For the first time, Elon Musk offers as host to guide visitors for the sheds of your Starbase, SpaceX’s launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, which is off limits to the public. In this tour he gives explanations about his work philosophy and also, about the Starship and its first phase and the powerful Super Heavy Booster.
The three videos have a duration of more than two hours. The interview was conducted by Everyday Astronaut, a space news platform. The tour took place on July 30, 2021.
In the first part, Musk tells that the base, although it seems endless, is in an embryonic state. In a few months, it will have completely changed and will continue to grow and evolve to probably become the largest spaceport in the world.
The mogul explains that manufacturing is underestimated, while design is overrated. Developing a production system is more complicated than designing a product. Also, as production volume increases, the amount of effort that goes into design is reduced.
At the entrance to his base, during an interview with the Everyday Astronaut site.
As for its method of work, one of the keys is in simplify and optimize design. Since the most common mistake of an intelligent engineer is to perfect something that should not exist.
One of the most time-consuming issues is ensuring the safety of the crew. In his Dragon ships, he relates, his standards are the highest possible. “There is no room for failure. The tolerance is zero ”, he assures.
Furthermore, every part that is built and every required process must come from a person and not a department. Since a department cannot be asked why there is a requirement, but a person can.
“Humanity will be a multiplanetary species, if we can bring the cost per ton in orbit to a point where we become a space race and a multiplanetary species,” Musk told Dodd.
Regarding the staff of engineers who work at his base, he points out that they must realize when they are doing a bad optimization. As an example, Musk notes that more time has been spent reducing engine mass than residual propellant, even though both are equally important.
The tour begins in the large docking bay, where you can see the Super Heavy Booster 4 that is now on the launch pad.
Musk also offers a look at the fin mount that the Super Heavy Booster will use to maneuver its return to Earth and, if all goes well, it will land softly over the Atlantic.
In the Everyday Astronaut video you could see the inside of the Starbase.
Everything displayed in hangars is heavy. The Super Heavy’s engines exceed 2 tons, the fuel and liquid oxygen (LOx) tanks are about 80 tons and the interstage is around 20 tons. Additionally, the four grid fins each weigh approximately 3 tons.
These days, he’s preparing to launch the 70-meter-high Starship Super Heavy Rocket. During the tour, he stands next to the tank for Super Heavy Booster 4, which SpaceX plans to use for the launch of Starship’s orbital flight.
“This is definitely a very exciting time because we’re kind of in a final push to complete the launch system, Stage Zero, essentially,” Musk tells the camera.
In another stage it shows a partial prototype of the Starship and an explanation of how phase separation works and the hot gas top engines of this special version that will be manufactured for NASA’s Artemis missions to put astronauts on the lunar ground.
While in the second hangar, SpaceX assembles and stores fuel tanks, in the third dock the cones of the Starship, which is the habitable part of the ship. Later they add the thermal tiles that will protect the spacecraft against the friction of the reentry to the terrestrial or Martian atmosphere.