Starship Reached Space. What Now?

Real Engineering
20 Mar 202418:09

Summary

TLDROn June 14th, SpaceX's 3rd integrated flight test marked a milestone by reaching space with all 33 methalox engines firing successfully. Unlike previous attempts, this test achieved a crucial second hotstaging separation and demonstrated significant advancements in rocket technology, including the Starship's hypersonic re-entry and communication capabilities via Starlink. This event not only showcased the potential for reusable rockets and Mars missions but also emphasized SpaceX's ambition to revolutionize space travel and satellite deployment. The test highlighted the challenges and innovations in rocket design, fuel efficiency, and reusability, setting a new precedent for future space exploration and industry possibilities.

Takeaways

  • ūüöÄ SpaceX's 3rd integrated flight test successfully reached space for the first time, lighting all 33 of its methalox engines and performing a hotstaging separation.
  • ūüí• The test marked a significant improvement over the previous attempt, where the booster exploded and Starship failed to reach space.
  • ūüíô Starship soared past the Karman line to a max altitude of 234 kilometers, just short of the ISS orbit altitude, showcasing its massive potential despite a sub-orbital launch.
  • ūüĆč Starship stands at 121 meters tall, making it not only the most powerful but also the biggest rocket ever made, with capabilities of pushing 150 tonnes into low earth orbit.
  • ūüďł This flight test provided the first publicly available high-definition footage of reentry plasma cloud, a milestone for space exploration documentation.
  • ‚≠źÔłŹ SpaceX leverages Starlink for innovative communication through plasma clouds, a technique not available to the Space Shuttle, enhancing mission capabilities.
  • ūüõ† Starship aims for full reusability, intending to revolutionize space transport to the Moon and Mars, with a design focusing on the sustainable use of methane as fuel.
  • ūüďą The Raptor engines' full-flow staged combustion cycle is a pioneering technology, aiming for high efficiency and reusability in contrast to traditional rocket engines.
  • ūüö® Despite challenges such as wind shear and control issues during descent, SpaceX continues to innovate with plans to catch the booster using mechanical arms instead of landing legs.
  • ūüĆé Future versions of Starship are planned for a variety of missions, including cargo transport, crewed journeys, lunar missions, and even serving as orbital propellant depots.
  • ūüďį Ground News, sponsored by a former NASA engineer, offers a unique platform providing a balanced view of news stories, emphasizing the importance of understanding different perspectives.

Q & A

  • What significant achievement did SpaceX's 3rd integrated flight test accomplish?

    -SpaceX's 3rd integrated flight test successfully reached space for the first time, lighting all 33 of its methalox engines and performing a second hotstaging separation.

  • How does the 3rd integrated flight test's success compare to the previous test launch?

    -Unlike the previous test launch where the booster exploded and Starship failed to reach space, this flight was successful, marking a significant improvement.

  • What prevented SpaceX from performing a re-entry burn during the test?

    -The out of control rolling of Starship prevented it from performing a re-entry burn.

  • What makes Starship stand out in terms of its construction and capabilities?

    -Starship is notable for being the most powerful and largest rocket ever made, capable of pushing 150 tonnes into low Earth orbit with its full flow staged combustion cycle engines.

  • What unique advantage does Starlink offer SpaceX during re-entry communication blackout periods?

    -Unlike the Space Shuttle, SpaceX's Starship benefits from Starlink, allowing it to communicate upwards through the plasma cloud that causes communication blackouts, something the Space Shuttle couldn't do.

  • What is the primary goal of SpaceX's Starship according to the company?

    -SpaceX states that the primary goal of Starship is to serve as the primary transport method between Earth orbit, the moon, and Mars.

  • Why is methane considered a beneficial fuel for Starship, especially for missions involving Mars?

    -Methane is advantageous as it offers better performance than kerosene, easier storage than hydrogen, and can be synthesized directly on Mars, facilitating the crucial refueling process for return journeys.

  • What are the main challenges SpaceX faces in achieving a fully reusable Starship system?

    -SpaceX must overcome challenges such as controlling the heat of combustion to prevent turbine melting, managing soot from unburnt fuel, and ensuring the stability and control of the booster and second stage for safe landings and reuse.

  • How does SpaceX plan to address the landing of the Starship's heavy boosters?

    -SpaceX plans to catch the booster with mechanical arms, eliminating the need for heavy landing legs and reducing the likelihood of damaging the landing pad upon return.

  • What are the implications of SpaceX's advancements with Starship for the space industry and scientific discovery?

    -SpaceX's advancements with Starship, including its capability to launch larger payloads and facilitate new generations of communication satellites and space exploration, represent a significant step forward in space technology and its applications.

Outlines

00:00

ūüöÄ SpaceX's Breakthrough Starship Test

The narrative begins with the author's experience at SpaceX's 3rd integrated flight test, detailing the successful launch of the Starship, which for the first time, ignited all 33 of its Raptor engines and performed a complex hotstaging separation. This launch marked a significant improvement over previous failures, showcasing a sub-orbital launch that avoided turning Starship into space debris. The segment highlights the rocket's impressive capabilities, including its massive size, powerful engines, and potential to carry substantial payloads into low Earth orbit. The re-entry provided groundbreaking high-definition footage of the reentry plasma, a feat unachieved by the Space Shuttle, partly thanks to the Starlink communication system. The discussion then shifts to the broader implications for the space industry, questioning SpaceX's ultimate goals with Starship, amidst a backdrop of increasing space ventures by wealthy entrepreneurs.

05:04

ūüĒß Innovations and Challenges in Starship's Engine Design

This section delves into the technical specifics of SpaceX’s Starship, focusing on the Raptor engines that distinguish it from its predecessors with their full-flow combustion cycle, contrasting with the open cycle of the Apollo mission's F1 engines. The discussion covers the engineering solutions SpaceX implemented to overcome the challenges of high-pressure liquid propellant pumping and the risks of combustion temperature and soot buildup, which are critical for the reusability of the engines. Methane's choice as fuel is justified by its balance between performance and storage convenience, its potential for in-situ production on Mars, and its cleaner combustion. The narrative also recounts a past incident of engine failure due to material incompatibility, highlighting SpaceX’s iterative learning process and the ongoing adjustments to the Starship design, emphasizing the relentless pursuit of the visionary goal of making Starship a fully reusable rocket system.

10:10

ūüĆĆ Toward Full Reusability: Starship's Second Stage Challenges

This segment focuses on the challenges and advancements in making Starship's second stage fully reusable, detailing the engineering feats and hurdles encountered. The narrative explains the technical aspects of the Raptor engines designed for vacuum conditions and the difficulties in relighting them due to the second stage's uncontrolled rolling. The discussion extends to the thermal protection system, comparing it with the Space Shuttle's and emphasizing Starship's advantages like its steel construction and lower ballistic coefficient. The author reflects on the potential solutions for the re-entry control issues, the importance of the test data obtained, and SpaceX's ambitions for various second-stage configurations tailored for different space missions, including cargo and crewed journeys, lunar missions, and even acting as an orbital propellant depot, particularly highlighting the role of Starship in enhancing the capabilities of the Starlink satellite constellation.

15:13

ūüĆć Ground News: A Tool for Balanced News Consumption

The concluding segment shifts focus from SpaceX to discuss the importance of consuming news from multiple perspectives, underscored by the introduction of Ground News, an app developed to provide a balanced view of current events. The app is praised for its data-driven approach, offering users insights into the political bias and factuality of news sources. The narrative exemplifies this by examining a story on a land deal involving SpaceX, illustrating how different political biases influence the coverage of news. Ground News is recommended as a vital tool for critical thinking in today's media-saturated environment, with the author offering a promotional discount for the app, emphasizing its role in fostering a more transparent and informed public discourse.

Mindmap

Keywords

ūüí°SpaceX

SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company. In the context of this video, SpaceX's achievement with its Starship's successful integrated flight test marks a significant milestone. The script highlights SpaceX's innovation in reaching space, performing a second hotstaging separation, and showcasing the potential of its Starship for future space exploration and satellite deployment. This emphasizes SpaceX's role in advancing space technology and its impact on the space industry.

ūüí°Starship

Starship is a fully reusable spacecraft being developed by SpaceX, intended for missions to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The script details its first successful test flight that surpassed the Karman line, its innovative design including the use of methalox engines, and its potential for carrying significant payloads into low Earth orbit. Starship's design, capabilities, and goals for reusability and interplanetary travel are central to understanding SpaceX's future plans for space exploration.

ūüí°Methalox engines

Methalox engines refer to rocket engines that use a combination of methane (CH4) and liquid oxygen (O2) as propellants. The script emphasizes the significance of these engines in Starship's design, marking them as the first full flow staged combustion cycles to fly. This choice of propellant is highlighted for its balance between performance and ease of handling, as well as its potential for in-situ resource utilization on Mars, making these engines a key innovation for sustainable space exploration.

ūüí°Hotstaging separation

Hotstaging separation is a technique used in multi-stage rockets where the next stage ignites its engines before the previous stage has been jettisoned. The script describes how Starship successfully performed its second hotstaging separation, demonstrating an improvement over previous tests. This process is crucial for achieving efficient transitions between stages in space missions, enhancing the rocket's performance and reliability.

ūüí°Raptor engines

Raptor engines are advanced rocket engines developed by SpaceX, designed for use with its Starship vehicle. These engines utilize a full-flow staged combustion cycle, a design choice that allows for greater efficiency and power. The script details their role in propelling the Starship, their innovative design overcoming challenges of high-temperature combustion and soot production, and their critical part in SpaceX's ambitions for reusable rocket technology.

ūüí°Karman line

The Karman line is an internationally recognized boundary of space, situated at an altitude of 100 kilometers above Earth's sea level. The script notes Starship's successful passage past the Karman line, achieving a maximum altitude of 234 kilometers. This achievement signifies Starship's capability to reach space, marking a significant step forward in its development and in the pursuit of commercial and exploratory space missions.

ūüí°Reusability

Reusability in the context of space travel refers to the design principle of spacecraft and rocket components being recoverable and capable of being flown again. The script underscores Starship's design for reusability, with both its heavy booster and second stage intended to land back on Earth for refurbishment and reuse. This approach aims to reduce the cost of access to space, a cornerstone of SpaceX's strategy for making space exploration more sustainable and economical.

ūüí°Sub-orbital launch

A sub-orbital launch refers to a spaceflight that reaches space but does not have sufficient velocity to enter into orbit around Earth. The script discusses SpaceX's decision for Starship to perform a sub-orbital launch during its test, highlighting the strategic choice to gather data and avoid potential risks associated with orbital re-entry at this stage of development. This illustrates the careful planning and incremental testing approach in advancing space technology.

ūüí°Full-flow combustion cycle

The full-flow combustion cycle is an advanced rocket engine design where all the fuel and oxidizer pass through pre-burners and then into the combustion chamber, maximizing efficiency and power. The script explains how the Raptor engines' use of this cycle allows for a more efficient propulsion system, reducing waste and thermal load on engine components. This technological advancement is pivotal for the reusability and performance of the Starship.

ūüí°Space industry

The space industry encompasses all activities related to the development, manufacture, and operation of space vehicles and the infrastructure supporting space missions. The script contemplates the impact of SpaceX's advancements, like the successful test of Starship, on the broader space industry. It suggests that innovations in rocket design, reusability, and propulsion could open new possibilities for satellite deployment, scientific discovery, and human space exploration, thereby changing the face of the space industry.

Highlights

SpaceX's 3rd integrated flight test reached space, lighting all 33 of its methalox engines.

Performed a successful second hotstaging separation, improving from previous test failures.

Starship achieved a max altitude of 234 kilometers, close to ISS orbit altitude.

Aimed for sub-orbital launch to avoid creating space junk, showing cautious advancement.

Starship's reentry provided first high-definition footage of reentry plasma cloud.

Starlink's communication capability through the plasma cloud using Starlink.

SpaceX's goal with Starship is to serve as primary transport between earth, moon, and mars.

Methane fuel choice supports Mars missions by enabling local fuel production.

Raptor engines' full-flow combustion cycle marks a significant innovation in rocket technology.

Super heavy booster's landing burn attempt and challenges highlighted.

Plans to catch the booster with mechanical arms instead of using landing legs.

Starship's thermal protection system is similar yet improved from Space Shuttle's.

Starship's design enables a lower ballistic coefficient for safer reentry.

SpaceX plans to create multiple second-stage variants for different missions.

Ground News platform offers a data-driven way to analyze news bias and factuality.

Transcripts

00:00

On the 14th of June SpaceX’s 3rd integrated  flight test achieved something incredible, and  

00:06

I was there to witness it while helping my friend  EverydayAstronaut film the event. It reached space  

00:14

for the first time. Successfully lighting all 33  of it’s methalox engines. While also performing  

00:21

its second hotstaging separation, where the heavy  booster powers down all but 3 of its engines,  

00:27

while the six second stage light before separation  occurs. Which is a huge improvement over the last  

00:35

test launch where the booster exploded  and Starship failed to reach space due to  

00:40

a fire caused by a planned oxygen dump. This  successful maneuver allowed the second stage  

00:46

starship to soar past the Karman line, achieving  a max altitude of 234 kilometers. Just short of  

00:54

the orbit altitude of the ISS. SpaceX could  have performed a boost burn to achieve orbit,  

01:01

but with so much left to figure out, including  the out of control rolling that prevented it from  

01:07

performing a re-entry burn, SpaceX aimed  for a sub-orbital launch. This prevented  

01:13

Starship from becoming the largest piece of  space junk in the history of space flight.

01:19

Starship is massive. Standing at 121 meters tall,  it’s not just the most powerful rocket ever made,  

01:27

it's the biggest. And its powerful raptor  engines, the first full flow staged  

01:33

combustion cycles to ever fly, are capable  of pushing 150 tonnes into low earth orbit.

01:41

Instead it re-entered the atmosphere at  hypersonic speeds, providing incredible  

01:46

footage. There is no footage publicly available  of the Space Shuttle during re-entry, I know I  

01:53

looked for it for our 3 part documentary. We had  to create our own animations instead. As far as I  

02:00

can tell this is the first publicly available  high definition footage reentry plasma cloud.  

02:06

That very plasma cloud caused the Space Shuttle  to enter a communication blackout as the free  

02:11

electrons in it prevent radio communication, but  SpaceX has something the Space Shuttle didn’t,  

02:17

Starlink. Allowing it to communicate upwards,  rather than downwards through the plasma cloud.

02:24

This is all incredible. So  what now. What does this mean,  

02:29

and how does this change the  face of the space industry?

02:36

At this point, you might be overwhelmed  with the amount of new rockets. It seems  

02:41

that every divorced billionaire  is starting a rocket company,  

02:45

in the same way a divorced middle  aged man buys a Mazda Miata.

02:49

But unlike the Miata, Starship can  carry more than just 1 sad lonely  

02:56

person. Starship is capable of launching  more into orbit than anything before it,  

03:02

and with that capability comes a  whole lot of new possibilities.

03:06

Not only is the starship the  most powerful rocket ever made,  

03:10

it’s intended to be fully reusable.  With both the heavy booster and second  

03:14

stage being designed to land back on  earth to be refurbished and reused.

03:19

SpaceX have stated that the goal  of Starship is to serve as the  

03:23

primary transport method between  earth orbit, the moon and mars.

03:27

But is this truly their goal or is this simply a  

03:30

way to launch even more constellation  satellites into orbit around earth,

03:35

which is currently the largest driver of revenue  in the space industry, by a large margin.

03:41

Some points of design would suggest this ambition  is sincere. The use of methane as a fuel source is  

03:47

a huge departure from tradition in the rocket  industry. Methane sits in an awkward middle  

03:52

ground between the two most popular fuels. It  provides better performance than kerosene, but  

03:58

not as good as hydrogen. And it’s easier to store  than hydrogen, but not as easy as kerosene. Its  

04:04

benefits are only now becoming useful as SpaceX  works to unlock the magic of reusable rockets.

04:10

Methane serves as a particularly advantageous  fuel for the Starship vehicle, especially for its  

04:16

missions involving landing on Mars and returning  to Earth. Methane can be synthesized directly on  

04:22

Mars, facilitating the crucial refueling  process needed for the return journey.

04:27

The Martian atmosphere has an abundance of carbon  dioxide. Providing the key ingredient for the  

04:32

Sabatier process. An efficient method of methane  production. This chemical reaction combines carbon  

04:38

dioxide with hydrogen in the presence of a nickel  catalyst under h igh temperatures and pressures.

04:45

Carbon dioxide has the highest freezing point of  any gas in the Martian atmosphere. This allows us  

04:51

to extract carbon dioxide from the air by simply  cooling the air. In a process that is essentially  

04:56

the opposite of distillation. This also condenses  the carbon dioxide in a liquid at the same time.

05:03

The hydrogen used in the process is a  largest issue, which will require water  

05:08

deposits on mars to be found and mined.  These are obviously long term goals,  

05:13

but methane provides a more immediate benefit  in SpaceX’s ambitions for reusability.

05:20

The Raptor engines of the Starship  are the first liquid rocket engines  

05:23

to utilize a full-flow combustion cycle  in flight. The F1 engines used in the  

05:29

Apollo missions were powered by an  open cycle. So what does this mean?

05:34

Liquid propellants need to be  pumped at very high pressures  

05:37

to provide the thrusts necessary for  launch. This requires a lot of power.

05:43

In the Saturn V, a portion of the fuel and  oxidizer was redirected to burn through a turbine.  

05:49

This turbine then drove pumps that significantly  increased the pressure of the liquids.

05:54

The heat of combustion could easily melt these  turbines, and thus, to lower the temperatures  

05:59

involved, the fuel mixture is kept fuel  rich. Resulting in cooler combustion.

06:04

Fuel-rich mixtures however burn with A LOT of  soot. The dark cloud here above the Merlin’s  

06:10

engine nozzle is the sooty pre-burner turbine  exhaust. This exhaust does not contribute to  

06:17

thrust and is just thrown overboard. This is what  an open cycle is, and it’s a little wasteful.

06:24

The Raptor engines are closed  cycle. They don’t waste any fuel,  

06:28

but there are two large problems to overcome.  The heat of combustion melting the turbines and  

06:34

the potential of soot from unburnt  fuel clogging complex mechanisms.

06:39

These are critical concerns  for single use engines,  

06:42

but the Raptor engine needs to perform  reliably time after time after time.

06:47

Methane helps solve one of these problems.  Methane consists of a single carbon molecule,  

06:53

reducing the potential formation of  long carbon chain soot particles.

06:57

The Raptor engine runs ALL of its  fuel and oxidizer through pre-burners.

07:02

With the fuel turbopump running a  fuel rich mixture and the liquid  

07:06

oxygen turbopump running an oxygen rich mixture.

07:09

The excess fuel and oxygen from  either side then combine in the  

07:13

combustion chamber in their gaseous  state where combustion is completed.

07:18

However, that oxygen rich mixture in the  preburner could easily cause elevated combustion  

07:23

temperatures that could destroy the liquid oxygen  turbopump. So how does SpaceX get around that?

07:30

Conventional closed cycle engines only push  a small fraction of the fuel and oxidizer  

07:35

through the turbopumps. The Raptor Engine’s  full-flow cycle passes ALL of the fuel and  

07:41

oxidizer through the turbopumps. This amount of  mass flow means the temperature rise required  

07:47

to run the turbine is much lower. Reducing  the thermal loads on the turbine blades.

07:53

However, the oxygen-rich hot gas coming  out of the pre burner still needs special  

07:58

attention. SN8 showed what happens when  oxygen-rich gasses are allowed to interact  

08:03

with reactive materials. During its flight,  decreasing head pressure in the fuel tank  

08:08

shifted the combustion to an oxygen-rich  environment that reacted with copper,  

08:13

melting the engine. Flashy green copper  flames preceded the ship engulfed in flames.

08:19

SpaceX is casting its Raptor parts in  a specially developed Inconel alloy,  

08:24

a highly oxidation and heat resistant  nickel-chromium alloy to help combat this problem

08:29

These engines have proven their ability to  push this absolutely mammoth rocket to orbit,  

08:34

but there is plenty left to do  to fulfill SpaceX’s grand vision.

08:39

The gigantic booster still needs to land. The  super heavy booster of IFT-3 lit it’s engines  

08:46

for Starships first ever landing burn,  but it experienced a rapid unscheduled  

08:52

disassembly at 462 meters in altitude.  During its initial supersonic descent,  

08:59

things seemed pretty stable, but then as it relit  its engines while it flew by this altocumulus  

09:05

cloud layer, it appeared to be hit by some heavy  wind shear and was knocked out of stable flight.

09:11

The grid fins can be seen frantically trying to  

09:13

return to a stable position before  exploding at 462 meters in altitude.

09:20

Wind shear is to be expected, but it  appears the booster was traveling faster  

09:24

than planned and stability and control  is affected massively by velocity. With  

09:30

IFT-4 space X will likely work  to decrease velocity quicker.

09:35

However, unlike their Falcon counterparts, the  starships' heavy boosters will not have landing  

09:40

legs. Space x is instead planning to catch the  booster with mechanical arms, flying back to the  

09:47

launch pad that it originally launched from.  This removes the need for heavy landing legs,  

09:52

but also reduces the likelihood of the powerful  raptor engines destroying the landing pad on  

09:57

landing. Landing where it took off also has other  benefits. With all the necessary infrastructure to  

10:03

refuel and relaunch nearby, the turnaround  time for another launch could be reduced.

10:09

The next challenge in fulfilling  SpaceX’s ambition is developing  

10:13

full reusability for the second stage.  The second stage has 6 raptor engines,  

10:18

with three of them being adapted for use in  a vacuum with much larger engine nozzles.

10:24

These engines successfully boosted the second  stage to space, but could not relit because  

10:30

the second stage began to roll. If we stabilize  the footage of re-entry we really get a sense  

10:36

of how much it was rolling out of control,  and once it rolled onto its side it began  

10:41

to tumble end over end too, but despite  that it survived a surprisingly long time.

10:48

The bulk of starship’s thermal protective  system are tiles made out of silica fibers  

10:53

with a fused silica glass coating, made  in much the same way the space shuttles  

10:58

tiles were. Although there are likely  some minor changes in the formulation.

11:03

Especially as several tiles fell off once  again. This is likely a similar issue  

11:08

that the Space Shuttle solved by gluing its  tiles to a nomex strain isolation pad first,  

11:15

allowing the metal to flex and bend beneath the  tiles without transferring that movement to the  

11:20

tiles. However Starship has one massive advantage  over the Space Shuttle. It’s made out of steel,  

11:28

not aluminium. Steel has a much higher  operating temperature than the aluminium  

11:34

airframe of the Space Shuttle, and that’s  pretty evident as the Space Shuttle survived  

11:38

a surprisingly long time while rolling  and tumbling at hypersonic speeds.

11:44

Starship also has a lower ballistic  coefficient than the Space Shuttle.  

11:48

When flying on its belly with its  fuel tanks empty it has a large  

11:53

surface and low weight that drag can act on  quickly. That’s a low ballistic coefficient.

12:00

Whereas a dense aerodynamically optimized bullet  has a very high ballistic coefficient. The space  

12:06

shuttle was a fascinating design, but much of  its aerodynamics were influenced by the Air  

12:11

Force who demanded that it could fly 2000  kilometers laterally in order to return to  

12:16

its launch site after a single orbit. This  is not something the Starship will need.

12:22

I have no doubt in my mind that it can  survive re-entry if they can get these  

12:27

control issues solved, but hypersonic stability  and control is not an easy problem and we don’t  

12:35

have many ways to test solutions. This is  something SpaceX will need to iron out with  

12:41

more testing and thankfully they got some  incredible data and footage to work off of.

12:47

Once decelerated the Starship will  flip itself vertical using these  

12:47

massive forward and rear flaps  before performing a landing burn.

12:47

Once these problems are solved SpaceX could  have the most capable space launch system  

12:52

ever created on its hands and it has plans to  create multiple variants of the second stage.

12:58

It can be outfitted for crewed or  uncrewed journeys and can be adapted  

13:02

for carrying cargo or designed  specifically for lunar missions.

13:06

For missions that involve landing on  the moon or traveling in deep space,  

13:10

where atmospheric entry is not a concern, it  can be configured without fins and heat shields.

13:15

In order to transport even more cargo  deeper into space SpaceX has discussed  

13:19

plans to have one second stage variant  that is designed to act as an orbital  

13:24

propellant depot. This depot could  be filled with 9 missions to orbit,  

13:28

each carrying hundreds of tonnes of  propellant instead of their usual cargo.

13:33

However, the variant that will get the earliest  and most use is the one designed specifically to  

13:38

launch Starlink. SpaceX is gearing up to provide  larger versions of the Starlink satellites.

13:45

Up to now, all Starlink satellites have  been constrained by the capabilities of  

13:49

the Falcon system. The Starlink v1.5 satellites  are compact and weigh approximately 300 kilograms  

13:55

each.With their flat-panel design, 60  starlink satellites can fit into the  

13:59

Falcon 9’s 5.2-meter wide payload fairing,  maxing out its capacity to low earth orbit. 

14:06

SpaceX could achieve more with a larger payload  capability. In August of 2022, Starlink announced  

14:13

a partnership with T-Mobile to provide cell  network to their customers. Cell phone’s antenna  

14:18

are too weak to interact with the signals from  Starlinks current satellites. So, going forward,  

14:24

Starlink needs to provide stronger signals to  reliably provide a cell network in rural areas.

14:31

Starship will allow SpaceX to launch larger  variants of starlink with larger antenna  

14:36

providing stronger signals. Plans for gigantic  space telescopes have been proposed for the  

14:42

starship's large fairing too. The James Webb  Space Telescope’s engineering was massively  

14:47

complicated with the size constraints of the  incredibly reliable and capable Ariane 5.

14:51

Today’s test was just the first of 2024’s  and SpaceX has applied for an ambitious 9  

14:56

launches with the FAA, with each launch SpaceX  will get closer to completing their vision. A  

15:02

huge step forward in our ability to  launch massive objects into space.

15:07

There is still much to be tested and proven  but Space X is inching closer to having a  

15:12

fully reusable starship system that will  open up the doors for a new generation of  

15:17

communication satellites, and a new generation  of scientific discovery and space exploration.

15:24

Throughout this entire story I have tried  not to mention the man behind SpaceX,  

15:29

Elon Musk. That’s in part because the man has  become incredibly politically divisive. On one  

15:35

hand he’s helped develop and popularize critical  technologies that can help fight climate change,  

15:41

like electric batteries and electric vehicles.  Something people on the left largely support. On  

15:46

the other hand he’s very popular with the right  for his anti-regulation and anti-union support.

15:52

If you listen to either side you don’t  get a full picture of the news. There  

15:56

are three sides to every story. What you  think happened, what I think happened and  

16:01

what actually happened. Ideally we should all  be getting the news of all three perspectives,  

16:06

so we get the full picture of current events.  Today’s sponsor Ground News does just that.

16:12

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16:18

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tabs to get a quick synopsis of how the different  sides are discussing the headline - like how this  

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left-leaning outlet mentions the land swap  involves a state park, while neither of  

17:09

the right-leaning headlines mention this. You can then choose a source to read more,  

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and Ground News labels each source with  political leaning, a factuality rating, and  

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who owns the news organization. Giving you as much  information as possible to contextualize the news  

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you are consuming. Something I think we can all  agree is something we need today more than ever. 

17:31

Ground News is a fantastic tool for  sifting through the constant onslaught  

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of misinformation and bias. They provide all  the tools you need to be a critical thinker,  

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and I cannot recommend it enough. In fact, I  am offering 30% off their Vantage Subscription  

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so you can get cheaper access. You can  only access this discount through my link,  

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so go to https://ground.news/realengineering  or click the link in the video description and  

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support an independent news platform working  to make the media landscape more transparent.