On September 14th, South Texas SpaceX technicians raised Starship Mk1’s 3rd and final tank dome and started to connect it atop the prototype’s metal tank part, this time making use of a brand new technique of integration.
This progress comes simply two weeks earlier than CEO Elon Musk is anticipated to current a detailed update on Starship’s newest design iteration. Musk is hopeful that – come to his September 28th presentation – Starship Mk1 will probably be almost full and prepared for its inaugural flight, a milestone that might come as early as October 13th based on Starship documents filed with the FCC.
This newest set up is probably going both the final ring (or practically so) to be stacked on high of Starship Mk1, paving the way in which for the eventual attachment of the spacecraft’s conical nose part and the fleshing out of its many inner subsystems and aerodynamic management surfaces. This specific milestone concerned the attachment of Starship’s third and remaining tank bulkhead – in this case, the higher dome of the prototype’s liquid oxygen tank. Excluding hardware that may ultimately be put in on the dome itself, which means that Starship Mk1’s tank and engine part has basically been ‘topped off.’
As beforehand estimated by the writer, this explicit tank dome set up – the fifth accomplished by SpaceX’s Mk1 and Mk2 Starship groups – was completed in a manner so far distinctive. All earlier installations have seen SpaceX technicians decrease the domes – accomplished except for one vertical weld for flexibility – contained in the Starship’s cylindrical tank part.
This time around, SpaceX welded the higher tank dome to its companion ring part whereas each part has been nonetheless staged on the bottom. As soon as the dome was utterly welded to the metal ring and a dome cap was put in to seal off the highest, the ring section was craned atop Starship Mk1 on September 14th. It’s attainable that this was deliberate all alongside for every Starship’s third and remaining tank dome, however, the way in which CEO Elon Musk has beforehand described SpaceX’s semi-competitive Mk1 and Mk2 builds means that it could as an alternative be a brand new meeting technique that advanced in simply the last month or two.