One of SpaceX's major goals has always been to make deep space voyages a practical, cost-efficient, and common activity. SpaceX is in the process of making this a reality with its latest rocket, the Starship. The rocket is eye-catching. It looks as if it came out of a science-fiction TV show from the 1960's. Despite looking so whimsical, SpaceX has high hopes for their rocket of the future.
The rocket is planned to be flown both alone and as the second stage for a larger rocket for deep space missions. SpaceX plans to maximize efficiency with Starship by flying it with the ultra efficient SpaceX Raptor engine. The Raptor engine essentially re-burns lost fuel, allowing for a more effective usage of the fuel. Starship will also be reusable, which saves a large sum of money in the long run, which we have seen with SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.
Earlier this year, SpaceX made a smaller prototype of the Starship, called the Starhopper, which was used to test hardware and flight systems. Starhopper also completed flight tests of the Raptor engine, which were successful.
Recently, SpaceX has been assembling and running preliminary tests on a full scale Starship prototype. On November 21, 2019 the Starship prototype in Boca Chica, Texas, Mk-1, failed a pressurization test. The bulk head at the top of the rocket blew off, as the fuel tank failed to handle the pressure of the test. The rocket was left standing upright, as vapor continued to rise from the busted fuel tank. This event raised many questions about how Starship's development will be affected by the failure. SpaceX quickly made a statement explaining that the test was meant to push the limits of the rocket's capabilities, so the results were not unexpected. There will not be any significant setback to Starship's timeline and SpaceX plans to continue regular testing and operations.
I look forward to seeing what Starship is capable of and the impact it will have on deep space travel. I would love to hear your thoughts on Starship and its effects!