SpaceX Starship will launch from Super Heavy Class Spaceports at Sea

SpaceX Starship will launch from Super Heavy Class Spaceports at Sea

Featured Image Source: SpaceX

SpaceX is building a “21st Century Spaceport” in South Texas at a village along the border of Mexico called Boca Chica Beach. The founder and Chief Engineer at SpaceX Elon Musk says the small sunny beach is the “Gateway to Mars”. He envisions a future where humans are a multi-planet species living in a spacefaring civilization. - “The main reason I am personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this,” Musk said, “I really do not have any other motivation for personally accumulating assets except to be able to make the biggest contribution I can to making life multi-planetary.”

His aerospace company is working hard towards developing the Starship spacecraft that will launch hundreds of humans to the Red Planet one day. SpaceX targets to launch the first Starship to Mars as soon as 2022, and the first crewed voyage until 2024. Musk hopes that by 2050 thousands of humans could live sustainably on the Martian surface. He would like to make trips to Mars available to everyone, "Needs to be such that anyone can go if they want, with loans available for those who don't have money. There will be a lot of jobs on Mars!" he said.

Starship is currently under development at Boca Chica’s assembly facility and multiple prototypes are undergoing testing one after the other at a launch pad that is under construction. Early this month, engineers successfully launched and landed a Starship test vehicle and are ready to launch a second one as soon as this weekend.



Starship will require a massive Super Heavy rocket booster to propel it into orbit. The South Texas facility will feature SpaceX’s first spaceport with an offshore rocket launch facility in the Gulf of Mexico. “SpaceX is building floating, Super Heavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth,” Musk said in June. This week, Musk shared that “Starship/Super Heavy… will mostly launch from ocean spaceports long-term.”  



Engineers aim to create a stainless-steel Starship capable of being as reusable as an airplane or a car, with a lifespan of around 20 to 30 years like the commercial aircraft we use today. Reusability is key, to significantly reduce the cost of spaceflight.

Musk also aspires to create a future where Starship can transport passengers to point-to-point destinations on Earth at hypersonic speeds (video below). Imagine arriving to any city across the planet in under an hour! This Earth-to-Earth version of Starship would have the capability to transport 1,000 people strapped in seats. It would blast off a spaceport at sea, fly up 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) high through the atmosphere into the exosphere, where air resistance is minimal, circling the globe in a matter of minutes – traveling at Mach 25, which is equivalent to 30,870 kilometers (19,182 miles) per hour. That’s Fast!

These hypersonic flights will be noisy, so, launching from a spaceport at sea far away from cities will be the best option to conduct frequent trips. Musk shared these Starship Earth-to-Earth flights will be tested in a couple of years – “There will be many test flights before commercial passengers are carried. First Earth to Earth test flights might be in 2 or 3 years,” he said. The President of SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell said last year she expects a ticket to fly aboard Starship to an Earth-to-Earth destination will cost a little more than an economy class flight but cheaper than a first-class ticket.



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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