30. Making life multi-planetary is still Starship’s big goal
Musk reiterated that a fully-reusable design like the Starship is necessary to send humans to other planets. It allows the ship to land, refuel on the planet using readily-available resources, and even potentially fly out further by establishing a network of propellant depots along the way.
29. It uses a lot more oxygen
The design means it uses 3.5 tons of oxygen for every ton of fuel. Its Falcon predecessor required around 2.5 tons of oxygen for the same amount. That means, Musk explained, the Starship is mostly liquid oxygen when it ascends.
28. The Raptor has a unique movement design
In an aircraft, the engines are static and you move by tilting the rudders and other components. With the Starship, you move the entire engine to steer. The three sea-level engines will move up to 15 degrees, while the three vacuum engines will remain stationary. On the booster, seven of the engines move and the rest are stationary.
27. The heat shield is like ‘tiny glass vermicelli’
While the stainless steel resists high temperatures, heat shields protect at high-temperature areas. These hexagonal tiles are very light, crack-resistant, glass tiles. They’re fully reusable, with low maintenance. It resembles “tiny glass vermicelli at a microstructure level.”
26. The steel is way cheaper than carbon fiber
Part of the reason why SpaceX switched away from carbon fiber is cost. The steel is about two percent of the cost of the carbon fiber: $130,000 per ton for carbon fiber versus $2,500 per ton for steel.
25. The Super Heavy can hold up to 37 Raptor engines
The Super Heavy booster can handle a variety of Raptor configurations. The minimum is around 24, but this can reach up to 37. Musk recommended 31 is probably ideal. Combined with the Starship, the entire design could hold up to 43 engines.
24. The Starship looks huge compared to the Star Wars
While the Star Wars ship measures 34.75 meters, the Starship Mk.1 measures 50 meters. Combined with the Super Heavy, the full design measures 118 meters.
The Starship compared to other vehicles.
23. Space Station docking is good practice for orbital refueling
SpaceX’s missions to the International Space Station are harder than refueling in orbit, Musk claimed. Starship can get to orbit for 150 tons of orbit for payload to Mars, but in-orbit refueling is critical to the more ambitious missions.
Refueling the Starship in action.
22. An Antarctica-like base on the moon could come soon
Musk declared that a base on the moon would be ideal, akin to research bases in Antarctica used by scientists to conduct experiments.
SpaceX's Starship landing on the moon.
21. Trips to Saturn are within reach
SpaceX shared concept art of the planet-hopping concept taken to new levels.
SpaceX's Starship on a trip around Saturn.