SpaceX wants to build 1 Starship megarocket a day with new Starfactory

SpaceX wants to build 1 Starship megarocket a day with new Starfactory

workers on scaffolding in hard hats next to a giant metal rocket

Workers next to a SpaceX Starship as the sun sets behind them ahead of a launch from SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas on April 18, 2023.
(Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon /AFP/Getty Images)

Sure, the test flight of the world’s most powerful rocket this week was nail-biting. But it was also a massive win for SpaceX with a successful fourth test for Starship.

The company’s goals for this test flight were accomplished as Starship’s first-stage booster, Super Heavy, made a soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico and the 165-foot tall (50 m) upper stage, referred to simply as Ship, made a controlled landing burn during reentry before landing in the Indian Ocean.

SpaceX now aims to build on the progress with its Starship program as continues work on Starfactory, a new manufacturing facility under construction at the company’s Starbase site in South Texas. As it looks to use Starship to eventually make humanity interplanetary, SpaceX has stated the ambitious goal of producing one new Starship rocket every single day at the new facility.

Related: SpaceX Starship launches on nail-biting 4th test flight of world’s most powerful rocket (video, photos)

“We have Ships and Super Heavy boosters built and either ready to launch or in testing for the next several flights with more coming off of the production line as SpaceX’s Starfactory continues to grow,” Jessie Anderson, SpaceX’s Falcon Structures Manufacturing Engineering Manager, said during SpaceX’s livestream of the Starship flight test Thursday. “The latest phase of the factory currently under construction will come online this summer, giving us several 100,000 more square feet of space.”

The facility is part of SpaceX’s Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, one of the first-ever commercial spaceports in the world devoted to a single vehicle; in this case, Starship. Once completed, the company’s goal for the facility will be to create one Starship megarocket every day at Starfactory.

“When you step into this factory, it is truly inspirational. My heart jumps out of my chest,” Kate Tice, manager of SpaceX Quality Systems Engineering, said during the same livestream. “Now this will enable us to increase our production rate significantly as we build toward our long-term goal of producing one Ship per day and coming off the production line soon, Starship Version Two.”

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This new version of Starship is designed to be more easy to mass produce, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on social media. “Note, a newer version of Starship has the forward flaps shifted leeward. This will help improve reliability, ease of manufacturing and payload to orbit,” Musk shared on X

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Meredith is a regional Murrow award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and science/space correspondent. She most recently was a Freelance Meteorologist for NY 1 in New York City & the 19 First Alert Weather Team in Cleveland. A self-described “Rocket Girl,” Meredith’s personal and professional work has drawn recognition over the last decade, including the inaugural Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award, two special reports in News 12’s Climate Special “Saving Our Shores” that won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Fair Media Council Folio & Press Club of Long Island awards for meteorology & reporting, and a Long Island Business News & NYC TV Week “40 Under 40” Award.

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