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Everyday Astronaut Jun 23
Cost wise, how much more expensive is Raptor than Merlin to produce? Twice as much? Three times-ish.... I estimated Raptor being around $2,000,000 but that was just a roughly educated guess.
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Elon Musk Jun 23
More than that now, but <10% of that in volume, although much to be proven
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Eric Ralph Jun 23
as in... $200k per Raptor once production is ramped fully? 🤯
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Everyday Astronaut Jun 23
That’s kinda how I read that too 🤯 well, more than $200k, but still even if it’s less than $500k, that’s nuts!
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Elon Musk Jun 23
Since Raptor produces 200 tons of force, cost per ton would be $1000. However, Raptor is designed for ~1000 flights with negligible maintenance, so cost per ton over time would actually be ~$1.
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Everyday Astronaut Jun 23
~1000 flights with little maintenance?!? 🤯 What?! Seriously, what specifically about raptor makes it anywhere near capable of that compared to previous engines?! Something about the seals / bearings / materials / full flow producing max enthalpy?
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Elon Musk Jun 24
Other rocket engines were designed for no (or almost no) reuse. Raptor is designed for heavy & immediate reuse, like an aircraft jet engine, with inspections required only after many flights, assuming instrumentation shows it good. Using hydrostatic bearings certainly helps.
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Everyday Astronaut Jun 24
How many flights is the Merlin actually good for with no major refurbishment now that you’ve reflown it so many times? Is the bearing the limiting factor? Or is it the coking?
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Elon Musk Jun 24
Merlin could probably do 1000 flights too. Turbine blade fatigue cracking would require periodic weld repair or replacement. Probably some seals & bearings as well. Coking not really an issue.
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Piotr Szmigielski Jun 24
What about Raptor turbines, they are designed to mitigate that issue?
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Elon Musk
Yes, they run at *much* higher pressure, but lower temperature. Thermal shock & strain are what fatigue Merlin turbine blades. Solvable for high reusability, but better to apply that engineering to Raptor.
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SPEXcast Jun 24
Will Merlin/Falcon receive any end-of-life upgrades as the Starship system becomes operational over the next few years?
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Taylor Marks 🧢 Jun 24
I would put my money on no. If they're building 500 Raptors per year, they're building dozens of Starships and Super Heavies per year. All the people buildings those are going to be people pulled off of Merlin/Falcon production. There won't be any bandwidth left to work on Falcon
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Greg Rosen Jun 24
Tune in next week for another Everyday Musk interview, thank you for joining us.
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Greg Rosen Jun 26
It did feel like an interview didn’t it?
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Gleb Jun 24
Elon U at starmus?
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Clyde Oren Jun 24
Lower temperature would it be very critical fuel temperatures inconsistent fire 🤔
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