About the new version of Elon Musk’s Starship to Return to the Moon

About the new version of Elon Musk's Starship to Return to the Moon

If all goes according to plan *, in 2024 man will set foot on the moon again. A special edition of Elon Musk’s ship was launched by Starship HLS. We know the basics of this new ship, but there are unknowns that remain unresolved A big secret: the distribution of your interior space.

Photo: Special Note (Evolo)

NASA’s plan to return to the moon has changed a lot since it was declared a galaxy in 2005. Re-release of the Apollo program Using a new rocket called the Ares and a somewhat larger – and somewhat reusable – capsule called the Orion. After several delays and the economic crisis of 2008, the galaxy was canceled in 2010.

Orion spacecraft on its way to the moon (NASA)

In 2017 NASA announced the Artemis program, and that too Has experienced numerous delays and cuts This eventually led to SpaceX entry and a new project for Artemis 3, the first mission to put humans on the moon after Apollo 17.

What we know about Starship HLS

According to that plan, the SpaceX spacecraft will reach the moon Before the manned ship Orion. Launched by a super heavy booster, the Starship HLS first loads fuel into Earth’s orbit, using an orbital tank previously loaded with handles using other handles such as oxygen and methane.

When it is full of fuel, it will leave the Earth’s gravitational pull and enter a polar orbit around our satellite, waiting for its first crew members. The astronauts – in theory – will launch in October 2024 using an Orion capsule on an SLS rocket. Come on, Bringing the Orion Starship using the forward hatch – It will be another side hatch to land on the lunar surface – and two astronauts will pass the ship. Starship will bring them to the lunar surface and return them to Orion a week later.

Description of the Starship HLS with the Orion (Mc Crawford) spacecraft

The astronauts will return to Earth in Orion, and the Starship HLS is said to be waiting for a second Orion mission in lunar orbit, pushing back a new crew of up to eight people.

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This represents a fundamental design difference between Starship and Starship HLS. The latter Designed to fly exclusively in a vacuum. It will not have a heat shield to re-enter the atmosphere or air navigation paddles to move the aircraft to the base.

Instead of a thermal shield or paddles, the top of the starship HLS will have a ring of solar panels just below the cone (the panels of a normal starship will be exposed as it travels on its way to Mars). The explanation for this unique configuration lies in the angle of the sun relative to the landing site. Artemis travels to the lunar south pole, so the sun’s rays come parallel to the surface. Logically, The panels should be completely vertical You can get those rays vertically and get maximum energy.

The ring of vertical solar panels is mounted on the lunar surface (SpaceX) by the Starship HLS.

Another basic aspect of the design is dictated by the need for reuse. Using its rear rockets, the Starship HLS ‘thrust would fall directly on the lunar regolith, violently throwing rocks and dust. That ship You may face irreparable damage Moreover, with each lunar activity, these risks accumulate, greatly reducing its potential lifespan. In the case of the Apollo passengers, this was not a problem for the lunar module as it was single-use and the lunar orbiter was protected by the base and landing gear. This will not be an issue in terms of starship for Mars because the ship will return to Earth.

To avoid potential damage, the Starship HLS will have engines located on the top half of the fuse. SpaceX says they land in the last few meters before they touch the surface, as well as lift from the moon without lifting a terrible cloud of dust and rocks.

The last secret of starship

Those engines require 24 fuel tanks located at the same height, which will affect the space distribution within the starship HLS.

Interior configuration of Starship HLS (TF)

Normal Starship does not use these engines, so its fuel tanks are at the bottom of the ship. On the lunar spacecraft – which will have a cargo capacity of 100 tons – space will be split in half. Still, that would be enough to keep eight astronauts in orbit on the lunar surface for several weeks and up to 100 days. In fact, the power of idea Use ships as habitats on the moon Once they reach the end of their productive lives as boats.

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In addition to that central segment, the distribution of large interior space is carried out by Starship HLS. To date, SpaceX has not shown any interior designs for this spacecraft or the starship assigned to Mars.

The concept of the interior of a normal starship (spacenus)

For the latter, Musk claims to have shown that habitat when the prototype is assembled “in two or three years”, as it did with the Dragon Crew ship. So far we have only seen feedback from freelance designers. What you can do with these lines is fit better with SpaceX’s industrial design language than below.

Starship HLS Interior Concept

The lunar starship should arrive in habitat long before that prototype, and it will be mandated by NASA’s requirements. Although the aerospace company has released the required payload weight in the lunar spacecraft tender – which is very high for the Starship HLS – it has not yet specified what types of locations and functions the Artemis missions will require.

Concepto Dell Interior Dell Starship HLS (Smallstars)

We assume that at least you have an airfield, rest area, gym area, laboratory area, personal hygiene area and a cargo bay that will carry a rover in addition to supplies for various tasks. But still Its configuration and other possible zones are completely unknown.

Details of potential support for lunar landings (SpaceX)

We do not know about the SpaceX solution for the feet, it will land on the lunar surface. They will have to be used to extend the radius of the large column support area of ​​the Starship HLS so that it can adapt to the lunar terrain and maintain the stability of the spacecraft. We also know that the Apollo lunar block on these legs did not have to be ‘shoes’ because in their day, engineers were unaware of the composition of the lunar soil and thought it could be very soft and unstable.

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Progress at good speed

2024 around the corner, so We will clear this unknown soon. After several failed missions of its starship, SpaceX landed for the first time on May 5 and without problems after a test flight at high altitude. There are many steps to meet NASA’s milestones – from refueling around the Earth to landing a drone – but for now Elon Musk and his crew seem to be on track.

Starship SN15 Landing in Slow Motion (Cosmic View)

However, this challenge is unbelievable and more dangerous than the Apollo program, which had a commitment of the entire country and a budget of $ 152,000 million (adjusted for inflation) compared to the $ 2,900 million of the Starship program. H.L.S.

Honestly, Kasturi has announced SN15 in early May – they will soon resume landing ship To test the reuse of the system. As we have seen, that reuse is important for both Muskin’s plans to travel to Mars and NASA’s Artemis. The first female and male are sure to have many more explosions and delays to land safely. But we are definitely on the way and I hope we will witness soon A new historical milestone in mankind’s return to the stars.

Comparison of the sizes of the three lunar ships that competed in the Artemis Mission competition

* Note: NASA has Suspended lunar contract with SpaceX The U.S. Government Expenditure Monitoring Office is one of three projects submitted to the competition, until the Blue Origin reviews the opposition of the national team. According to Jeff Bezos and his associates aerospace dinosaurs Lockheed Martin, Northrop Groomer and Dropper, Winning the SpaceX competition was unreasonable, although it was higher than other projects and the Blue Origin has yet to launch anything into orbit. Or, after learning about the opposition, as Muskie explained, to Bezos “It was not lifted (in orbit)”.

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