Hinted at in a short tweet on August 28th, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says that SpaceX’s massive Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle – set to be probably the most highly effective rocket ever constructed upon completion – may finally be followed by a rocket multiple times bigger.
SpaceX is presently within the procedure of assembling the first full-accuracy prototypes of Starship, a 9m (30 ft) diameter, 55m (180 ft) tall reusable spacecraft and higher stage. Two prototypes – Mk1 and Mk2 – are concurrently being in-built Texas and Florida, respectively, whereas the beginnings of the original Super Heavy prototype has visibly begun to take form at SpaceX’s Florida campus.
And yet, regardless of its size, orbital-class rocketry in Earth gravity will virtually never fail to profit from more thrust; more propellant; more rocket. In light of this, CEO Elon Musk says that a theoretical subsequent- next-generation SpaceX rocket – to doubtlessly observe some years after Starship and Super Heavy – might be a full 18m (60 ft) huge, twice the diameter of its predecessors.
Many will recollect that doubling the diameter of a circle quadruples its space. Add in a doubling of peak and a theoretical Starship 2.0 would have eight times the floor area and eight instances the propellant tank volume, requiring roughly eight times as a lot thrust and making the vehicle eight times more as heavy as Starship 1.0. Assuming that Starship’s successor retains its fineness ratio (peak/width), an unlikely end outcome however still attention-grabbing to ponder, the vehicle would measure 18m (60 ft) in diameter and a terrifying ~236m (780 ft) tall, actually greater than twice as tall as Saturn V. An 18m diameter would additionally make it the widest rocket ever constructed, with Saturn V’s S-IC first stage measuring 10m broad and the Soviet Union’s N1 ‘Block A’ early-stage measuring a powerful ~17m in diameter at its broadest level.
If the above assumptions are right, a robust estimate will peg Starship 2.0’s gross mass at a gobsmacking ~40,000 metric tons (~90 million kilos). Within the unlikely event that SpaceX would use the present generation of Raptor to power such a massive rocket, the booster would want a bare minimum of 100+ Raptors to lift off in any respect. Utilizing Saturn V’s F-1, nonetheless probably the most highly effective single-chamber rocket engine ever constructed, Starship 2.0 would wish a minimum of 60+ engines to lift off.