Material Separation Will be Key for Long Term Space Travel

Material Separation Will be Key for Long Term Space Travel

Brian Wang |
September 16, 2019 |

Many manufacturing industries currently use material separation due to the need to recycle and reuse materials, both from a commercial and environmental need. The material separation process has become so in demand that a whole industry has grown around it.

It is not just on Earth where the manufacturing sector looks to separate materials for reuse. Space agencies such as NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) look to recycle and reuse materials as much as possible. This extends beyond air and water to structural components.

With this in mind, let’s look at how material separation may be both a driver for space travel development and to make the process more efficient and produce better results.

Research and Mining


In 2015, NASA published an online article talking about using to fabricate space parts for repairs to space vehicles. Dylan Carter, the author of the article, talked about using regolith (planetary body bedrock) handling devices. Here, after the regolith is collected, Carter’s theory is that useful materials could be sorted and grouped using a tribocharging technique.

Although the technology was in 2015 relatively new, Carter believes that his experiments prove that this could be an invaluable way of separating materials in space.

If this works, then humanity as a species is a step closer to mining and harvesting resources from celestial bodies.

Driving Investment


Being able to separate materials on an industrial scale has always been vital to the manufacturing sector. Given the infinite resources of space, being able to harvest these resources represent a big draw for investment. This can be seen with the rise of Space X, whose goal is to make space profitable and create a Mars colony. It has undertaken a lot of work in developing space vehicles that can be reused.

Humanity is not at the point where deep space mining is possible. Commercial space flight developments, however, could be the key to making it possible.

Commercial entities are freer to focus on singular goals, greatly speeding up the process and allocating all resources to hitting said goal. Should companies like Space X focus on this endeavor, we may see space mining a reality in the not too distant future.

Material separation processes will be an invaluable part of this process.

Space Vehicle Repairs


Collisions with debris are a real danger when traveling in space. Small punctures up until a millimeter in diameter cause problems, 10 milometers or greater can cause potentially catastrophic damage to space vehicles according to the ESA.

This is mostly due to the high velocities space debris and particles travel. What would be considered harmless on Earth is potentially lethal when in space.

Currently, vehicles such as the International Space Station uses passive techniques to avoid smaller particles.

Nonetheless, if the dream of Mars colonies and beyond are going to become a reality, then the ability of a crew to fabricate raw materials for essential repairs is mission-critical. As such, material separation technology is going to be essential to bring long-range manned space flight within humanities reach.

Currently, on Earth, material separation and recycling are possible and are being improved year on year. Soon, we may be able to do this in space, and that’s when things become really exciting.

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Giant Moon Based Telescopes Will Detect Alien Life and Measure Mountains in Other Solar Systems

Giant Moon Based Telescopes Will Detect Alien Life and Measure Mountains in Other Solar Systems

Brian Wang |
October 12, 2019 |

Fraser Cain at Universe Today reviews the giant space telescopes that will become possible. Space capabilities from SpaceX Super Heavy Starship and being able to build in space will enable 1000 to 1 million times larger projects on the moon and in cis-lunar orbits.

OWL-Moon

OWL-MOON: Very high resolution spectro-polarimetric interferometry and imaging


from the Moon: exoplanets to cosmology

A 100-meter space telescope on the moon will let us directly observe the height of mountains on exoplanets.

A giant moon telescope will let us answer three major questions in astronomy.


1) the detection of biosignatures on habitable exoplanets,


2) the geophysics of exoplanets and


3) cosmology.

Detecting Alien Life in Other Solar Systems

One of our main science objectives is the characterization of exoplanets and biosignatures. There are about ten potentially habitable planet candidates up to 10 pc. But there is no guarantee that even a single one will present biosignatures. We must enlarge the sample and go up to say 40 pc. An Earth-sized planet at 1 AU from a G star has a planet/star brightness ratio of 3.10^−9 for an albedo of 0.3. Thus, for a 8th magnitude star, it means a 32nd magnitude target. For 1 nm spectral resolution spectroscopy needed to detect atomic and molecular emission lines, consider the goal of 1000 photons detected in 3 hours. This needs a 50-meter telescope. To detect 500 photons in the bottom of absorption lines having a depth 10 times the continuum in 3 hours, one would need a 100-meter telescope.

To achieve this goal, two requirements are needed : 1/ a very large aperture to detect spectro-polarimetric and spatial features of faint objects such as exoplanets, 2/ continuous monitoring to characterize the temporal behavior of exoplanets such as rotation period, meteorology and seasons. An Earth-based telescope is not suited for continuous monitoring and the atmosphere limits the ultimate angular resolution and spectro-polarimetrical domain. Moreover, a space telescope in orbit is limited in aperture, to perhaps 15 meters over the next several decades (until we get on orbit space construction capabilities). Researchers propose an OWL-class lunar telescope with a 50-100 meter aperture for visible and infrared (IR) astronomy, based on ESO’s Overwhelmingly Large Telescope concept, unachievable on Earth for technical issues such as wind stress that are not relevant for a lunar platform. It will be installed near the south pole of the Moon to allow continuous target monitoring. The low gravity of the Moon will facilitate its building and manoeuvring, compared to Earth-based telescopes. As a guaranteed by-product, such a large lunar telescope will allow Intensity Interferometric measurements when coupled with large Earth-based telescopes, leading to pico-second angular resolution.

The Earth is 10 billion times fainter than the Sun and orbits close to its host star : viewed from 100 parsecs, the separation is only 0.01 arcsec. But this is well above the diffraction limit of a very large lunar telescope. We can study exoplanet atmospheres from a lunar platform, where there is no atmosphere to confuse our signal. Telescope size simultaneously guarantees a large number of earth-like targets. We cannot fail, if the will is there to develop known technology, with the aid of robotic resources in deep icy craters near the south pole, in permanent darkness and where temperatures approach 30K, with adjacent crater rims in perpetual sunlight to provide solar power.

Mountains and volcanos on planets

Some astronomy questions require the extremely high angular resolution from an Earth-Moon Intensity Interferometer. Telescopes on the Earth and Moon can work together to create a 380,000 kilometer telescope array.

Once an OWL-type telescope is installed on the Moon, or even a 10 meter lunar precursor, one could readily address optical Intensity Interferometry with unprecedented baselines and angular resolution. For instance it could measure the heights of mountains on transiting exoplanets. This is an important problem for the geophysics of planets. Weisskopf (1975) has shown that there is a relationship between the maximum height of mountains on a planet and its mass and the mechanical characteristics of


its crust.

The issue of mountain detectability has already been addressed for transiting planets (McTier & Kipping 2018). Researchers propose a significant improvement, Based on the principle of the detection of the silhouette of ringed planets by Intensity Interferometry as developed by Dravins (2016). With a 60 meter resolution at the 1.4 parsec distance of alpha Cen, for transiting planets, mountains will appear at the border of the planet silhouette during the transit. These observations will require very long exposures. During the exposure, the planet is rotating around its axis, leading to a washing-out of the features on the exoplanet.

The planet rotation period will be well known from the periodicity of its photometric data. Therefore, the mountain silhouette will appear in a 2D Fourier transform of long series of short exposure images at the planet rotation frequency. Moreover, volcanos can be detected as a temporary excess of red emission of the planet.

Oceans and Continents

The flux received from the glint of the ocean of an Earth-sized planet around a solar-type star at 10 pc and for an ocean albedo 6 %, 7 photons/sec with 30 m telescopes. The monitoring of this image would reveal the contours of the continents.

Earth Atmosphere as a Lens to Map the Surface of Pulsars – Terrascope » detector

It has recently been proposed to use the Earth atmosphere as a gigantic annular chromatic lens (Kipping 2019). It happens that the focal length of this lens is approximately the Earth-Moon distance, depending on the wavelength. Given the size of this lense, the amplification of the source flux is 20,000 compared to a 1 m telescope meter. With a 100 meter telescope on the Moon, the amplification would thus be 200,000 compared to a 30 meter telescope. Of course the images are of very poor quality, but this terrascope would be suited for very high spectral resolution or extremely high speed photometry of extremely faint sources (e.g.


very faint, yet undetected, optical pulsars). Given the 5° inclination of the lunar orbit with the ecliptic, this terrascope could explore a ± 5° band on the sky above and below the ecliptic, depending on the season.

An array telescopes on the Moon and earth (baseline of 380.000 km on average) corresponds to an angular resolution of 200 picoarcsecond at 600 nanometers. An Earth-Moon intensity interferometer would partially resolve the Crab pulsar.

New Telescope Technology

The Nautilus project or the WAET project should soon begin. The Nautilus project has designed new technology for cheap and light 8-


meter-class telescopes. This is based on a modified version of Fresnel lenses, made in light plastic. The WAET project is a very large 10 meter x 100 meter rectangular aperture. The optical quality of these two projects would not be suited for standard interferometry, but suffices for Intensity Interferometry and high resolution spectroposcopy.

A 100-meter diameter will allow statistical searches for life on the nearest 100 or so exoplanets (many of them Earth-like).

SOURCES- Universe Today, ESA, ESA Voyage 2050 White Paper- OWL-MOON: Very high resolution spectro-polarimetric interferometry and imaging from the Moon: exoplanets to cosmology


Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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Space Elevator From the Moon to Geostationary Earth Orbit

The new lunar space elevator study differs from previous proposal would be anchored on the moon and stretch 200,000 miles toward Earth until hitting the geostationary orbit height (about 22,236 miles above sea level). We do not have materials for a space elevator from the Earth to Geostationary orbit. The moon spaceline would be longer but would only have to overcome the moon’s gravity.

The biggest hurdle to mankind’s expansion throughout the Solar System is the prohibitive cost of escaping Earth’s gravitational pull. In its many forms the space elevator provides a way to circumvent this cost, allowing payloads to traverse along a cable extending from Earth to orbit. However, modern materials are not strong enough to build a cable capable of supporting its own weight.

The Spaceline is a new analysis of lunar space elevators. By extending a line, anchored on the moon, to deep within Earth’s gravity well, we can construct a stable, traversable cable allowing free movement from the vicinity of Earth to the Moon’s surface. With current materials, it is feasible to build a cable extending to close to the height of geostationary orbit, allowing easy traversal and construction between the Earth and the Moon.

The most efficient solution is one in which we start at the Earth-end of the Spaceline with a constant area cable, as thin as is practical, which extends until the point at which it reaches its breaking stress, then tapers outwards from that point to avoid breaking. Past the Lagrange point, close to the Moon, where the tension (and therefore the allowable area) reduces again, there may be another section of uniform cable reaching down to the anchor point on the Moon’s surface, though whether this second uniform-area section is possible depends on the value of h.

For sufficiently high α, or large h, the cable may never reach its breaking stress, and the most efficient solution is just that of a uniform-area cable. This hybrid cable, by construction, cannot break but can collapse. In fact the same constraints (and solutions) apply here as did for the uniform-area cable. As long as h is less than ∼ 0.24, the cable will not collapse; for larger h, other solutions such as an anchor weight can similarly be implemented.

A line was made of a cable with a0 = 10^−7m2 : its total mass would then be around 40,000 kg. This is about twice the mass of the original lunar lander, and would make transporting and constructing such a cable completely plausible. The raw cost of the materials and transport could be numbered in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

40,000 kg could be transported to the moon with about four launches of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy. However, a lunar lander would need to be developed. A single mission with a SpaceX Super Heavy Starship could also transport the spaceline. There would need to be work done on the deployment.

Many technological and sociological challenges stand between the idea and it’s execution. However, this is a doable project. It would provide benefits for industrializing the Earth-Moon system.

Building a base-camp at the Lagrange3 point is one of the most immediately useful and exciting utilities of the spaceline. A small habitat there could house many scientists and engineers, much like the Antarctic base camp. This would allow experimentation and construction in a near-pristine, gravity-free environment.

There are two huge advantages of fabricating and assembling structures at the Lagrange point rather than any other stable orbit:

• No debris – The region of space between Earth and geostationary orbit is filled with the remnants of past missions and abandoned satellites. Also, stable (and thus long-lived) fast moving orbits can exist here, raising the fear of bombardment with naturally occurring meteoroids. The Lagrange point has been mostly untouched by previous missions, and orbits passing through here are chaotic, greatly reducing the amount of meteoroids.

• Non-dispersive – If you drop a tool from the ISS it will seem to rapidly accelerate away from you. This is because of the slight difference in the gravitational force felt at different distances from the Earth, leading to orbits that quickly diverge. This makes it a difficult and dangerous place for construction. The Lagrange point has an almost negligible gradient in gravitational force, the dropped tool will stay close at hand for a much longer period. With small corrective thrusters or a minimal system of tethers, many objects (habitats, science equipment or spacecraft) can be held in a stable configuration indefinitely. Space now has a ”next-door”.

Manned large-scale construction projects would become much easier to build and maintain. These could include a new generation of significantly larger space telescopes, a network of isolated gravitational wave detectors and particle accelerators on scales much surpassing what can feasibly be built upon Earth’s surface.

Similarly, the base camp itself can be extended, with prefabricated panels added to allow increased space for habitation and experimentation. Scientific and industrial testing in vacuum or zero-gravity environments can be undertaken over longer periods and bigger scales than previously imaginable.

There is one caveat though, the nature of the Lagrange point between the Earth is unstable. The effective potential (in the corotating frame) is a saddle point. If an object undergoes small displacements in the tangential direction (constant radius) the will feel a restoring force back to the Lagrange point. However, if the object wanders in the radial direction (towards the Moon or Earth) it will be pulled more and more strongly in that direction. Thus to keep an object at the Lagrange point indefinitely there needs to be a corrective force in the radial direction.

The spaceline naturally provides this force, and this is one of the two major reasons why constructing a spaceline makes a Lagrange point base camp significantly easier to use and maintain. The other being that it allows material transport easily to and from the base camp (via a spaceship carrying material from Earth, or directly from the surface of the moon), without the need for coordinating rocket flight through a region of space that may quickly fill with delicate habitats and scientific equipment.

In the simplest version of the safeline there can be a force of up to 100N either towards Earth or the Moon before there is any danger of the cable breaking or collapsing.

Arxiv – The Spaceline: A Practical Space Elevator Alternative Achievable With Current Technology.

SOURCES – Arxiv The Spaceline: A Practical Space Elevator Alternative Achievable With Current Technology


Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

NASA Inertial Drive With a Helical Engine Using a Particle Accelerator

David Burns, Manager, Science and Technology Office


Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA has proposed a Helical Engine.
It is a propellantless engine design similar to the Mach Effect propulsion system by Woodward.

Burns goal is to use proven physics and technology


• Focus on extreme duration


• Current state-of-the-art is not sufficient, but has potential to scale

Megawatts of power + space-rated synchrotron = 1 N of thrust


• Not a compelling reason to build this engine


• However


• Equivalent Specific Impulse over 10^17


• “Net” power less than 10 watts


• Options for increasing thrust and efficiency


• Technology is extension of space flown hardware


• Many technical challenges ahead


• Basic concept is unproven


• Has not been reviewed by subject matter experts


• Math errors may exist!

A new concept for in-space propulsion is proposed in which propellant is not ejected from the engine, but instead is captured to create a nearly infinite specific impulse. The engine accelerates ions confined in a loop to moderate relativistic speeds, and then varies their velocity to make slight changes to their mass. The engine then moves ions back and forth along the direction of travel to produce thrust. This in-space engine could be used for long-term satellite station-keeping without refueling. It could also propel spacecraft across interstellar distances, reaching close to the speed of light. The engine has no moving parts other than ions traveling in a vacuum line, trapped inside electric and magnetic fields.

The existing technology would be to try to make a mobile version of the large hadron collider. It would be 200 meters long and 12 meters in diameter – and powerful, requiring 165 megawatts of power to generate just 1 newton of thrust, which is about the same force you use to type on a keyboard. For that reason, the engine would only be able to reach meaningful speeds in the frictionless environment of space.

Below is the large hadron collider.


Nextbigfuture Reader Goatguy Provides Analysis

The ‘nut that isn’t being cracked’ is that it takes 165,000,000 Watts of power to generate 1 Newton of force.

If I shoot a LASER beam of power P out the back of an orbiter, I’ll get a force (from good ol’ Physics)

F = P / c


F = 165,000,000 W ÷ 299,792,458 m/s


F = 0.55 N

Likewise, if we reflect a laser beam with a ‘perfect reflector’ (having 100% reflectivity, no absorption) then

F = 2P / c


F = 2 * 165,000,000 ÷ 299,792,458


F = 1.10 N

Which is almost exactly what the article’s authors cite.

What would make this invention ‘special’ (if it works, of course) is that the 2P/c thrust seems possible without needing anything at all to leave the spacecraft. On the other hand, it requires the humungous power supply to be onboard, which of course carries its own mass … for the fuel, for the machinery turning fuel into power, and for getting rid of the heat and byproducts because it wouldn’t be 100% efficient. Maybe fuel-to-electricity conversions of only 20%. 80% waste heat. More likely only 10%

A real World space-ship, trying to attain relativistic velocities would definitely need WAY more power than 165 MW. Question is … how much? Unfortunately, no matter how much science fiction wishfulness I employ to find a solution, I find it really hard to envision a fusion energy system having a specific energy over 20 kW/kg. Much of that would go into heat-sinking. Unfortunately, it also defines the specific acceleration, absolute.

20 kW × 2 ÷ 299,792,458 m/s = 133 µN/kg.

since

F = ma, a = F/m … = 0.000133 ÷ 1.0


a = 0.000133 m/s² per kilogram.

Putting that into a PER-DAY perspective

ΔV/day = a × 24 × 60 × 60 = 11.53 m/s per day or 996,000 m/day² … perhaps it would be better expressed in years?

a = 132.7 billion m per year² … and with normalizing that to AU


a = 0.888 AU/y²

Not all that impressive. But let’s use it.

Since the distance to Alpha Centauri is 4.1 LY × 60 × 60 × 24 × 365.25 × 299,792,458 m/s = 3.88×10¹⁶ m … ÷ 149.5×10⁹ m/AU = 259,000 AU


Then with

d = ½at²


d = ½ 0.888 AU/y² t²


t = √( 2 × 259,000 ÷ 0.888 )


t = 764 years.

And that’s for a flyby without slowing down to take a look-see.


And assuming nearly-infinite fuel energy density. And very low overhead for the vehicle’s infrastructure mass.


And all that.


The time to get there and slow down would be

t = 2 √( (2 × ½) D ÷ 0.888 )


t = 2 √( 259,000 ÷ 0.888 )


t = 1,081 years.

Now, I don’t know about your thinking dear reader, but this doesn’t sound promising.

The only way it could work would be to beam hundreds of gigawatts of power from Earth or the Solar System in generation to the craft, where the power would be picked up efficiently out to, oh, maybe 20 AU? or so. You’d get the P/c acceleration for free, just receiving the power. Then the power could go at nearly 80% efficiency to electricity, which then converts to about 1.8 P/c extra thrust. Moreover, the mass of the ship is markedly reduced. Maybe by 1000 times! (Talk about ‘wishful thinking! ‘)

a = 0.133 m/s² (with some conversion yields…)


a = 0.014 LY/y²

t = 2 √( d / a )


t = 2 √( 4.1 ÷ 0.014 )


t = 34 years.

Unfortunately that is also bogus, because there’s no power source at the far end to beam power to decelerate the craft to local vectoring ambient conditions. And, if the power is only reasonably beam-able out to 20 AU, …

a = 0.014 LY/y² (with more conversion calculations)


a = 886 AU/y²

d = ½ at²


t = √( 2 d / a )


t = √( 2 × 20 ÷ 886 )


t = 0.212 year and

v = at


v = 886 AU/y² × 0.212 y


v = 188 AU/y …

Which turns the 259,000 AU Earth-to-Alpha-Cen distance into a 1,375 year adventure.

Which is NO WIN, obviously. The only real win is when Earth power can be received at high fidelity over a 5,000 AU or greater distance. And good luck to that.

d = ½ at²


t = √( 2 d / a )


t = √( 2 × 5000 AU ÷ 886 )


t = 3.36 year and

v = at


v = 886 AU/y² × 3.36 y


v = 2977 AU/y about 4.7% of c!

t = 259,000 / 2,977 AU/y


t = 87 years plus 3.3y


t = 90 years or so.

This is much MUCH better. Hibernation, metabolic slow-down, advance biomechanics and drugs to allow for a nominal 250 year lifetime (even if not hibernating), radiation repair, collision avoidance, all the InterStellar movie stuff.

Still … 5,000 AU beaming power?


We can’t even image the surface of Pluto at 40 AU worth a blip, with our largest Earth based telescopes.


Imagine trying to focus on a rapidly fleeing spacecraft far, far, far tinier than Pluto, at 100x its distance!

So we’re back in the ‘’OK, NASA fly-boys, the theory is great, and how again are we getting to Alpha Centauri?’’ questioning.


Because that’s the question needing answering.


Not the magic tech.

Blue Origin Upgrades to Kennedy Space Center Site 36 for Reusable New Glenn Launches

Blue Origin Upgrades to Kennedy Space Center Site 36 for Reusable New Glenn Launches

Brian Wang |
September 20, 2019 |

Blue Origin has made major investments and upgrades to facilities at the Kennedy Space Center site 36. Blue Origin is clearly preparing for major New Glenn reusable rocket launches.

The launch site and reusable rocket refurbishment facilities are getting prepared for a major rocket testing and launching program.

In 2018, Jeff Bezos started increased the staff of his rocket company Blue Origin to 3000 people over the next two or three years. Blue Origin staff was at 1500 people in 2018. SpaceX has 6000 people. Blue Origin has not yet reached orbit with any rocket and is developing the New Glenn reusable heavy launch rocket. New Glenn’s first-stage booster will be reusable like the SpaceX Falcon 9. Blue Origin has said there will be test flights in 2020 or 2021. The New Glenn capabilities will be close to the SpaceX Falcon Heavy.

Blue Origin is finalizing details on New Glenn’s design and are building model components that must be put through extreme testing.

French satellite firm Eutelsat SA is the first New Glenn customer.

Blue Origin released animations a few months ago of their proposed New Glenn rocket which will use seven BE-4 rockets for the first stage and will have two BE-3 engines for the second stage.

The New Glenn Rocket and the BE-4 engine are getting substantial funding from the US government.

SpaceX Continues to Make Rapid Progress with Starship and Ground Facility Construction

Droid Junkyard, Tatooine pic.twitter.com/yACFR9y04P

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2019

SOURCES- Youtube What About it, SpaceX, Blue Origin


Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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SpaceX Starships for Dozens of Moon Bases, Mars Colonies and Orbital Space Stations by 2030

SpaceX Starships for Dozens of Moon Bases, Mars Colonies and Orbital Space Stations by 2030

Brian Wang |
October 15, 2019 |

SpaceX will leave most Starships on Mars or the Moon, when they are flown for long-range missions. SpaceX Starships will probably cost about $20-40 million and they can be parked in orbit, the moon and Mars for the cheapest space stations and bases around the solar system. One Starship has close to the volume of the International Space Station. Instead of costing $150 billion and needing 60 launches to assemble, each Starship would cost 4000 to 8000 times less.

SpaceX will need to use about five launches of Super Heavy Starships to fully fuel a Starship in orbit. They will then send a fully fueled Starship to Mars. The Six Raptor engines in the Starship will take the Starship to Mars with about 100 tons of payload.

The Starship is only about $300000 worth of stainless steel and six Raptor engines. There is also the cost of life support, electronics and other systems. The main cost will be the Raptor engines. If the Raptor engines are twice as costly as the Merlin engines, then the Super Heavy Starship would cost about $200 million. The Starship would be about $40 million of the cost based on having about 20% of the engines. Mass production of Starships could bring the cost down to $20 million. The limitation on the cost is the future unit cost of Raptor engines.

Fuel could be produced on Mars to fly a Starship back to Earth. This will likely be a relatively rare occurrence. SpaceX will have many Super Heavy vehicles and Starships.

On Mars, a lower amount of refueling would allow Mars point to point travel and a habitat for 100 people with each Starship.

These would be the most inexpensive pressurized bases for orbiting space stations and moon, Mars bases.

SOURCES- Brian Wang analysis, Elon Musk-SpaceX presentation


Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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Elon Musk Explains the Greatness of the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship, Space and Future

Elon Musk describes the various aspects of the greatness of the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship.

Elon Musk started the presentation at 6: 28 PST.

Elon Musk called the orbital prototype as the most inspiring thing he has ever seen.

The point of the presentation is to inspire the public and get people excited about space and the future.

Do we want to choose the future where we are on many World and exploring the stars? The critical breakthrough is to make space travel like air travel. We fly the airplane many time. We flew 747s about 30,000 to 100,000 times over its life. We fly them for decades and fly them pretty much every day.

He talked about the Falcon 1 and the problems recovering the first stage using a parachute. The first stage comes in at mach 10 and hits the atmosphere like a brick wall.

He reviewed the grasshopper and the Falcon 9.

He reviewed the Falcon Heavy. The first successful flight was only about 20 months ago.

They are changing the control of the re-entry SpaceX Super Heavy Starship to being more like a skydiver than an airplane.

The dry mass of the starship will be about 120 tons, but they hope to bring it down to 110 tons and maybe eventually to 90 tons.

The payload will start at about 110 tons and could reach 150 tons.

They will 3.5 tons for every ton of fuel.

The Starship will have 3 sea-level raptor engines that are gimballed. They move.


The Starship will have 3 vacuum raptor engines.

They have glass-like hexagonal heat shield tiles.

The 301 Stainless Steel was the best design decision. The steel is stronger at very cold and very hot temperatures. It is twice as strong at carbon fiber at cryo temperatures.

The cool side of the rocket needs no heatshield.

The windward side has far less heatshield. They only need to have the interface side of the tile to get to temperatures below the melting point of the steel. The steel has 1500C degree melting point.

$130,000 per ton of carbon fiber. $2500 per ton for the stainless steel.

Steel is easy to weld.

The steel could be cutup and modified and used for other things on Mars and the moon.

The Super Heavy booster will have 24 to 37 raptor engines. The number will depend upon the missions.

They will get to over 1.5 thrust to weight ratio.

Refueling in orbit is key to developing the moon and Mars. Here are scenes from the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship animation.

Refueling in orbit is actually easier than docking with the international space station.

Elon made his multi-planet pitch again.

There is a delay and then questions and answers with Elon.

They will not fly to orbit with the Mark 1. They will fly to orbit with the Mark 3. They will start building the Mark 3 in about three months.

They will start building the boosters in Florida and Texas as fast they can.


They are making improvements with each new item.

They will transition to hot gas thrusters around Mark 3. This will be a transition from an ISP of 60 to about 360.

They will have one seam welds with thinner metal in later versions. They will be able to build ships at an amazing rate compared to space industry standards.

Higher efficiency maneuvering thrusters will be able to move the ship without the main engines.

They will be pressure fed and will be able to fire from any angle and any Gs.

Starship will be able to fly single-stage from the moon to the Earth.

Less than 5% of the SpaceX resources were spent on the Starship prototype.

Most of the resources are on the Falcon, Dragon and Crew Dragon to meet obligations to NASA and others.

They did the work outside to avoid time constructing buildings.

Elon says, “If it is long it is wrong, and if it is tight it is right.” This is his management philosophy. The best design is to undesign. What did you delete. They iterate on speeding up their processes.

Long term they will produce methane fuel using solar power.

The main constraint on the Super-Heavy booster is ramping up the production of the Raptor engines.

They will need 100 Raptor engines to get to the orbital test. They build one Raptor engine currently every eight days. On 2 months they want to get to one Raptor engine every two days. By Q12020, they want to get to one engine every day. This means the orbital flight would not be until about March, 2020.

SpaceX wants to be able eventually refly boosters up to 20 times a day.


They will fly the Starship about 3-4 times a day. The orbital limitation is about the orbits. This would not be a limitation for a point to point version.

The fully reusable fleet of Super Heavy Starship will increase humanities launch capacity by 10000 times. This is max theoretical.

With 20 rockets you could put 3 million tons per year into orbit.

Less than one year to start from the steel design to the current state. Four months to start building the orbital prototype to the current state.

Tesla’s will be able to operate on Mars. They need no oxygen.


They will bring boring machines to mine water, get materials for bricks and build underground bases.

Mission Accomplished- Elon Musk inspired people about space and the future.

SOURCES- SpaceX, Elon Musk


Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

Space exploration Alexei Leonov, First Person to Walk in Space, Dies at 85

Space exploration

space exploration
Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov trains for the Apollo-Soyuz mission in April 1975 . (Credit: NASA)

Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first
person to walk in space, has died at the age of 85 at the Burdenko Military
Hospital in Moscow. His death was announced Friday, Oct. 11, by Roscosmos,
Russia’s space agency.

Born in 1934, Leonov became the eleventh Soviet
cosmonaut and achieved major milestones of space exploration. During the
Voskhod 2 mission, on March 18, 1965, he exited his capsule for 12 minutes,
performing the first human spacewalk. Leonov barely survived the excursion,
after a malfunction with his suit forced him to drop its pressure in order to
make his way back into the capsule.

“His name is lettered in gold in the World’s
space exploration history,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

In July 1975, Leonov commanded the Soyuz
capsule, which set a standard of international cooperation in space when it
docked for two days with NASA’s Apollo capsule.

“We need heroes like him,” says Garik
Israelian, an astronomer at the Institute for Astrophysics in Tenerife, Spain,
and founder of the Starmus International Festival, an international gathering
that celebrates science and the arts. Israelian, a close friend of Leonov, says
that Leonov’s experience on the Soyuz-Apollo mission shaped his life.

He recalls Leonov telling him, “Space is a
place for freedom, not weapons. We should collaborate and work together.”

An artist as well as a cosmonaut, Leonov took
colored pencils altered for zero gravity with him on Voskhod 2, and sketched an
orbital sunrise, which is considered the first piece of art created in space.
In collaboration with Starmus, Leonov helped to create the Stephen Hawking
Medal for Science Communication, which recognizes the work of those helping to
promote public awareness of science.

Israelian recalls Leonov creating a sketch of
Hawking in his hotel room and presenting it to him. The form of the medal
itself was inspired by Leonov’s drawing, his first spacewalk and the home-built
electric guitar of Queen band member and astrophysicist Brian May. Winners
include Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hans Zimmer, Brian Eno, Buzz Aldrin and
Jean-Michel Jarre.

Leonov was inducted into the International Air
and Space Hall of Fame in San Diego in 2000. He was portrayed in the 2017 film,
“Spacewalk,” which premiered at Starmus 4 in Trondheim, Norway. He and U.S.
astronaut David Scott co-authored the dual autobiography, “Two Sides of the
Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race,” which explores the space race from
both sides of the Iron Curtain.

A visitation will be held in Leonov’s honor in
Moscow on Tuesday, Oct. 15.