Hello everyone, welcome to another new episode by Engineering Today and back to back updates
on our favourite topic - SpaceX Starships.
Not only that, we will also like to share some updates regarding United Launch Alliance
So stay tuned with us till the end.
From 6th of May 2002, SpaceX started their journey setting a clear goal to reduce the
cost and time of space transportation, and to materialize SpaceX CEO Elon Musks dream
to colonize Mars.
They have added a number of achievements in its path so far and now SpaceX wish to take
its pioneering work to the next level.
SpaceX is now trying to set up its starship launch pads upon the chuck of salt.
As per the SpaceX and Elon Musk, the ocean based Spaceports would be around 20 miles
away from their cities.
He has given some hint for ocean-based spaceports, in the end of 2019 as well.
He has hired an offshore operations engineer related to this project from SpaceX job listing.
The idea of building a Spaceport on ocean, 20 miles away from the city is somewhat came
from the noise problem in Airports.
Peoples, who lived near the airport, can clearly recognise the exploding sound of aircrafts
landing or taking off.
SpaceX Starships are likely to generate more intense noise compared to aeroplanes and because
of that, Musk said that Spaceports would be set on ocean, a certain range away from cities
to maintain noise levels at their minimum, especially for frequent daily flights.
SpaceX building its starship to fly three times per day, which stands for 1000 times
If they are building same number of rockets as Falcon that will be 20,000 times more compared
to the amount of current annual payload.
As per SpaceX CEO, 57 out of 100 SpaceXs flights took off from the land based Space
Launch Complex 40 (SLC 40), located at the north end of Cape Canaveral, Florida so far.
However, the way that frequency of flights has increased, it would require covering great
deal of distance from land.
Musk proclaimed that, after completion of Spaceport, Earth-to-Earth travel would be
SpaceX Starship can transport 1000 passengers from one point to anywhere on Earth, before
that, basic flight tests would be taken to check if it works as smooth as SpaceX wants.
So we may need to wait another 2 to 3 years for the first First Earth-to-Earth test flight.
So far so good, let us get into the next segment now, where we will be discussing SpaceX's
lunar contract updates.
SpaceX, with having five lunar launch contracts on hand, now has reached an unbeatable place
in the global space launch industry.
According to the recent information, Masten Space Systems, currently taking its lead on
vertical landing technology, has given its lunar mission contract to SpaceX.
August 27 at midnight, Masten twitted WEVE GOT A RIDE!
Were thrilled to announce our partnership with SpaceX to take Masren Mission One (MM1)
to Moon in December 2022.
SpaceX, Apart from Mastens XL-1 lunar lander, still has four more lunar lander to launch.
In 2019, February when SpaceX successfully launched Beresheet lunar lander, under The
Israel Aerospace Industries.
Beresheet lander programs aimed to land its scientific instruments along with a digital
time capsule, though the Spacecraft crashed on lunar surface as the main engine shut off.
The CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, is optimistic for the upcoming lunar missions.
SpaceX is also building Falcon 9 rockets for ispace, a private Japanese space company.
These launches has scheduled in between 2022 and 2023.
Launch under The Planetary Transportation System (PTS) is also in SpaceXs hand, though
the German Company went bankrupt and their Alina lunar lander's future is in full of
In April 8, 2020, NASAs new Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), planned four
lunar landing programs, one of them is Masten Space Systems XL-1, which will be the first
moon mission of this company.
The agencys Commercial Lunar Payload Services actually wanted a partnership with other Space
Companies and Aerospace Manufacturer for its lunar missions, as this will somewhat benefit
It will also be future proof for NASAs Artemis program, in which NASA is planning
to send first woman and next man to have their feet on the lunar surface.
XL-1 Moon lander has been in construction for five years.
Masten says, these previous years of work offers one of the advanced and futuristic
design with less hardware build.
Now in recent contract, Masten has made some minor adjustments to its structural layout,
apart from that, other systems does not show any sign of modification.
Commercial Lunar Payload Services has paid of $75.9 million to Masten for this fine piece
XL-1 weighted 675 Kg (1488.12 lb) and 2675 Kg (5897.366 lb) choked with fuel, is quite
Masten claims that, even with all its equipment and communicating devices it can offer up
to 100 Kg (220 lb) of payload on lunar surface for straight 12 days.
After taking Mastens lunar launch contract, SpaceX is planning to land XL-1 lunar lander
to the South Pole part of the Moon.
This mission is mainly concern of the South Pole landing position.
Loaded with multiple experimental equipment, the XL-1 lunar lander will observe the conditions
and collect all the details it could, about the area.
In addition, NASA wants to include one of its astonishing inventions, a robotic arm.
This high functioning robotic arm is a modified version of Mars rover parts.
Gathered information, later, will play a key role in NASAs Artemis program, which will
be landing on the same part of the Moons surface.
Let's see what type of lunar contracts SpaceX has with NASA.
SpaceX in partnership with NASA, developing a starship to send the next man and first
woman to Moon in history of lunar space travel, which NASA named Artemis program.
Having invested a value of $35 billion in this program, NASA aims to deliver a better
and safe travel for its crew to lunar orbit.
NASAs commercial partners will refine their lander concepts through the contract
base period ending in February 2021.
During that time, the agency will evaluate which of the contractors will perform initial
demonstration missions, NASA, later stated in a press conference.
The gigantic two-stage vehicle, containing a spacecraft and a super heavy booster to
lift it out of Earths atmosphere is under process at Boca Chica Beach.
Lunar optimised SpaceX starship does not offer aerodynamic fins and extra heat shield coat.
A lunar optimized starship can fly many times between the surface of the Moon and
lunar orbit without flaps or heat shielding required for Earth return, Spacex said.
Later, The CEO, Elon Musk explained, Were working on new legs.
Wider stance and able to auto level.
Important for landing into wind or landing on rocky and pitted surfaces, also stated
No need to bring early ships back.
They can serve as part of Moon base alpha.
Loaded with a number of modifications, SpaceX Starship offers forward thrusters to provide
a stable landing on Moons atmosphere.
CLPS will be holding other three lunar lander missions, also having ULA in its list.
ULAs two-stage-to-orbit rocket, Vulcan Centaur, which was in development for some
years, will take part in this mission.
It has decided by CLPS, that ULA will take Astrobotics Peregrine lander vehicle to
For now, this launched has scheduled to June 2021, followed by Astrobotics Viper launch
of Griffin lunar lander in 2023.
That's what we had regarding SpaceX today.
Let's look into some updates from ULA now.
United Launch Alliance has launched 40 of Delta IV rockets, 41 is just up ahead.
The Delta IV rocket is a heavy lifter, has completed missions for Space Force, National
Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and NASA.
The Delta IV, once at its orbital test flight, launched NASAs Orion capsule and The Parker
Solar probe to touch the Suns atmosphere.
The launch date was originally one day before the current date, but delayed due to a customer
ULA stated that, NROL-44 is the first of final five missions to be flown by Delta IV Heavy,
the other four, NROL-82, NROL-91, NROL-68, and NROL-70 will be launched before 2024.
After that, ULA plans to retire the Delta 4 heavy lifter.
This 235-foot rocket has two stages.
Three main core boosters surround first stage, each powered by Aerojet Rocket dyne RS-68A
with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
It is the worlds most powerful hydrogen fuelled rocket engine.
ALL three combined, capable of producing more than 2.1 million pounds of thrust.
An AR RL10B-2, a cryogenic rocket engine using the same liquid fuel as propellant, powers
the next stage.
National Reconnaissance Offices (NRO) missions are known as the most expensive and heavy
satellite mission that only the Delta 4 heavy rockets are compatible.
NRO has paid ULA a huge amount of $2.2 billion for five Delta IV heavy missions.
Delta IV heavy is a very special vehicle, ULAs director, Tony Taliancich said, It
was designed to be able to lift the most critical, really big satellites into orbit that cant
get any other way.
Until now, ULA has successfully completed about 140 missions with outstanding works.
As keeping the name of Nations most experienced and reliable launch service,
this community is focused on these five missions.
After 2024, The NRO heavy missions will completed by ULA (60%) and SpaceX (40%).
The rival SpaceX is planning to fly Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy to carry out missions.
Two years ago, SpaceX CEO, Musk twitted A fully expendable Falcon Heavy, which far exceeds
the performance of Delta IV heavy, is $150M, compared to over $400M for Delta IV Heavy.
To keep up with SpaceX, ULA is taking Vulcan Centaur, replacing its Delta IV Heavy.
That's all for today my friends, hope you have liked it.
Please take care of yourself and stay healthy, we will soon come back with more updates.