Poll

How many starships will be in operational service by the end of 2030?

0
3 (4%)
1-3
5 (6.7%)
4-6
6 (8%)
7-10
7 (9.3%)
10-25
20 (26.7%)
25-50
12 (16%)
50-100
16 (21.3%)
100-1000
6 (8%)
>1000
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 75

Voting closed: 05/31/2023 04:15 am


Author Topic: How Many Starships Will Be In Operational Service By The End of 2030?  (Read 7446 times)

Offline jongoff

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None: Project will be abandoned for smaller, more-manageable, less over-sized version.

That's why I included zero as an option. I would say though for sake of this poll, that if Starship gets shrunk by less than 50% (ie still >50mT to LEO), that I'd still count it as a Starship for this poll. I'd only call it zero and say that isn't Starship if they went dramatically smaller.

~Jon

Offline DanClemmensen

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How many Falcon 9 boosters count under this definition? My guess would be the same as whatever that is.
I don't understand how the current number of F9 boosters is relevant to the number of SS in 2030. After trying hard, I can see no way to correlate these numbers. It's hard to list all the ways they are different. The only way they are similar is that they are SpaceX products with rocket engines.

Offline whitelancer64

I was having a discussion with someone today, and he was arguing that artificial gravity research facilities were probably not worth doing, because at the current Raptor production rate, SpaceX would likely have 1000 Starships operational by the early 2030s, and have performed dozens if not hundreds of landings on the Moon by then. I'm not sure what to say about that other than that I admire his optimism. What do you think? How many Starship tail numbers will SpaceX have operating at the same time on Dec 31st 2030?

For sake of this poll:
1- If a Starship has been used expendably, it doesn't count.
2- Any Starships that have retired or crashed before 2030 don't count either.
3- Only Starships that have flown at least once, and are still in flying condition, with plans to fly again, count for purposes of this poll.

Thoughts?

~Jon

The number of Starships in operation seems to me to be a red herring.

The main problem is if we land on the Moon and Mars and start doing the requisite research there and...

1. we find that that level of g is not sufficient for human health without a lot of complications.

and / or 2. we find that Moon / Mars g is insufficient for producing healthy mammalian / human embryos / babies.

If it is sufficient / with manageable complications, then the need for AG research (at least at Moon / Mars levels) is significantly diminished. We can just go to those places without worrying about it. A rotating research station or two at higher g levels (maybe .5 or .75 g) could still be useful.

If it's not, then the need for AG research becomes higher, maybe even a priority. If we are to become a spacefaring species, then we need to find out what range of g is conducive to good human health. If we can't manage that on Mars, then we will need to find out what partial g levels can achieve that, and perhaps the best way to do that is with a rotating space station, maybe a fairly large one where identical experiments can be conducted at various g levels simultaneously.
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Offline jongoff

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At the request of someone on Twitter, I added a >1000 Starships option. Because SpaceX is supposedly building a factory that will crank out many hundred Starships per year. I'm not making a value judgement, just wanted to let people know in case you were feeling overly constrained by the 100-1000 Starships option.

I should note, that I setup the poll so that you can change your vote all the way to the end of the voting period (sometime near the end of May). So if you really wanted to vote for >1000 Starships, but I was cramping your style, you can adjust your vote now.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 05/10/2023 09:55 pm by jongoff »

Offline spacenut

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I don't know but I think it could be anywhere between 10 and 50.  Depending on getting it working properly, a second or third launch pad at the Cape, and maybe an offshore pad at Boca Chica.  I think they can manufacture 3-4 per year at Boca Chica including boosters.  Once they seal the design, Florida manufacturing will crank up another 3-4 or more per year. 

Offline Zed_Noir

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If no major issues cropped up with Starship development. By 2030 there will be slightly over 100 Starships in operation. Estimate about 62% tankers, 32% Mars transports & 6% other variants. Not including depots and Moonships (HLS lander & Lunar habitats) as well as point to point semi-ballistic transports.

Figure about 18 Starships being produced annually. There will be a few revised version 2.0 of the Starship introduced around 2028 not include in the poll estimate. Production of the version 1.0 Starship will end after about 125 units.

Offline crandles57

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>"1- If a Starship has been used expendably, it doesn't count.
2- Any Starships that have retired or crashed before 2030 don't count either.
3- Only Starships that have flown at least once, and are still in flying condition, with plans to fly again, count for purposes of this poll."

"At least once" and "with plans to fly again" don't really fit with how I think it should be counted.

A. During first mission, eg on way to Mars, should I think count.
B. If it has apparently safely landed and while there are no known plans for a further flight but, as far as we know, it is suspected/best guess to be in flyable condition, then I think this should count. OTOH if it is in e.g. graveyard orbit with no plans to return then it shouldn't count (but that is settled by 1 really)
C. Built and tested prior to mission specific testing like DDR/WDR/static fire should IMHO count.

Ships and boosters may stay fairly even for a while. Then the turnaround times will start coming down but will booster or ship be faster turnaround? Ship has more re-entry heating so needs more examination? So booster turnaround faster would be my guess. Eventually, hopefully, there will be more flights to Mars but probably not many by 2030 so the ratio will start increasing eventually but I am not sure what stage will we be at in 2030.

Probably hopelessly optimistic but my guess might be in the region of 20 boosters ( 3 sites, 6+ per site fairly early on before turnaround times are reduced) and perhaps as many as 50 ships (3 launch sites, 3-5 types, 1-5 of each type per site).

3-5 types: Tanker/refueler, large satellite deployer, pez dispenser, Moon lander, Mars cargo. I.e. I'm not optimistic for passenger versions by 2030 other than already contracted moon landers).

I answered 50 to 100 to the poll but it seems I am not sticking to the laid out terms of what to count.

Offline Hog

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Another take on the thread question.  What type of "Operational Service" will Space X be able to offer a customer by the end of 2030. That term implies quite a lot.

President Reagan gave the STS Orbiter Vehicles the Operational Service" stamp of approval following STS-4. Four STS test flights, all on the same vehicle OV-102 Columbia.  They disabled the seats, dropped the pressure suits for a "shirt sleeve" environment, all following a crewed first powered flight test that was STS-1.  Imagine a crew of 2 on the IFT we saw fly out of Texas?

Also, being your OWN customer helps. But you still have to satisfy safety, environmental, government. Governmental vs.   modern industry.
and
STS being partially reusable whilst  SS/SH's entire stack is designed for reuse.  STS-1 launched April 1981  STS-4, the fourth test flight launched June 1982.  STS-5 launched a satellite Nov 1982 and proved her operational reusability during the STS-6 mission.  OV-099 Challenger launched and proved her operational reusability during STS-7 June 1983 again deploying satellites.  Columbia next flew November 1983 for STS-9 with a largest to date, 6 man crew including John Young's last spaceflight. thus proving operational reusability So thats 2 OVs proving reusability or "Operational Service" during that timeframe.   

The question is, how much does that apply to SS/SH? SS isnt saddled to crew like STS was.  Though both enjoy a robust Booster stage. lol  I don't think there will be a huge amount of operational Starships, but they should exist by then surely.  HLS is an operational Starship isn't it?  My guess, less than 10.
Paul

Offline rpapo

Another take on the thread question.  What type of "Operational Service" will Space X be able to offer a customer by the end of 2030. That term implies quite a lot.

President Reagan gave the STS Orbiter Vehicles the Operational Service" stamp of approval following STS-4. Four STS test flights, all on the same vehicle OV-102 Columbia.  They disabled the seats, dropped the pressure suits for a "shirt sleeve" environment, all following a crewed first powered flight test that was STS-1.  Imagine a crew of 2 on the IFT we saw fly out of Texas?

Also, being your OWN customer helps. But you still have to satisfy safety, environmental, government. Governmental vs.   modern industry.
and
STS being partially reusable whilst  SS/SH's entire stack is designed for reuse.  STS-1 launched April 1981  STS-4, the fourth test flight launched June 1982.  STS-5 launched a satellite Nov 1982 and proved her operational reusability during the STS-6 mission.  OV-099 Challenger launched and proved her operational reusability during STS-7 June 1983 again deploying satellites.  Columbia next flew November 1983 for STS-9 with a largest to date, 6 man crew including John Young's last spaceflight. thus proving operational reusability So thats 2 OVs proving reusability or "Operational Service" during that timeframe.   

The question is, how much does that apply to SS/SH? SS isnt saddled to crew like STS was.  Though both enjoy a robust Booster stage. lol  I don't think there will be a huge amount of operational Starships, but they should exist by then surely.  HLS is an operational Starship isn't it?  My guess, less than 10.
It really depends on whether they have started building the Mars fleet by then (Starfleet?).  I myself would hesitate to do that before all the operational kinks are worked out, but I am not Elon Musk.  He is a rule unto himself.
Following the space program since before Apollo 8.

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