SpaceX’s mega-rocket Starship, which when fully assembled, stands 120 metres (394 feet) tall, will grow even bigger, says Elon Musk. According to the SpaceX CEO, the rocket’s height will increase by five to ten metres when the company scales its production. Currently, there is only a prototype of the Super Heavy Booster and the Ship (combined called Starship) that are undergoing tests ahead of the first orbital launch.
It will grow by at least 5 to 10 meters over time
Musk made the revelation while replying to a tweet featuring a comparison picture of the ‘rockets of the world’. While no rocket is close to Starship in terms of size, the second spot is still occupied by the Saturn V rocket, which stood 111 meters (363 feet) tall and was used during NASA’s Apollo missions nearly five decades ago.
The scale of the Starship is insane and 🤯🤯🤯@elonmusk pic.twitter.com/L4phPVxqsb
NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS), which has been developed with upgraded hardware of the rockets from the Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs, is currently the tallest finished rocket. Standing 322 feet at its smallest, the SLS rocket comes in six configurations with varying heights. Interestingly, the SLS Block 1 Crew, which is the first of the six configurations and launching the Artemis I mission, is capable of generating 8.8 million pounds, which is 15% greater than Saturn V.
On the other hand, Starship’s Super Heavy Booster, which is equipped with 33 massive Raptor engines, would alone produce 17 million lbs of thrust. The upper stage Ship, on the other hand, which has six raptor engines could generate 3.2 million lbs of thrust, according to SpaceX. With a total height of 120 metres (394 feet), the Booster occupies 69 metres (230 ft) of the number as opposed to the Ship which stands 50 metres (164 feet) tall. As for its payload capacity, the Starship could carry over 230 tons of cargo to space whereas the SLS rocket’s capacity ranges from 27 tons to 46 tons.
Currently, SpaceX is preparing the Starship rocket for crucial pre-launch tests before it could liftoff for its first orbital flight. Originally scheduled for December 2021, the launch has been postponed multiple times, although Musk has been optimistic about the flight to take place this year.