The founder of the American company SpaceX, Elon Musk, introduced a prototype of a reusable spacecraft that can transport cargo and astronauts to Mars and the Moon. The presentation was broadcast online in the official Twitter account of the company.
The spacecraft was called Starship. Its length is 50 meters, and the mass excluding fuel and cargo is about 120 tons. During the presentation, Musk said that Starship, capable of carrying up to 100 people, could become the basis for the colonization of Mars and the Moon.
According to him, the first flight of the ship will take place in the next two months. The rocket will rise to a height of almost 20 kilometers and after some time will return to Earth. “It sounds crazy, but I think we’ll try to enter orbit in less than six months,” Musk said. Starship's landing is a controlled fall – the ship rolls over shortly before landing, he added.
It is planned that after all tests the ship will be able to conduct in orbit for up to two months. SpaceX also claimed that Starship is "the most powerful rocket in history."
Starship is the second stage of SpaceX's reusable BFR space transport system. Six Raptor engines will receive the second stage, the first – 31. Methane and oxygen-powered Raptor distinguishes the greatest thrust-to-weight ratio (the ratio of the thrust developed by the power unit to its weight) among all rocket engines ever created. In the reusable version, the BFR system is designed to bring up to 150 tons of payload into low Earth orbit and return to Earth up to 50 tons, as well as comfortable transportation of up to 100 people (2-3 in a cabin) to the Moon and Mars. The system should fly in 2022.
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