International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Starship spacecraft

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Starship

Mains level : About the interplanetory mission


  • SpaceX unveiled a prototype design of its next-generation Starship spacecraft that will take people or cargo to the moon, Mars or other destinations in space or around Earth.

Starship

  • SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft will be capable of carrying up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights and deliver as much as around 100 tons of payload for building bases on Moon and Mars cities.
  • It has been designed for full and rapid reusability.
  • Starship was first unveiled in 2016 as a fully reusable spacecraft and back then, it was called Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).
  • In 2017, it was renamed the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and the design was updated as well.
  • The spacecraft was finally named Starship in 2018 with more design improvements.

Design

  • It is 164 feet (50 meters) tall and has a diameter of nine meters.
  • It will be launched into space with the help of its Super Heavy booster, which can include up to 37 Raptor engines, though only 24 would be required for each mission.
  • Super Heavy measures 223 feet in length, while its diameter is also nine meters.

Why Starship?

  • According to the SpaceX CEO, the Earth will face a near-extinction event at some point in time, which is why a “backup” plan for all humankind is needed.
  • The ultimate goal is to colonize Mars over the next 100 years and SpaceX has been quite vocal of his idea in the past.
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