What is Starship: Definition and 29 Discussions

A starship, starcraft, or interstellar spacecraft is a theoretical spacecraft designed for traveling between planetary systems.The term is mostly found in science fiction. Reference to a "star-ship" appears as early as 1882 in Oahspe: A New Bible.While NASA's Voyager and Pioneer probes have traveled into local interstellar space, the purpose of these uncrewed craft was specifically interplanetary, and they are not predicted to reach another star system (although Voyager 1 will travel to within 1.7 light years of Gliese 445 in approximately 40,000 years). Several preliminary designs for starships have been undertaken through exploratory engineering, using feasibility studies with modern technology or technology thought likely to be available in the near future.
In April 2016, scientists announced Breakthrough Starshot, a Breakthrough Initiatives program, to develop a proof-of-concept fleet of small centimeter-sized light sail spacecraft named StarChip, capable of making the journey to Alpha Centauri, the nearest extrasolar star system, at speeds of 20% and 15% of the speed of light, taking between 20 and 30 years to reach the star system, respectively, and about 4 years to notify Earth of a successful arrival.
In November 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that SpaceX was renaming the second stage and spaceship of the Big Falcon Rocket, a fully reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft system, to Starship. Though the spacecraft does not possess any reasonable interstellar capability, Musk defended the name by claiming that "later versions will."

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  1. E

    URAD Tech for the ETERNITY Starship Project

    Hi all ... its a looooong way to Proxima b so im here to brush up my cosmic wisdom chops! Will also be able to answer questions related to real steel starships, droids and hard science future tech
  2. D

    I Electromagnet on Starship Orion

    Can an electromagnet push the ship forward by absorbing the momentum of a nuclear explosion via a magnetic field? Im thinking this will solve the problem of constantly having to repair the eroding plate if its replaced by a magnetic field sustained by a fission reactor generating power...
  3. mfb

    SpaceX SpaceX makes third Starship flight

    Watch the progress live This is a fully stacked Starship (top) and Super Heavy (bottom). A couple of too-small-to-see cars near the bottom for scale, I also added a Saturn V and the Statue of Liberty for comparison. 120 meters tall, about 5000 tonnes when fully fueled. Twice the mass and over...
  4. G

    B Realistic Window View from a Starship: Gravity, Rotation, and Blue/Red Shifting

    I have my own intuition on things, which I hope to correct if I’m wrong. For example, the most obvious thing is that stars won’t fly in a straight line from the front of the craft to the back if you look out the side window because the craft would be rotating to simulate Earth’s gravity. So...
  5. mfb

    SpaceX Starship tests: SN15 flight early May

    SpaceX doesn't have a public test plan, but they need to close a public road to fire the engines, and road closures need to be announced in advance - including their reason. In the next days SpaceX plans a static fire (engine fires but the spacecraft is fixed to the ground), and Monday next...
  6. mfb

    Starship tests: SN4 passed cryogenic test + static fires

    SpaceX loves confusing numbering schemes, but so far we have seen five relevant test articles: Starhopper ("water tank") made a 150 m flight, Mk1 was the first full-scale prototype but got destroyed in a pressure test, Mk3=SN1 got destroyed in a pressure test, SN2 was a tank test only...
  7. B

    Scifi Starship Energy Harnessed Seems Massive

    FTL and warp are energy intensive in fiction, and even real scientists calculated at first that warping space would take a planet Jupiter mass converted into energy amount. Later it was revised to only about 800 kilograms, about the weight the voyager 1 probe. Even so, that is still a massive...
  8. B

    Starship Hull Shape Analysis: Discuss the Reality of Sci-Fi

    Using real science we can extrapolate what hull shapes could be used, assuming we actually did have high thrust constant acceleration drives (we don't because it requires energy/mass ratios that tend to cancel each other out). So what shapes? Pill capsules are ideal for crewed vessels. Even...
  9. B

    Necessary Starship Jobs VS Optional Specialized Jobs

    In scifi, the crew jobs depend on the kind of vessel flying. For the purposes of discussion, a starship is any spaceship capable of interstellar flight within about the time it takes to travel by car to a another state or country hours or days away. The issue is that the typical starship in...
  10. M

    Is ablative laser propulsion a better option than Ion engines?

    I’m trying to find something that can replace Ion engines in my Star Wars story. Ablative laser propulsion seems like a good bet because it works in both atmosphere and a vacuum and just seems better than Ion engines.
  11. trurle

    SpaceX Starship Mk1 pressurisation test failure

    The SpaceX Starship Mk1 prototype has been damaged beyond repair 20 November 2019 during a cryogenic pressure test. Entire top been torn off. https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-prototype-anomaly-pressure-test.html
  12. F

    Solving the Rocket Pendulum Fallacy?

    I have been researching the rocket pendulum fallacy and have gotten into some spirited debate on the subject. If I understand correctly... 1. if the thrust is perfectly in line with the centerline (and no outside forces act on the craft other than gravity) it does not matter where the source...
  13. mfb

    SpaceX Starship (/Super Heavy) testing: Mk1 stacked, 20 km flight this year

    Previously discussed in the "Space Stuff" thread but this is a long-term project. What is Starship? SpaceX is working on a fully reusable two-stage rocket to replace the partially reusable Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy. It is the largest rocket that made it beyond the concept phase so far; the payload...
  14. dbmorpher

    Is Reflective Fiction a Potential Problem for Starships at High Speeds?

    While the main problems of a functioning starship are commonly known such as energy requirements and radiation I have realized another problem when near the speed of light. The dynamic Casimir effect occurs when a reflecting object reaches relativistic velocities. Therefore a starship with a...
  15. B

    About the Starship Titanic and joules/accelerations.

    Upon discovering the Starship Titanic while doing some research about time travel, I was wondering what joules would be necessary to accelerate even faster to attempt a more severe time dilation: Namely, a 50,000kg ship to 99.999999999%C. Am I correct in my calculations that this requires app...
  16. Whitestar

    Engineer Wants To Build A Real Starship Enterprise

    I'm not sure if this has been addressed previously, but there is an engineer who goes by the name of Dan who claims he can build a real starship Enterprise within the next 20 years. All he requires is the necessary funding, which is about $50 billion for each year, which I think is insane...
  17. J

    Starship special relativity problem

    Homework Statement A starship is moving toward a space station at half the speed of light. When it is 7.00 seconds away from reaching a space station (as measured on the ship's clocks) the starship fires a projectile toward the space station at 0.600 c (as measured by the ship's crew). When...
  18. W

    Unlimited Fuel for Starship Engines: The Key to Human-made Space Travel

    If human can build the starship but how there having a drive engine system that have a more reliable and infinite source of fuel?
  19. D

    Calculating Warp Speeds and Travel Times Using Alcubierre Warp Drive

    I'm trying to figure how fast this ship can reach various destinations in a story I'm working on and I have no background in advance math of any kind (If teachers had offered more interesting scenario questions like this one I might have paid more attention in class, instead they gave me those...
  20. G

    Starship + 2 different planets?

    Starship + 2 different planets? Homework Statement The problem from my textbook is: Inside a starship at rest on earth, a ball rolls off the top of a horizontal table and lands a distance D from the foot of the table. This starship now lands on the unexplored Planet X. The commander, Captain...
  21. I

    How Does Time Dilation Affect Dinner Time on a Starship Traveling at 0.93c?

    Homework Statement On a Starship, which travels at 0.93c, dinner is served between 8:15pm and 8:45pm, according to the clock on the ship. How long is dinner served according to stationary observes on Earth watching the ship on a video monitor? Homework Equations I believe the...
  22. G

    Photon Starship, energy momentum

    Hi I'm having trouble with this question and would like some kind of hint on how to proceed. A photon starship starts from rest and propels itself by emitting photons in the direction opposite to its motion until it reaches a speed v. Use energy momentum conservation law to show that the...
  23. Rasalhague

    Antimatter rocket v. black hole starship

    In http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.1803v1" , 2003, Robert Frisbee offers some ideas on the design of an antimatter rocket. Crane and Westmoreland concentrate more on the possibility of a black hole starship, rather than the size or shape of the craft. I'm wondering, how many of the constraints that...
  24. C

    Q about relativistic mass increase, starship

    A warning is often given that if one wants to have a spaceship traveling at relativistic speeds (usually to get to another star), the ship's mass increases, making acceleration more difficult. But if it where an antimatter propelled ship, with mass being turned into energy, then wouldn't the...
  25. S

    Angular momentum and starship enterprise

    the starship enterprise is cruising along at constant speed v when it encounters a mysterious space station. (enterprise = x, space station = S) http://x402.putfile.com/4/11618084116.jpg the enterprise is headed such that it will pass the space station at a distance d, as shown above. the...
  26. K

    Design the Perfect Starship: What Would It Look Like?

    If you could build a starship here and now what would it look like, what would drive it, and would it have gravity yes/no?
  27. R

    Cylindrical interior (first ark) starship to Alpha Centauri - by A. Ahad

    This gigantic thing here called the Centauri Princess, can it be built in the next few hundred years? http://www.astroscience.org/abdul-ahad/firstarktoalphacentauri.htm That would be the greatest engineering achievement in all human history...
  28. frankR

    The Starship Enterprise (variable acceleration problem) part II

    Okay what am I doing wrong? This is the way I've been doing math for the last two years. This is annoying me. Unless I've been doing everything wrong the last two years, I feel this is correct. I realize it's most likely wrong. Someone please explain to me what I am doing wrong and more...
  29. frankR

    The Starship Enterprise (variable acceleration problem)

    The Starship Enterprise initially moving with speed vo hits an intergalctic metero shower and expreiences a deceleration force given by: F = -b*e^([alpha]*v) where b and [alpha] are constants. The star ships mass is m. a) Determine v(t). b) Determine the time required for the Enterprise...