When SpaceX was founded in 2002, it was created with the following purposes:
- To make space accessible and cheap through reusable rockets.
- To make life multiplanetary by building a permanent city on Mars.
To accomplish these goals, in 2016 they announced the development of a new rocket, then known as the ITS (Interplanetary Transport System). This rocket would be fully reusable and capable of carrying hundreds of tons of cargo to interplanetary destinations. Since then, the design has evolved into the modern Starship, which as of the time of writing is on the brink of an orbital flight test.
The Starship launch vehicle consists of two stages. The first stage, known as Superheavy, is the most powerful rocket stage ever developed, powered by 29 (eventually 33) of SpaceX's Raptor engines and standing 70 meters (230 feet) tall. At the top, it has four lattice-shaped "grid fins", which it uses to control its trajectory as it returns to the launch site and lands following stage separation.
The upper stage (confusingly also simply known as Starship) is smaller, but not by much. It is 50 meters (164 feet) tall, and is powered by 3 sea level and 3 vacuum optimized Raptor engines. In this configuration, it is capable of accommodating potentially up to 100 passengers. Its landing procedures are also unique in the spaceflight world; rather than flying like an airplane or simply falling like a capsule, it "bellyflops" through the atmosphere, using its flaps to keep it facing belly forward much like a skydiver. At the last second before it hits the ground, it lights its sea level engines, tucks in its flaps, and lands propulsively in an upright position.
This Lego model has been designed with many intricate details to faithfully recreate this technological wonder of the 21st century. Superheavy stands ~58 studs tall, with a full array of 29 raptor engines. All four grid fins are fully articulated, and to scale. Starship is ~42 studs tall, featuring an accurately arranged engine section, four flaps with a full range of motion, and several windows in the nose. The combined model has ~1300-1400 pieces, and is to a scale of 1:150.
Like the real Starship, various aspects of this design can be further optimized and improved. To that end, I would love to receive feedback from you, the Lego Ideas community. Hopefully, this model ends up being the best possible version of itself. I appreciate your support, and would ask that you please spread the word, so that we can finally have a Starship Lego set.