This Is How Life Support Work On SpaceX’s Starship: There is basically no limit to what Elon Musk can achieve. From his battery-powered cars to trucks that run almost at the speed of light, to super-fast internet connection, Elon Musk has traversed the frontiers of possible, daily stretching the limits of human possibility.
SpaceX is another grand company founded by Elon Musk. This galaxy touring company has a whole lot of things up its sleeves. One of these outstanding things is its installation of life support on the starship. Join us as we explore SpaceX Starship, and the recent technological feature added to this masterpiece.
Starship is one of the extraordinary inventions of SpaceX. The space edifice is structured to be able to carry not just Satellites, but a total number of 100 people per flight, which is most likely to increase per flight.
The totality of this spaceship speaks of elegance and style that is mostly associated with Elon Musk. On Starship’s official user’s guide, SpaceX mentions that the crew configuration of Starship includes private cabins, large common areas, centralized storage, solar storm shelters, and a viewing gallery.
Out of that small section alone, there’s quite a bit of helpful information. Most importantly, SpaceX will have a dedicated crew configuration of Starship. What this means is that things can be much crazier than previously anticipated.
The payload volume of this massive spaceship is a whopping 1100 cubic meters. While to skeptics it would seem ridiculous that Starship could take between 100 to 200 people to space, it’s much easier to see how easily this could be accomplished.
One of the ways this extraordinary feat can be accomplished is through the catalog of rooms and configurations changes. Part of this configuration change is the private cabins.
At first, the private cabins seemed like a no-go area for Starship, considering the fact that the closest we’ve ever gotten is SpaceX’s Dragon 2 Capsule. Even then, a Dragon 2 only contains 9.3 cubic meters of pressurized volume or a minuscule of 0.85 percent of Starship’s total capacity.
Therefore, if we are looking at about 50 to 75 private cabins, with two to three people each, that is 100 to 225 people, even with the total capacity of a Dragon 2 capsule at 9.3 cubic meters, Starship would use just 465 to 700 cubic meters of its payload volume.
So that’s 42 to 64 percent of just Starship’s pressurized payload volume; that leaves 36 to 58 percent of the rest of the volume for open spaces. Also, additional shelters such as bathrooms, storage, life support, and more have to be put into consideration.
A lot is not necessarily accounted for when talking about cabin space, and it is important that we include the restroom and other necessary spaces. Restrooms are an obvious necessity; if you are going to be in space for weeks, you’re not waiting until you touch down to use the restroom.
Therefore, whether there are communal bathrooms and halls or individually placed room bathrooms, it is yet to be disclosed. However, we know that they all have to be interconnected and flow to waste management and water reclamation centers where water could be filtered and reused and waste disposed of.
Furthermore, Elon would have to include adequate food within Starship’s storage. Again, you might ask, would this be in the form of a central food bank or cafeteria or would everyone receive rations for their time on Starship.
With the amount of space left unoccupied by private cabins, it could go either way. There are many things that would be included in the mammoth-sized starship. One of these expedient things is life support. How do you think the general life support machine would fit or even work in this space masterpiece? First, we have to understand the importance of life support machines.
This is because of certain eventualities that most space companies overlook. But not SpaceX. As a matter of fact, the company was attempting to hire starship medical engineers months ago as shown in a June 4 Twitter post by a Twitter user.
In this tweet, there were images shown of two job listings, a starship medical engineer and a radiation effects engineer.
For the former, SpaceX described developing operations, medical systems, protocols, and technology, constructed for use aboard Starship. As for the radiation effects engineer listing, the company described a position with analysis, design, and testing of sample systems, designed to prevent varying radiation levels.
SpaceX also mentioned working alongside other developmental teams to integrate protection and the like. While both of these posts have nothing explicitly mentioned about Starship’s interior, they’re both incredibly revealing.
The biggest thing to take away from this is that SpaceX is currently heavily invested in building the best life support systems aboard Starship. Life support will most likely be the most prominent use of pressurized space, excluding rooms and the like.
Think air regulation, water, oxygen supply, waste disposal, temperature control, pressure regulation, and even food rations, there’s a lot involved in what’s generally considered to be locked to breathing.
You agree with us that Life support is more complicated than we can describe it. With hundreds if not thousands of individual aspects and small items connecting to keep all of the crew alive.
It will also draw an incredible amount of power, which means that even more of the usable space aboard Starship will likely be limited to the essential, after all, all along with the human necessities, Starship will provide an entirely pressurized volume, top of the line waste disposal, water purification and much more.
As such, this is likely going to be a mammoth use of the vehicle’s total volume. However, spacecraft usually rely on refillable oxygen tanks which are pressurized to contain high levels of breathable air. There is a growing case to use oxygen generation on board.
Since starships will deal with hundreds of people living in open spaces for weeks if not months at a time, there’s going to be a lot of wasted air. The average human consumes 660 liters of oxygen a day, meaning that SpaceX would need a massive amount of onboard oxygen or a large generator.
Luckily, the technology behind the ISS’s Oxygen generation is relatively miniaturized and easily usable through a process known as electrolysis. Electrolysis is a process in which water is splitted into hydrogen and oxygen.
The space station has been producing oxygen for years, and as such may be able to handle a large amount of demand for oxygen. Fortunately, electrolysis would also help Starship cover a few other support tasks such as reclamation, waste disposal, and fuel management.
In addition, by combining the newly gained hydrogen with the carbon dioxide given off by every crewmate, astronauts can create water and methane. As we should know, this water can be purified and used for human consumption, with the methane potentially going towards Starship’s method supply.
However, this process has some flaws in it and has not been perfected yet. There is still a relatively large gap between usage and generation. This means that SpaceX would still have to dedicate part of its onboard volume to oxygen, water, and other containers of the like.
These containers would however be stored within Starship’s centralized storage or a specific area locked off to the general crew. The centralized storage could be used for personal belongings, additional oxygen supplies, water sources, and literally anything SpaceX would want onboard.
The centralized storage space would also serve as a central area for the onboard crewmates with several common areas to choose from. These common areas are likely set up similarly to a cruise ship, which frequently contains multiple neighborhoods.
While this is not necessary as a standard analogy, it would make sense. Cruise ships are also huge, include similar life support systems excluding oxygen production, hold limited space, and much more.
Both would contain private cabins, large common areas, potential shelters, and public viewing galleries. In addition, they both have a temporarily self-sufficient craft with limited space to work with. That is why Starship will likely have large rooms interconnected with smaller neighborhoods, with common areas.
Like a cruise ship, there would be a few levels reserved for electrolysis, oxygen supplies, and water supplies. It’s really strange that this many comparisons between Starship and a cruise ship can be made.
However, they are both shining examples of what humans can do with limited space and unlimited needs. Luckily, starships have more than enough space for virtually anything it needs, private cabins, common areas, centralized storage, solar storm shelters, and viewing galleries.
This ship is a repertoire of all that a modern spaceship should have and more. And it can only be made by the genius of them all, Elon Musk.
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Information Source: Youtube – Tech Fusion
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