SpaceX is busy making dozens of steel rings for Starship’s first super-heavy booster, whose assembly CEO Alan Musk says could be “just a few weeks”.
Significantly, more than twice the height of the starship’s main propellant tank and engine component, the super heavy booster will stand an incredible 70+ meters (230+ feet) once completed – the same height or a full two stages. With Falcon 9 or higher than Falcon Heavy. Unlike the Rocket Starship, the Super Heavy will have no nose and will be built like a Starship tank – completely out of steel rings.
Each 9m (~ 30 feet) in diameter and 1.8m (~ 6 feet) long, SpaceX will need to stack some 32 rings of steel to complete Super Heavy’s propellant tanks, interstage and engine component. Effectively, SpaceX is making so much progress in building super heavy sub-sections that we will have to wait until the first booster assembly begins until a facility (“high bay”) is ready to stack them.
Thanks to the hand labels attached to each ring group and the supervision of local resident and photographer Marie (also known as Bokachikagal), less than six confirmed parts of the first super heavy booster (SH1) have not yet been found in Boka Chika Are. At two to four rings high, the first of these ring sections was found on September 22, and the second at number 28.
In the first few days of October, it doubled to four, five, and six confirmation stacks, as well as many other potential candidates with hidden labels from a publicly accessible perspective. In addition, Musk’s latest note that the super-heavy booster’s liquid oxygen tank will have “vertical stiffeners” – also known as wires – means that a trio of five-wire stacked wires are also super-heavy. Was the # 1 candidate.
Assuming one of these three five-ring stacks is reserved for the first functional Starship nose section, SpaceX may already have 30+ super heavy rings – a total of 38 38 – awaiting completion of the high bay construction.
Roughly 80 meters (~ 260 feet) high, SpaceX’s Boca Chika Bay is essentially a closed gantry crane that will be used to stack and load super heavy boosters – the final stages of production. SpaceX and its contractors began building the high-rise in early July, and Musk says the massive building is only “a few weeks” away from completion. As of October, the structure must be complete, as is the wall covering. Half of the roof of the building is also completed, with little work left before running power, HVAC, and plumbing.
Not surprisingly, the CEO of SpaceX has also stated that High Bay will eventually be given a “giant gantry crane”, although super heavy booster stacking is likely to begin earlier. Meanwhile, there’s a good chance that SpaceX will start stacking super-heavy sub-subs in the existing Starship Mid Bay, expecting only a few large stacks left in High Bay to complete the first booster.
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