Monday, September 23, 2019

Possible SpaceX Starship Mk 1 propellant tank layout by Michel Lamontagne

SpaceX's Starship Mk 1 prototype, being built at company's Boca Chica launch facility in South Texas, is seeing some rapid development in recent days (prior to Elon Musk's promised update on September 28). New hardware is being attached to the prototype and we can start some educated guesses of the final Starship Mk 1 design which will differ quite substantially from the Starship renders SpaceX provided as recently as in May.

Canadian design engineer Michel Lamontagne has posted his speculative graphics of the possible Starship Mk 1 propellant tank and fin layout on NASASpaceFlight.com forum (where he is known as lamontagne).
Images from the construction site indicate the header tanks (meant for propellant needed for landing) are installed into the nose cone of Starship Mk 1:
SpaceX Starship Mk 1 propellant tank layout by Michel Lamontagne

Sunday, September 22, 2019

SpaceX Starship over Mars by Mack Crawford

Digital artist Mack Crawford (brickmack), known for his stunning rocket animations, has made his last render of SpaceX's TinTin-style Starship (flying with deployed solar panels over Mars) as it seems the actual Starship built in Texas & Florida and waiting to be presented by Elon Musk on September 28 will have different shape. More of Mack's space concept art here.

SpaceX Starship over Mars by Mack Crawford

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Possible cover for SpaceX Starship Mk 1 flap hinges spotted

Seeing most recent hardware delivered at SpaceX's Boca Chica launch facility in South Texas, where the Starship Mk 1 prototype is being built, Reddit user u/avibat is speculating that the new hardware is stainless steel cover for Starship's fin hinges to protect them during re-entry into atmosphere. One of the hinges has already been attached to the main body of Starship (spotted by BocaChicaGal from NASASpaceFlight.com forum) and right now they are attaching the fin to it (the process can be watched online through LabPadre's 24/7 live stream).

Possible cover for SpaceX Starship Mk 1 flap hinges spotted
Fin hinge Pipe attached to one side of Starship Mk 1 (photo by BocaChicaGal):
Fin hinge attached to SpaceX Starship Mk 1 (photo by BocaChicaGal)
Attaching first fin to SpaceX's Starship Mk1 (photo by BocaChicaGal):
Attaching first fin to SpaceX Starship Mk1 (photo by BocaChicaGal)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Future city on terraformed Mars by Julian Faylona

Picture of the Day 19/9/2019 - City consisting of several independent and self-sustaining "hives" on terraformed Mars in a far future by digital artist Julian Faylona. More of his art here.

Future city on terraformed Mars by Julian Faylona

Saturday, September 14, 2019

New cinematic trailer for Occupy Mars simulation game released

The Martian frontier is yours in Occupy Mars - the upcoming (as of today: Coming soon) highly technical open world simulation game about Mars colonization from Polish indie game developer Pyramid Games. In the game you will be able to "build and upgrade your base, discover new amazing regions, conduct mining operations, retrieve water and generate oxygen, grow crops, fix broken parts, learn how to survive on Mars!"

Here is the newest cinematic trailer of the game and beautiful HD images from it. Note the SpaceX's Starman style spacesuit and ITS v2016 Starship.


SpaceX ITS v2016 Starship landing at Mars base:
SpaceX Starship landing at Mars base - image from Occupy Mars game
Assembling Mars base module by module:
Building Mars base modules - image from Occupy Mars game
Astronaut planting a tree in Mars biodome:
Astronaut planting a tree in Mars biodome - image from Occupy Mars game
Mars base layout:
Mars base layout - image from Occupy Mars game

Friday, September 13, 2019

SpaceX Starship landing at Mars base by Colin Doublier

Picture of the Day 13/9/2019 - Sketch of SpaceX's Starship landing at Mars base by French urban artist Colin Doublier. More of his art here. Note the rover from The Martian and 3D-printed habitats by Hassell & EOC and AI SpaceFactory in the scene.

Sketch of SpaceX Starship landing at Mars base by Colin Doublier

Monday, September 9, 2019

Three phases of terraforming Mars by Björn Selin

Annotated images with three phases of exploring and terraforming Mars by Swedish game artist Björn Selin. The images were made with the guidance of planetary scientist Chris McKay from NASA's Ames Research Center.
Phase 1 - exploration - humans can explore the barren Red planet only within protective pressure suits / rovers / habitats:
Terraforming Mars Phase 1 (exploration) by Bjorn Selin
Phase 2 - planetary ecosynthesis - the air pressure and temperature has risen to the level where only warm clothing and oxygen mask is needed; simple organisms as lichens can be introduced:
Terraforming Mars Phase 2 (planetary ecosynthesis) by Bjorn Selin
Phase 3 - spreading life - humidity and temperature has risen to the level where only oxygen mask is needed; more complex organisms can be introduced:
Terraforming Mars Phase 3 (spreading life) by Bjorn Selin

Friday, September 6, 2019

Speculative internal structure of SpaceX Starship by William Falconer-Beach

William Falconer-Beach, a young graphic designer from New Zealand, has made several renders with possible internal structure of SpaceX's Starship. More of his Starship renders here.

Note this is only a speculation by artist. Hopefully we will see some information about Starship's internal layout in Elon Musk's presentation on September 28.

Internal structure of SpaceX Starship by William Falconer-Beach - full
Starship's crew section:
Internal structure of SpaceX Starship by William Falconer-Beach - crew section

Thursday, September 5, 2019

B&W SpaceX Starship renders by Brandon Bolleber

Three black & white SpaceX's Starship renders by American motion & 3D graphics designer Brandon Bolleber. More of his art here.

SpaceX Starship render by Brandon Bolleber

SpaceX Starship render by Brandon Bolleber

SpaceX Starship render by Brandon Bolleber

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Candidate sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings revealed

[on September 2 info & map updated with additional two possible landing sites]

Robert Zimmerman from BehindTheBlack.com has found several images labelled as "Candidate Landing Site for SpaceX Starship [..]" in the latest data release from University of Arizona's HiRISE camera (aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). It means that with help from NASA SpaceX is already quietly evaluating the best place where to land first Starships on Mars. Here are direct links to HiRISE image of: Site 1, Site 2, Site 3, Site 4, Site 5 (in Arcadia Planitia) & Site 6 (in Phlegra Montes).

For several years it hasn't been a secret SpaceX is considering four Martian regions for landings: Deuteronilus Mensae, Phlegra Montes, Utopia Planitia and southern Arcadia Planitia. But even in 2017 southern Arcadia Planitia looked "more promising", according to Paul Wooster, Principal Mars Development Engineer at SpaceX. So by now SpaceX may very well be down to evaluating more precise landing sites in that region.

All the candidate landing sites (except #6 in Phlegra Montes) are located on the border between Amazonis Planitia and Arcadia Planitia. According to latest data, Arcadia Planitia is one of the few regions where abundant shallow ice is present at relatively low latitudes. There is strong evidence that this location holds buried ice glaciers. So it has two critical elements looked by SpaceX for its Mars Base Alpha: solar energy and water. Those are critical not only for life support but also for refueling Starships. It's also in low altitude meaning a bit higher air pressure than in higher areas on Mars; that is beneficial for radiation protection and creates more atmospheric drag during the landing.

We made a map of all of the candidate sites:
Potential sites for SpaceX Starship Mars landings
Mars heightmap & potential site 6 for SpaceX Starship Mars landing in Phlegra Montes