Gosh it looks just like the fake flash gordon spaceships of the 1950s and most old sci fi movie spaceships.
Doctor Zarkoff calling Elon Musk, come in Elon.
I'm an aircraft structural mechanic, if the skin of the aircraft was basically seamless as in the rendered image odds are good that it wouldn't make many launches before structural failure. By installing the skin in panels (or sections) it allows skin to be more plastic..needs room to breathe, similar to poured concrete(but with many more forces). If they changed the material of choice(such as asphalt vs concrete) you can limit/remove the need to account for the skins flex. The engineers will also have to account for will need panels and access points if this isn't a one and done aircraft. Unless Musk has some alien or futuristic technology, it's not likely the Mars version would look anything like the test one. And this does look awesome..very retro as stated, but I have a feeling the look is more of a gimmick than a practical spacecraft..its definitely going to get people talking. My fingers are crossed that it does look close to the rendered one..change the metal to a titanium alloy and maybe. :) Full disclosure: I'm not an aeronautical engineer, so I can walk and chew gum at the same time. If one reads this please include smarter words..haha!
Looks like a nice candidate to start getting a space dock into orbit
The name is just as dorky as the general appearance. It's called "Starship" and -- gosh! -- it can reach low earth orbit. What will they call the next version? "Galaxy Raider" to the moon!
Joshua Tulberg
Agreed with @piperTom. The name needs to be changed.
It would be cooler if they put images of Buck Rodgers or, as mentioned, Flash Gordon on it.
Very interesting. Should we say, that NASA was a drunken fool, to put expensive hightech ceramic plates on the Challenger, instead of plain stainless steel?
@Rumata, the use of Stainless Steel is made possible by some fluid cooling (presumably methane) on the inside of the surface that SpaceX has been perfecting with the leading edge of the Falcon 9 Boosters. Call it active cooling vs the passive cooling that the high-tech ceramic plates used on the shuttle.
Big Falcon Rocket? I wonder why they changed the name?