Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars
"I think we need, probably, on the order of 1,000 ships."https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/inside-elon-musks-plan-to-build-one-starship-a-week-and-settle-mars/
What you need to understand about Musk is that he is the chief engineer of SpaceX—and that’s not a courtesy title. Musk previously told me that at the very beginning of SpaceX, no great engineers would take the job, and what’s the point of hiring someone to be chief engineer who isn’t great? So he became the chief engineer of SpaceX. Almost every technical rocket decision made at SpaceX comes to him eventually. Especially the hard ones. He has spent many, if not the majority, of his days since December in South Texas. During Christmas, employees there say, he worked all-nighters alongside them to get the dome structure and the welds right for SN1.
Yet Musk has not been spending so much of his time in South Texas just to build a Starship. Rather, he’s trying to build a production line for Starships. He wants to build a lot of them. And fast, always fast.
“Production is at least 1,000 percent harder than making one of something,” he said. “At least 1,000 percent harder.”
Musk should know. He lived through “production hell” at Tesla in 2017 and 2018, building up factories, changing processes, spending many sleepless nights and going through all manner of mental agony. Now, Tesla is making as many as 10,000 cars a week.
He wants to implement a similar system in South Texas. Musk, in fact, aims to reach a point where the company builds a Starship a week by the end of this year. And after that? Maybe they’ll go faster. SpaceX is designing its factory here to build a Starship every 72 hours.
I think he's actually going to succeed.