Wen / Jingwei venture capital
This means that the Starship prototype has won a phased victory, and SpaceX has mastered the most critical and difficult ability of safe landing, which will accelerate the complete formation and orbital launch of the Starship.
Since musk announced his plan to go to Mars at the International Astronautical Congress in 2016, the research and development of the Starship has been put on the agenda. From the starhopper prototype to the sn15, the prototype has been iterated for many times. According to SpaceX's estimation, the final shape of the spaceship needs about 20 prototypes for testing.
The successful soft landing of sn15 will further shorten the time for the Starship to enter orbit. Musk's Mars dream is a small step closer. Next, enjoy:
Several explosions, hundreds of technical improvements
On March 4, Sn10 exploded;
On March 9, sn11 moved to the launch pad;
Preparation for commissioning and inspection on March 10 and 11
March 12, low temperature and pressure test;
Static ignition test failed on March 15;
In the next few days, the static ignition test was delayed;
On March 22, the static ignition was successful;
On March 30, sn11 exploded, and the Starship prototype failed in its fourth challenge of high altitude soft landing
On April 8, sn15 was assembled and went to the launch site
On April 27, the first static ignition was successful
On April 28, the second static ignition was successful
On May 6, sn15 was successfully launched
Although netizens ridicule SpaceX for taking too big a step, it is obvious that SpaceX will not make such a joke. After all, the funds are burning behind it. According to SpaceX's earlier plan, when sn11 was tested, some progress had been made in the construction of sn12-sn14, and even the parts were assembled.
However, the large amount of data collected in the previous tests of the Starship provides sufficient reference for the research and development of the Starship. On this basis, sn15 has added hundreds of designs, which is a brand-new upgrade compared with the predecessors. So sn12-sn14, which is similar to sn11, naturally has no great test significance. As early as before the sn11 launch, there was a message coming out. After the sn11 test, SpaceX will jump directly to sn15.
It is vivid and illustrates sn11 to sn15 (source: spacexmr)
On the other hand, with such speed and efficiency, musk is turning the launch rocket into mass production. While sn15 was waiting for the low temperature test, sn16 had already appeared in public view, and the hull part was being equipped with heat insulation tiles.
Group photo of sn15 and sn11 wrecks
With continuous testing and bombing, the probability of success of starship prototypes is increasing
The probability of SN8 success is only one third;
The success probability of Sn10 is increased to 60%;
The probability of sn11 success is 90%;
Sn15 successfully turned the problem of probability into reality.
Every SpaceX starship is tenaciously clearing the way for its successor. For example, Sn10 successfully landed for the first time, but exploded after landing, which made SpaceX adjust its engine thrust again and re deploy the plan; The fuel leakage problem exposed by sn11 is compensated by the new sn15.
In Musk's vision, the future includes airplanes, ships, vehicles and even starships. Starlink Internet can provide communication services for human beings anytime, anywhere. Some people predict that the move to install the satellite link may be to use the satellite link for radio telemetry and communication during the sn15 test. However, what is the specific function, musk does not say, there is no way to know.
From starhopper to sn15
The bumpy road of interstellar migration
The first public launch of the Starship was in September 2017. Musk said that the Starship will be the next generation of SpaceX launch vehicle facing the future, which can replace Falcon 9, Falcon heavy carrier rocket and manned dragon spacecraft in the future. This is a reusable transportation system, which can not only perform earth orbit missions, but also land on the moon and Mars.
According to SpaceX's official website, the overall height of the starship is about 120 meters, which is divided into two levels. The first stage booster, named super heavy, is 70 meters long, or will carry 28 Raptor rocket engines, providing a total of 72 Mn takeoff thrust; The second stage is the Starship spacecraft, which is 50 meters long and can put a 100 ton payload into earth orbit.
From starhopper (only part of the Starship) to sn15, in addition to the successful completion of the 150 meter low altitude test by starhopper, it was another explosion that welcomed musk.
But these failed to dampen the enthusiasm of musk and his team, who collected data and problems in each failure to prepare for the next test.
The pressure test of the first generation full-scale prototype MK1 failed, and MK2 and MK4 were decommissioned without even testing;
Mrk3 changed its name to SN1 and went on, but the low temperature test of the fuel tank failed, and the star ship was blown up for tens of meters;
Although the SN2 fuel tank passed the cryogenic pressurization test, the sn3 fuel tank twisted and collapsed when it was filled with liquid nitrogen;
Sn4 successfully passed the ultra-low temperature pressure test, but suddenly exploded after the fifth static ignition;
SN8 challenged to fly 12500 meters, but exploded during landing;
After collecting the flight data of SN8, the adjusted sn9 ground burst;
Sn10 landed successfully for the first time, but exploded in situ 8 minutes later;
Sn11 broke into pieces in the air.
Next step: orbital flight test
After the success of sn15 high altitude test, it will usher in orbit flight test: super heavy low altitude, high altitude, sub orbit flight test, until the orbit level launch. By then, the distance to Mars will be further.
According to SpaceX, the overall height of the rocket is at least 120 meters. Coupled with the upper system of the Starship and the spacecraft, it's no wonder that even NASA can't help laughing. In that embarrassing school photo, a child is much higher than the rest of the class.
Skipping the abandoned sn12, sn13 and sn14, the new generation sn15 uses thinner stainless steel.
Data chart of heat insulation sheet
SpaceX increases heat shield
People are more appreciative of Musk's crazy behavior with the voice of banter. The courage to face the explosion and failure and the insensitive force to face the external criticism will always be the inexhaustible driving force for the development of space civilization.
From earth to space
Musk wants to establish a permanent human colony on Mars and open up a second homeland for human beings. He believes that the one-way ticket to Mars can be reduced to about $100000 per person through cost control, which means that for many people, selling a house can move to Mars.
In Musk's Mars migration program, the key to reducing the cost is reusability, that is, the rocket takes off many times without destroying itself. SpaceX crazy money test is the reason for repeated experiments to find the optimal solution.
High definition image of Mars sent back by tianwen-1
Musk made a public commitment at the international Mars Association conference last October: SpaceX will launch its first unmanned mission to Mars within four years. Before that, he even said in the online chat room that he would go to Mars within five and a half years.
Indeed, it is a very difficult and dangerous thing. It is not suitable for the timid, because it is likely to die, but if it succeeds, it will bring incomparable glory.
Source: SpaceX official website
In Musk's Mars colonization program, the starship is the key to everything, including the Starship spacecraft and the super heavy rocket, which represents a completely reusable space transportation system. The Starship will become the most powerful carrier rocket ever, capable of carrying 100 metric tons of satellites to earth orbit. And the payload cabin of the starship is larger than any one in operation or development, which can create the possibility for more new missions.
Boca Chica in Texas is the main test site and launch base of SpaceX, which is called the gateway to Mars by musk, and has witnessed the whole process of the Starship prototype from scratch.
The successful test flight of sn15 marks a substantial step forward in Musk's Mars migration program. Perhaps, mankind is not far away from getting the next ticket to Mars.
1. SpaceX website
2. Next Mars
3. The future roars
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