SpaceX releases a fictional video to show the Starship’s dream job

SpaceX gave news of the development of the Starship rocket: assembly, new engine, construction arms… and a video in computer generated images, which shows the dream use of the Starship.

It was on February 11, 2022 that SpaceX organized a progress report to give news of the development of the Starship, the company’s new rocket which will replace the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy in a few years. And it was Elon Musk himself who was responsible for presenting the latest technical advances, on the motorization and recovery of launchers among others.

A new, more powerful engine for the Starship

On the propulsion side, SpaceX presented the evolution of the Raptor rocket engine, the new version of which develops a much higher thrust than the first generation Raptor. The Raptor 1 has a thrust of 1,800 kilonewtons (kN) at sea level (i.e. about 185 tons of thrust), while the Raptor 2 develops over 230 tons of thrust (about 2,250 kN)

SpaceX shared a video on Twitter showing how this Raptor 2 works during a test on a test bed – the rocket engine sits horizontally and is not integrated into a rocket. The video, which does not show the entire test, shows the Raptor 2 running for at least 20 seconds. This allows you to see how it behaves when turned on.

The construction of the arm to “catch” the Starship advances

The stage point also made it possible to show the partial operation of the arm of the launch tower, which must be near the Starship. This arm must play an important role in the long term, because the company wishes to use it to catch up with the flight of the rockets which return from mission. The horizontal part of the arm will be equipped with a kind of clamp to capture the launchers.

This arm, which has been in the works for at least 2020, also has the role of lifting the upper part of the Starship (and which is also called Starship, while the lower section is titled Super Heavy) so that it can be installed and prepare before the flight. The video thus shows the Starship being towed to the top, then the arm pivots to install the machine on the Super Heavy.

As the Starship is not yet operational, it is not possible to see the arm in action in its role as a rocket catcher. In January, the company had communicated on it by showing the progress of construction of the tower. For SpaceX, this choice will allow the landing gear to be removed from the Starship, saving mass and freeing up space for something else.

SpaceX shows the fantasized use of the Starship in computer graphics

The presentation organized by SpaceX on February 11 was also an opportunity to project itself into a dreamed future, where the Starship will then be fully functional and will meet all kinds of needs – the company intends to make this ship a real Swiss army knife. space exploration and transportation, whether on Earth or in the Solar System.

A projection of Starship // Source: YT/SpaceX

As this future has not yet happened, SpaceX must for the moment be content with making massive use of computer-generated images. And that’s what he does in a video, which shows a fictional mission in which a Starship rocket lifts off, gets refueled in orbit (while its first stage returns to Earth), before setting off on an adventure. To Mars.

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