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Elon Musk Shows off Fiery SpaceX Starship Heatshield Test

Accepted submission by martyb at 2019-03-18 02:22:05 from the Hot Stuff! dept.
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Elon Musk Shows off Fiery SpaceX Starship Heatshield Test [cnet.com]:

After successfully sending the first commercial crew capsule [cnet.com] to the International Space Station in early March, Elon Musk's [cnet.com] spaceflight company is on a hot streak and it's looking to continue that with an upcoming test launch of its much-discussed Starship.

But before Starship gets off the ground, Musk has given spacefaring fans a glimpse of the hexagonal heatshield tiles that will eventually protect the craft from searing heat.

Testing Starship heatshield hex tiles pic.twitter.com/PycE9VthxQ [t.co]

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2019 [twitter.com]

Musk explained that the hottest parts of the heatshield, glowing white in the short video above, reached a maximum temperature of around 1650 Kelvin [twitter.com] (approx. 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, approx. 1,375 degrees Celsius). He suggested [twitter.com] this could withstand the extreme temperatures associated with returning to Earth, but it is slightly lower than the temperatures NASA's Space Shuttles were built to withstand (approx. 1,500 degrees Celsius).


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