Giant Rockets, Then and Now

THEN: Von Braun’s Orbital 1952 Ferry Rocket

spaceFerry

From the Astronautix “Von Braun 1952” page:

Payload: 25,000 kg (55,000 lb). Thrust: 119,300.00 kN (26,819,700 lbf). Gross mass: 6,400,000 kg (14,100,000 lb). Height: 97.00 m (318.00 ft). Diameter: 20.00 m (65.00 ft). Apogee: 1,730 km (1,070 mi).

  • Stage 1. Gross Mass: 5,500,000 kg (12,100,000 lb). Empty Mass: 700,000 kg (1,540,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 141,286.300 kN (31,762,424 lbf). Isp: 257 sec. Burn time: 84 sec. Isp(sl): 217 sec. Diameter: 20.00 m (65.00 ft). Span: 37.00 m (121.00 ft). Length: 36.50 m (119.70 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Hydrazine. No. Engines : 51.

  • Stage 2. Gross Mass: 770,000 kg (1,690,000 lb). Empty Mass: 70,000 kg (154,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 16,271.100 kN (3,657,889 lbf). Isp: 298 sec. Burn time: 124 sec. Diameter: 13.50 m (44.20 ft). Span: 13.50 m (44.20 ft). Length: 20.70 m (67.90 ft). Propellants: Nitric acid/Hydrazine . No. Engines : 34.

  • Stage 3. Gross Mass: 105,000 kg (231,000 lb). Empty Mass: 22,000 kg (48,000 lb). Thrust (vac): 2,033.800 kN (457,216 lbf). Isp: 296 sec. Burn time: 105 sec. Diameter: 5.80 m (19.00 ft). Span: 48.00 m (157.00 ft). Length: 23.40 m (76.70 ft). *Propellants: Nitric acid/Hydrazine . No. Engines: 5.

NOW: SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy

Starship is “small” compared to von Braun’s rocket (“only” 33 engines in the first stage, “just” 9 metres in diameter instead of 20) due to the performance of the Raptor 2 engine and its LOX/methane propellants, about which von Braun could only dream. Von Braun’s hypergolic propellant engines produced a specific impulse of only 217 seconds at sea level and 296 in a vacuum, while the Raptor 2 engines for Starship produce 330 seconds at sea level and 360 (expected to grow to 380) in vacuum. This allows Starship to launch four times the payload of von Braun’s ferry rocket using only two stages instead of three. All stages of von Braun’s rocket were supposed to be recovered and reused, but few details of how this was to work for the first and second stages were provided.

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Latest SpaceX Roberts Road Starship production facility permit filing with the local Florida water management district:
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/ep/#/prmtInfo?curId=&hdr=1&usrId=0&offclId=157352&seqNo=11

Page 5 of this document has a site map:
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/apps/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&coreContentOnly=1&RevisionSelectionMethod=Latest&allowInterrupt=1&dDocName=EREG_7557523

To search for all their permit filings, go to:
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=PermitNumSearch

and enter roberts road in the project name field.

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