as such if anyone wants to go to orbit and beyond Mars ideally […] a fully reusable rocket is fundamental to that."
He also explained that because Starship is so big they needed to build the SpaceX facility near the ocean so when the craft is launched "if something goes wrong" it would land at the ocean, not inland. That is why Boca Chica Beach in Texas is the ideal location for the company to manufacture and test Starship(s) "close to water so basically the path of the rocket is something that is safe." Boca Chica is also ideal "to launch east-ward with the Earth's rotation" because it is located in a geographical area near the equator that allows a rocket to have more force to carry payload. That is why SpaceX chose Boca Chica to build Starship. Musk also smiled adding that:
"Local community was supper supportive, and generally like I said good vibes are here (at Boca Chica)."
Watch the Full Unedited Interview below from a Tesmanian camera perspective:
About the Author
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.