Despite the successful launch of the Crew Dragon company SpaceX, which took place yesterday, at Elon musk and other space offspring still have problems. Let me remind you, this is Starship. Although it's more correct to not call it a ship, but a full-fledged space transportation system. It should not only space to display a huge payload, but also to provide mankind the ability to reach the moon and Mars. About this possibility even science fiction writers only dreamed of and in 2022 it can become a reality. It is only necessary to solve some reliability problems, which still plague the program. Unfortunately, a lot of them.
had plans to launch a space mission to the moon and Mars since 2005 when the first of the preparatory work. Since then, much time has passed, there have been many trials and eventually there was even the approximate launch date of the mission. This term is currently 2022. However, in 2022 it is planned to launch the boat, and the launch with people on Board must only take place in 2024.
It may seem that this is too optimistic, but most people didn't believe in success . Even we in the editorial was the debate on this issue and many seriously admitted the possibility that at this stage this is pure PR and no launch was not planned. The fact that before the launch could not decide until the last did not tolerate it due to the weather only intensified the feeling. And here may 30, the rocket still flew. Himself Elon Musk has said that mankind can be proud of this launch.
Elon Musk can be proud of myself.
At this stage of designing the ship there are too many emergency situations. One of them occurred this week when at the site near Boca Chica in Texas, an explosion occurred during the fire tests methane engine Starship SN4, which were to bring the ship into orbit, and then the same engine should provide the thrust necessary for flight.
A Distinctive feature of this engine is that it runs on a mixture of methane and oxygen. Provides maximum specific impulse among all the present day rocket engines.
The explosion Occurred far from the first. Only last November this is the fourth failed experiment in this direction. So, in April, another prototype number SN3 Starship burst during the pressurization of liquid nitrogen. Then he Elon Musk called it the human factor.
Just imagine how this would fly.
In February of this year when filled with nitrogen exploded a prototype Starship SN1. In November of last year approximately the same fate befell the Starship MK1 which has not passed the leak test.
It is Unlikely that these difficulties can stop such an ambitious project like a Starship. Moreover, it is nearing completion, and it remains only to solve problems with the reliability of vehicles and their fuel systems. Although, in fairness, that's not a minor problem, because the fuel system of a spacecraft is complicated and the slightest failures almost immediately lead to disaster.
To run a Starship into space will require a Super Heavy carrier. He and his methane engines will be able to orbit up to 150 tons of cargo — is a lot. To launch from the surface of the moon or Mars, the booster will not need the ship to fly itself. It should be noted that the system, overall it is very inexpensive.
The estimated cost of the entire program is only $ 5 billion. It's not much when you consider that the development of the space Shuttle programme cost $ 200 billion. The development of the F-22 Raptor, jointly produced by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics, according to different estimates and all is $ 400 billion.
the Same aircraft for $ 400 billion
Against the background of these figures, the cost of the Starship is altogether ridiculous. Even if problems will increase the project cost two to three times, the price will still be very small. However, we must also understand whether it's a full project cost. After all, can be considered in different ways. For example, to consider only the cost of creating components, but do not take into account infrastructure costs.
In any case, will cost much cheaper than other systems. It is understandable, because the main idea is to develop spacecraft for commercial use. Hence, it is necessary to invest in development, to project quickly paid off.
About these types of travelers will face on Mars
While the estimated cost of running the Starship is $ 2 million, of which approximately 900 thousand will cost fuel and slightly more than one million will be written off for depreciation of the ship and return parts.
If everything goes smoothly, this project will be the biggest step in space exploration, with April 12, 1961 when Yuri Gagarin made his first flight.
an Explosion at the next test Starship was not a surprise, but still frustrating.
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