SpaceX has announced preparations for the second version of its spacecraft against the background of Starship launches. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared this news on his social network X, where he unveiled a photo of the four upper stages of Starship installed vertically at SpaceX’s Space Center in Texas. Musk said that these four spacecraft would be “the last of V1” (the first version) and stressed the creation of Starship V2, which would be the next step in the development of the spacecraft.
The results of the latest Starship tests indicate a gradual improvement in the technology. Preliminary tests in April and early November ended abruptly. However, recent experiments, including the IFT-2 mission on November 18, showed improved performance, a new method of stage separation, and successful independent spacecraft flights with all six engines alighted.
Four more Starships, the last of V1 pic.twitter.com/Nj6KXbc5GI
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2023
Although the changes in V2 will be significant, they will not be radical. According to Musk, the updated versions will hold more fuel, have less mass and increased reliability. In particular, the improved Raptor engine of the next generation promises to reduce the weight of the rocket, but the power will be increased by 17%. It is also planned to increase the number of engines and make changes in the shape of fuel tanks, which will lead to an increase in the payload and range of missions.
As for launches, SpaceX plans to continue using Starship V1 until the updated version is introduced. These spacecraft with markings 28, 29, 30 and 32 are being prepared for the upcoming test flights. But it is unknown whether all four spacecraft will be involved. As for the third test, Musk indicated that the necessary equipment would be ready “in three to four weeks”, but the exact launch date remains uncertain.
The development of Starship is part of SpaceX’s ambitious plan to create a fully reusable, cost-effective system for interplanetary travel. With new improvements and technological innovations, SpaceX continues to upgrade its spacecraft to realize this ambitious goal.
Earlier, we reported how an eyewitness recorded a video of a Starship explosion at an altitude of 148 km.
According to gizmodo.com
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