SpaceX Starship Update || Building Mars city starts with super-cheap Starship launches- Elon Musk


SpaceX’s goal has long been to achieve truly
reusable rocket launch capabilities, and for good reason: The company anticipates huge
cost savings through re-usable rocketry versus expendable launch vehicles, which SpaceX CEO
Elon Musk has described as a process akin to an airline throwing away their passenger
aircraft every time they complete a flight. They’ve made lots of progress toward that
goal, and now frequently re-fly parts of their Falcon 9 rockets and their Dragon cargo capsules
— but the Starship spaceship they’re building now should be even more re-usable. Each flight of this SpaceX’s big Mars-colonizing
spacecraft will have a very small price tag, if all goes according to plan. SpaceX’s Starship could sport a low cost
per rocket flight — somewhere in the region of $2 million. Musk provided an idea of just how much that
could save SpaceX — and by extension, its customers — at a surprise guest appearance
at the U.S. Air Force’s annual pitch day in LA this week. In this video Engineering Today will discuss
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company which is chasing the ‘holy grail’ of completely reusing
a rocket. Why Elon Musk thinks SpaceX Launches Will
Cost 1% of Current NASA Launches? Can Musk’s latest claim possibly be true? Let’s get into details. The Starship system, which consists of a reusable
100-passenger spaceship stacked atop a huge reusable rocket known as Super Heavy, will
use just $900,000 worth of propellant to get off Earth and into orbit, Elon Musk said on
Tuesday, 5th November during a fireside chat at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, with Lieutenant
General John Thompson, commander of the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Toward the end of the 40-minute conversation,
Thompson gave Musk the floor to say anything he wanted to the audience of investors, engineers,
entrepreneurs and military officials. The SpaceX founder and CEO took the opportunity
to talk about something near and dear to his heart: the importance of fully and rapidly
reusable orbital rockets. This is the technological advance that will
slash the cost of spaceflight by orders of magnitude, allowing humanity to become a truly
spacefaring species, Musk has said repeatedly over the years. “It’s absolutely profound to have a reusable
rocket,” Musk said during the conversation. “This is the holy grail.” “If you consider operational costs, maybe
it’ll be like $2 million” out of SpaceX’s pocket each time. “This is much less than even a tiny rocket,”
Musk added. “So, it’s something that needs to be made.” To put that figure in perspective NASA on
average spends $152 million per launch, meaning if Musk is to be believed his launches will
cost just 1.3 percent of NASA’s costs. It’s an impressively low price, particularly
considering the cost per kilogram to normally fly cargo into space. SpaceX’s ultimate goals are aimed at reducing
the cost of rocket launches, making them more commonplace, and using that to fund its goals
of building bases on the moon, Mars and beyond. While its low costs would likely help reach
the first goal, its use of liquid oxygen and methane as fuel means astronauts could conceivably
embark on those more ambitious missions and refuel at the planet. Employees have also expressed an interest
in building a base on the moon. The Starship’s ability to refuel on Mars
could also enable a planet-hopping network that enables humanity to branch out further. SpaceX has been working to make this vision
a reality, and the company has made considerable progress. SpaceX now routinely lands and reflies the
first stages of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, and it’s doing the same with the heavy-lift
Falcon Heavy, which has three launches under its belt. The company is now also starting to recover
and re-fly payload fairings, the protective nose cones that surround satellites during
launch. Starship and Super Heavy fit well into this
grand vision. Both vehicles will be fully reusable, and
each individual craft will fly many times before it’s retired, Musk has said. As the Starship is designed to transport at
least 100 metric tons to Earth orbit. Musk compared it to the Boeing 747, which
has a similar payload capacity of over 100 tons, which costs $500,000 to lease for a
flight from San Francisco to Sydney and back. Although the rocket is going into space, it
would only cost around four times more in terms of operation. Musk attributed this discrepancy, especially
considering the cost of previous space technology, to SpaceX’s focus on creating reusable rockets. “A giant reusable craft costs much less
than a small, expendable craft,” Musk said. The $2 million operational costs are a far
cry from the amount SpaceX charges for its current launches, using its semi-reusable
series of Falcon vehicles. For some perspective, SpaceX currently sells
Falcon 9 launches for $62 million to send up 5.5 tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit
and this is less than $2,500 per pound to orbit compared to the $10,000 NASA pays to
put one pound of payload in orbit. Falcon Heavy launches for $90 million to send
up eight tons to geosynchronous transfer orbit. Both of these result in a price of $11.3 million
per ton. And those prices are considerably lower than
similar services offered by SpaceX’s competitors. Note that these are the final prices offered
to buyers rather than the operational costs. When asked SpaceX to reveal the profit margins
on its Falcon launches, the company refused to answer. However, an April 2016 analysis by investment
firm Jefferies International estimated the gross margins at around 40 percent. That would mean SpaceX pays around $6.8 million
for each ton it moves into geostationary transfer orbit using a Falcon vehicle. A Starship, based on Musk’s figures, would
cost around $20,000 per ton. Musk didn’t specify what sort of flight
this would cover, though — in August 2019, he suggested the cost of sending one ton of
cargo to Mars could be around $100,000 at the low end. That would mean his ambitions of building
a city with one million tons of cargo would cost $100 billion, although suggested the
figure could be as high as $10 trillion. Starship will eventually replace all of SpaceX’s
launch vehicles, the company hopes, a goal that it hopes to achieve because its operation
should eventually be much more cost-effective than either Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy once
it’s fully complete and flying. Though, Spacex Starship missions will be quite
varied. Starship and Super Heavy are designed primarily
to help humanity settle Mars, the moon and other deep-space destinations, but SpaceX
wants the duo to take over all of the company’s needs eventually. So, if all goes according to plan, Starship
will also even clean up space junk and ferry up to 1,000 passengers from one city to another
around Earth on the same rocket within next 10 years, Musk has said. Starship’s first mission could be something
a little more straightforward: sending up a telecommunications satellite in 2021. Being able to do all of this for $2 million
a pop would be revolutionary. That would be the cost of each mission for
SpaceX, to be clear; we don’t yet know how much the company will charge customers for
a Starship mission. The Starship’s low cost and high capacity
could transform the space industry. Rick Tumlinson, founder of venture capital
firm SpaceFund, told that the Starship could be considered a “Mayflower-class” vehicle,
due to its ability to send up to 100 people into space at once. It’s an extremely ambitious target. Despite costs plummeting thanks to improving
reusability, a launch of SpaceX’s much smaller workhorse rocket Falcon 9 currently costs
more than thirty times Musk’s quoted price of a Starship launch. Does that mean Musk pulled the $2 million
figure out of thin air? Maybe. At the Air Force event, Musk admitted he does
“zero market research whatsoever”. At the same time as SpaceX’s Boca Chica,
Texas team is working around the clock to prepare Starship Mk1 for several major tests,
the company is building a second dedicated Starship launch complex at Pad 39A. At SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas Starship facilities,
the company has already made a huge amount of progress fabricating and outfitting a brand
new launch mount that will soon support Starship Mk1’s first propellant loading, static fire,
and flight tests. SpaceX has officially begun to install a large
steel structure at Launch Complex 39A, a pad the company has leased from NASA since 2014. This massive structure of launch mount will
one day support SpaceX’s first East Coast Starship and Super Heavy static fire and test
flights. Although Boca Chica’s launch mount is quite
large, Pad 39A, Florida’s nascent launch mount is going to be significantly bigger. The section that SpaceX began installing in
the first days of November appears already be much taller than the mount in Texas, and
it also looks more like a rectangular corner than anything resembling part of Boca Chica’s
hexagonal structure. Even if it takes more than a year to build
Launch Complex 39A launch mount, SpaceX could still be ready to attempt Starship’s first
orbital launch well before the end of 2020.

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41 thoughts on “SpaceX Starship Update || Building Mars city starts with super-cheap Starship launches- Elon Musk

  1. My guess is that launches will get down to about $10M to clients, but will probably start at $75M for the first couple years. A $2M operational cost plus the amortization of the vehicle cost, then times two for profit margin.

  2. Would be awesome if they could get video of the starship entering back into the atmosphere. Can’t wait so excited to see this monster fly

  3. I have seen stills of people walking along the gangway to the Starship, but how is the inside and how to they get to their place in a vertical tail sitting Starship? Since the people board at the top, are they going to climb down ladders to get to their place or elevator, or stares?
    What will the cockpit look like? Somewhate like the control panels of the Dragon? By the way, how does he [propse ,to deal with the effects on the human body due to micro gravity, basically no gravity and reduced gravity on these long term ventures?

  4. Dear ENGINEERING TODAY, get real. Despite
    all the excitement we should remember that
    SpaceX must first be able to load and unload
    cargo and people into Starship.

    They have neglected to explain this so far.
    Dreams are beautiful. But without a loading
    possibility they are only fantasy.

  5. Falcon 9's price of $60M is only for a new vehicle. Any pricing of setup containing reused booster is a highly guarded company confidential secret. And reusing fairings will drop the cost/price by further $5-10M.

  6. So when did hexagonal ( hex-ag-on-al ) become hex-a-gone-al ?

    Elsewhere, a bit of proof-reading would help some jarring phrases too.

    I'm still not entirely convinced that a live narrator would make some of these slip-ups.

    Otherwise, good content.

  7. You're omitting two things: The high initial cost of building a reusable rocket, and Musk's admission that his rockets will only be able to fly 10-100 times. Commercial airliners fly many thousands of times.

  8. Why do you have "engineering" in your name when you don't provide any engineering insight whatsoever? All you do is regurgitate what is already known and stretch 3 minutes of information into an 11 minute video. Your net contribution is negative – you just waste people's time.

  9. Why do you compare the cost using payload tonnage to Geosynchronous transfer orbit? Wouldn't payload to LEO be a better comparison? Great video; informative as usual. Please keep them coming.

  10. I used to feel I was born in an age when humanity was no longer interested in exploring.
    I no longer feel that way, thank Elon.

  11. Their is better scientific sciences technologies for space travel in Quantum mechanics physics in electromagnetics propulsion systems thats warp dimensional drive saucer spacecrafts that never needs fuel and runs forever and has artifacial gravity field inside saucer spacecraft and travels faster than speed of light by warping time and space and warping 132 multi dimensional universes in seconds!
    Earth mankind very primitive with limited understanding and 400 years behind in advanced scientific sciences in Quantum mechanics physics in electromagnetics propulsion systems technologies

  12. Are they going to name it starship Enterprise or for two million is it just cardboard box like the spaceship we had when we were kids.

  13. I just don't believe any of this stuff I couldn't ever make no money on the richest country on earth that's a crime!

  14. How can it be 1.3 percent when parts of the rocket it's self only have a 1 or a 3 or a 10 to 20 x re-usability, we don't need to be bullshitted to like we were with the Shuttle… If your going to start blurting figures then have the courtesy to factor in a few other known limitations.

  15. altitude compensation can be done by using feathers like a fighter jet.
    afterburner 2000deg
    sea level exhaust 1600deg
    vacuum 850 deg
    dragon capsule has the surface in contact with the draco exhaust

  16. I recently increased the number of push ups I do every morning and evening from 20 to 40, eliminated sugar from my diet and started Intermittent fasting. I so much do not want to die before the first human settlement on Mars becomes a reality.

  17. A round trip to Mars take 4 years, the planets have to be aligned, a NY to Sydney in a 747 round trip take 2-3 days, so in 4 years it will make 500 round trips and generate $240M of revenue the Starship $2M, we are a few order of magnitude off, even if the Starship is a lot cheaper to build than the 747 which is very doubtful.
    But this gives some perspectives on the the cost of a point to point earth trip $900K of fuel for 100 passengers or $9k per ticket just in fuel.

  18. Thanks for the info. The first few launches of starship feel almost as important as the launches of the Apollo program – which I was lucky enough to witness. At that time Apollo felt like the start of something. But it really was the end of something. SpaceX's endeavours are REALLY the start of something big! It took capitalism to make this happen. Government is a lost cause for anything new, innovating, and exciting. GO SPACEX!!!

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