JAKARTA – Since its first introduction in 2016, the SpaceX rocket has continued to evolve. Numerous images of the prototype show the changes in the rocket made by Elon Musk’s company from year to year.
Reported by the site BusinessInsider, Monday (10/23/2023) SpaceX itself is known for the design of its launch system called Starship. The futuristic-looking spaceship is designed to be stacked on top of a massive Super Heavy booster.
While it has not yet proven successful in reaching orbit, this launch system is said to be the first in the world to be fully reusable. Therefore, a series of developments and experiments are still underway to prove that their rocket can reach orbit.
So how have SpaceX rockets changed from year to year? Read the full explanation.
2016: first “interplanetary space transporter” project.
The SpaceX rocket prototype design was first unveiled at an international space technology event in 2016. The rocket with carbon fiber armor and legs that could be expanded upon landing was initially called the Mars Colonial Transporter . However, SpaceX’s ambition to explore the solar system goes further, so the project name was changed to “Interplanetary Space Transporter”.
“This system really gives you the freedom to go wherever you want in the solar system,” Musk said at the event.
2017: Era BFR “Big Falcon Rocket”
Still using carbon fiber, SpaceX rockets in this era no longer have landing legs. The legs are replaced by three distinctive thigh-shaped fins that protrude from the side of the rocket. Gwynne Shotwell as president of SpaceX introduced this project as the “Big Falcon Rocket” BFR.
2019: It was “Starhopper”
Starhopper was developed by SpaceX to test the power of the Raptor engine that would later be used on Starship. This rugged aircraft finally managed to demonstrate the power of its engines in 2019. Leaping to a height of 492 feet in the air, the prototype that was part of the Starship project landed successfully again.
2019: Starship Mk1 explosion
Also in 2019, the real prototype of the Starship was finally launched. Known as Starship Mk1, the biggest difference lies in the newer material, namely steel, which is also the material of choice for the next Starship rocket. However, this prototype did not last long after suffering an explosion during the first liquid nitrogen pressure test.
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