Sometimes, it’s easy to tell if space travel visionary and meme reviewer Elon Musk is joking on Twitter. Other times, not so much.
Just before the return of HBO’s mega-hit “Game of Thrones,” Musk tweeted that he was “thinking about adding giant stainless steel dragon wings to Starship” that could allow his eventually-Mars-bound spacecraft to keep cool during re-entry. “Starship will land on a ring of fire,” he added later.
With steel membrane wings like a Dragon, we may be able to lower Starship’s orbital reentry temp to ~1000 degrees C, which would allow the whole surface to be uncooled bare metal
When asked how serious he was on a scale of one to ten, Musk gave the plan a 6.5. And, to be fair, we’ve thought Musk was joking about plenty of things before — leading to his fair share of successes.
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He put together a company devoted to digging tunnels called The Boring Company, for instance — and even marketed a novelty flamethrower.
Besides, SpaceX’s Starship is just as much of a moonshot as Musk’s other endeavors: a spacecraft that’s meant to shift the paradigm interplanetary travel, eventually offering up to 100 passengers a trip to the Moon or even Mars. From red-hot, futuristic “heatshield hex tiles” to a shiny retro-looking stainless steel dome, Starship is already looking like something straight out of science fiction.
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