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Monday, September 20, 2021

Futurism for Noobs #1: Space X Starship

Hi guys, this is JC, one of the guys here at Lobsterbooks, and today I’m going to talk to you about SpaceX.

I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to science, but this has never stopped me from dreaming of the future. It does mean I’m not someone who has a formal background or a deep understanding of the science behind some of those far-out sci-fi ideas. I figure there must be others out there in the same boat. In this series, I plan to expand my knowledge and I’d be happy if you’d want to come along for the ride! 

This week: What’s the Big Deal with the SpaceX Starship?

Space X and Elon Musk have been breaking social media records for a while now. The idea of colonizing Mars and exploring the boundaries of space has gripped the multitudes. Elon Musk has been the biggest influencer in this space (sorry for the pun). I thought it would be interesting to try and understand the way the technology SpaceX is developing is revolutionizing space exploration. 

What is SpaceX?  

For the uninitiated, SpaceX is a private company founded by Elon Musk with the goal of achieving a Mars Colony. He believes that achieving a multi-planetary mission is important firstly to back up humanity against the chaos of the universe. He also thinks we all need to be inspired and have something to look forward to in the future. (It doesn’t seem to harm that he will make big $$$ while doing so). 

While trying to achieve this very worthwhile goal, SpaceX has already delivered a bunch of technological advancements. Many of these are being incorporated into the truly insane Starship project... 

What is Starship? 

SpaceX is developing a 100-passenger stainless-steel spaceship called Starship. It will sit atop a giant rocket known as Super Heavy. The whole thing is meant to be reusable, looks like something straight out of a science fiction book, and is built with the sole purpose of colonizing mars!! Bonkers! 

Some of these envelope-pushing innovations include, but are not limited to: Super-efficient ‘Raptor’ engines, which waste a lot less than other engines and run on methalox, a combination of liquid methane (CH4) and oxygen (O2) which can be synthesized in Mars. This would mean a new level of self-sufficiency allowing for cheaper and safer trips. 

Super Heavy is also an incredible feat. Its cousin, the falcon heavy, is currently the world’s most powerful rocket, producing 7.6 meganewtons of thrust, and the Super Heavy is supposed to double that.

Another innovative feature is the fact that these Rockets will be reusable. Previously SpaceX has landed only the first stage of its rockets back on the launchpad, Starship and Super Heavy will allowing them to reuse everything!

Will We Colonize Mars? 

I truly don’t know the answer, but I feel like it's a worthwhile goal. If we colonized Mars, humanity would greatly increase the probability of living through disasters like solar mega-flares or meteorite strikes. People forget how truly fragile life on Earth is. 

I also think that this could set the stage for the next era of human development. Much like the age of discovery brought a new sense of the world to our ancestors, I think the age of space exploration will bring about new technologies here on earth, new paradigms, and a new sense of humanity's position in the universe. 

Tell me what you think white elephant or humanity’s white knight?


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