SpaceX announced the Starship orbital SN1 back in 2019 after its Starship Mk1 was partially destroyed. Thereafter, they also suspended their Starship Mk2 program. SpaceX is now working on their next scheduled orbital vehicle SN! and Elon Musk has shared some interesting photos of its making.
Starship has a unique design that is fully reusable even when used as a second stage for orbital ascent from Earth. The vehicle can enter Earth's atmosphere from orbital velocities and landing vertically. SpaceX's Starship SN1 is at the process of making and the first flight will be uncrewed.
Elon Musk recently shared a picture of the vehicle being processed via his Twitter account. The picture confirms that it is still in its production period rather than being tested by the SpaceX team.
The Spaceship SN1's liquid oxygen header tank and the nosecone is under production. Sources say that the team will include the header tank into the nosecone probably for the stability reason.
We should remember that SpaceX's previous vehicle Starhopper is tested with no nosecone resulting in a much shorter test vehicle. However, the Spaceship SN1 has a prominent nosecone but it seems that it has a smaller header.
According to the sources, in older designs, the header took some of the volumes. However, after shrinking them, the team got a bit more volume at the full 9-meter diameter. But, the pressurized area is roughly the same as it was before in the previous vehicles and this will save some space too.
The picture that Musk shared on Twitter on January 16, shows that the team is working on the header tank and the nosecone. After its production, Starship SN1 is scheduled to go on test flights and thereafter some changes will be made accordingly.
About SpaceX Starship
SpaceX is trying to make a vehicle that will have the ability to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and retro propulsively on a designated landing pad. With its Starship vehicles, SpaceX is trying to achieve this goal that will change the method of traveling to space entirely.
The vehicles will have a stainless steel structure and tank construction. They will also include a thermal protection system against the harsh conditions of atmospheric reentry.
They will also put a pressurized volume of approximately 1,000 m3 which could be configured for up to 40 cabins, large common areas, central storage and a solar flare shelter into the vehicle.
Moreover, Starships have flexible design options and SpaceX aims to reach the Moon and Mars with it after on-orbit propellant loading.
We hope that the Starship orbital SN1 vehicle will have a successful test flight after its production. Moreover, this space vehicle will rewrite history if it successfully achieves its goal. We sincerely support its cause and pray for its success.