SpaceX’s CEO, Founder, and chief engineer Elon Musk says Starship launches will overtake Starlink launches. Observing the number of launches Starlink made this year, the cost of launching satellites definitely reduced. That is, in comparison to traditional rocket launches in the past. But Starship is going to be next level.
While Starlink satellites cost $250,000 each, each launch costs about $57 million ith Falcon 9. Also, China’s low-cost rocket couldn’t be launched at such cheaper. But Starship is expected to cost only $2 million per launch, much cheaper than current launches.
Every other rocket-making company is facing strong competition. But SpaceX is aiming for something more. Recently SpaceX’s “Deimos” construction started. It is a floating launchpad specifically being prepared for Starship.
Currently, the Falcon 9 launches in-between time can be less than a week. Their engineers are quick, and there is an almost 80% recovery rate for the Falcon 9 first stage Booster when it lands.
But, the Starship is being designed for regular launches, like on daily basis. When the rockets are launched from regular launch pads, the noise levels need to be reduced. In 2019, already Elon Musk talked about point-to-point launches from the floating launchpads.
It was expected that SpaceX is going to have more launches in the future. However, Starship overtaking Starlink launches was mentioned only recently.
Starlink missions will move to Starship
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2021
But it will take several years for the Starship to be ready for such regular launches. It is only being developed now, and the launchpads are yet to be ready. As Starship starts its orbital launch tests, it could be possible to send Starlink satellites.
Falcon 9 has been doing a good job and will continue to be in use for some years. Its first-ever launch was on June 4th 11 years ago. By this year, it was launched more than 123 times.
240 satellites in one Starship
The first orbital Starlink satellites are launched and will assemble by 2021 in the earth’s orbit as allocated. Starlink’s mission includes covering further areas around the earth with more such orbital launches.
Falcon 9 launches around 50-60 Starlink satellites. However, it is expected that the Starship can carry 240 satellites. However, there is no saying for now, as it is still being built.
SPACE NERDS! This is what 240 Starlink satellites in the cargo fairing of Starship might look like. Comments, criticisms, and retweets welcome! -Neo@Erdayastronaut @DJSnM @elonmusk @NASASpaceflight @ChrisG_NSF @BocaChicaGal @SciGuySpace @13ericralph31 pic.twitter.com/EVWiKApBIe
— Neopork (@Neopork85) June 15, 2020
Furthermore, the capabilities of Starship are already known. In a conference, Gwynne Shotwell from SpaceX mentioned that Starship could carry 400 Starlinks satellites. However, the Starship needs to be reusable at a large percentage. Because it has 35 rapture engines and replacing the engines would mean an increase in the price of each launch.
Definitely, this is not something that’s going to happen any time soon. More modifications and safety assurance would possibly ensure Starlink launches.