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Would You Add Dragon Wings…

...to your space ship?

dragon picture

Rockets have fins, so why not wings? If you’re going to have wings on a spaceship should they be dragon wings? Elon Mush tweeted that he was “thinking about adding giant stainless-steel dragon wings to Starship.” As it shot through space to Mars the dragon wings could keep it cool during re-entry. “That’s important,” because as Musk said later, “Starship will land on a ring of fire.” 

We can all see that anything that lands in a ring of fire should have dragon wings. The Johnny Cash song, “Ring of Fire” should also be blasted from outside speakers on Starship at the same time. That last idea is mine, not Musk’s. 

Cooling is critical for rockets and Starships stainless steel construction allows transpiration cooling, so it can sweat, keeping temperatures down during entry. However, adding steel membrane wings to Starship is truly a magical idea because it could lower the ships orbital reentry temp to ~1000 degrees C. 

When Musk was asked how serious he was about adding dragon wings on a scale of one to 10, Musk replied “6.5.” I for one would like to see him do it. I feel if you’re going to Mars your ride should be a starship with dragon wings. You know, make a grand entrance, so all the extraterrestrials will say, “Oh, the earthlings have arrived.”

Of course, Starship is pretty impressive even without dragon wings. Inspired by the Tintin comics it’s crafted of shiny stainless steel and features three giant fins around the base. It’s spacious enough for 100 humans to board at one time and journey to the red planet. It’s designed to take up to 100 tons of cargo as well. 

The rocket is powered by 5,400 tons of liftoff thrust. And, its 27 Raptor engines are powered by liquid oxygen and methane. Musk plans to build propellant plants on Mars to manufacture these resources and make them available for space explorers to fuel up before they take off for moons, asteroids, or other planets beyond Mars. It would also be there to fuel Starship’s return trips to Earth. 

Starship, which is about 18 stories tall, will launch atop a giant rocket called the Super Heavy. Super Heavy is 22-stories tall and uses up to 31 Raptor engines. If testing goes well, Starship and the Super Heavy could launch on their first Mars mission in the mid-2020s

Keep in mind though, landing on Mars isn’t an easy feat. It’s known as the hardest planet to land on. That’s because its atmosphere is 100 times thinner than Earth’s. So, it’s hard to slow down for landing. You have to use a giant parachute to slow to about 200 miles an hour and fire retro rockets. The catch is the parachute has to deploy at just the right time and the rockets have to fire at just the right height for a craft to land on Mars.  

But, that’s not stopping Starship. Elon Musk is determined that it’ll be taking passengers to Mars pretty soon, with or without dragon wings. You might want to start saving up for your Starship tickets now.

Are you for or against dragon wings on spaceships (and if you are, why…??? Haha!) and would you book a seat to Mars? )Personally, I’m not flying anywhere in or out of the atmosphere. Being the first somewhere only works out in the movies.) 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

P.S. In keeping with my fictional approach to travel—tired of the TSA strip search—look for a new adventure in my Project Enterprise series, Maestra Rising will release June 18th! (And I’m mulling a dragon ship—fictional, of course!)

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