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SpaceX’s $100M Starfactory Aims to Build One Starship per Day

SpaceX’s $100M Starfactory Aims to Build One Starship per Day

Just days after the successful launch of the Starship, SpaceX said it plans to add a $100 million extension to its “Starfactory.” The eventual goal is to build one Starship per day from the Starbase complex in Boca Chica, Texas.

Last week’s test flight of the world’s most powerful rocket was a big win for SpaceX, marking the fourth successful launch. Its first-stage booster, Super Heavy, made a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico while the 165-foot upper stage, called “Ship,” dropped into the Indian Ocean. The four successes follow two failures, including an explosion, of the first two Starships.

“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,” said Jessie Anderson, SpaceX’s Falcon Structures Manufacturing Engineering Manager, according to “The latest phase of the factory currently under construction will come online this summer, giving us several 100,000 more square feet of space.”

Starship’s successful launch was followed by SpaceX’s announcement that it eventually plans to build one starship per day.

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The facility will also be building Starship 2, an improved design that will be easier to mass produce. “A newer version of Starship has the forward flaps shifted leeward. This will help improve reliability, ease of manufacturing and payload to orbit,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said on X. It will also hold more fuel and have a lower dry weight, extending its range.

Construction of the new rocket megafactory started in February. “When you step into this factory, it is truly inspirational,” said Kate Tice, the manager of SpaceX Quality Systems Engineering on 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.”

The world’s largest rocket will be used for research and space tourism, with the eventual goal of traveling to Mars.

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Starship is the largest rocket ever built, with more than twice the thrust of the Saturn V rockets that went to the Moon. Musk’s goal is for Starship to travel to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program and eventually explore Mars. Several high-end citizen astronauts have signed up for Starship missions, including Jared Isaacman, who completed a previous mission aboard the smaller Dragon capsule. Isaacman and eight crew have been training to complete the Polaris Dawn mission, which will be the first time a civilian has done a commercial spacewalk. The mission, originally scheduled for 2023, has been pushed back until later this summer.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had planned to circumnavigate the moon aboard Starship, but earlier this month announced he was cancelling the plans due to uncertainty over when it would launch. Dennis Tito, who became the world’s first space tourist in 2001 after visiting the International Space Station, also plans to do a circumnavigation of the moon with his wife, Akiko, in the next five years.

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