Hi I’m Joe, the owner of @spacex.club on Instagram and a member of The Starship Crew admin.
I’ve been fascinated by Space and astronomy pretty much my entire life (yes very cliché I know) but was not particularly intrigued by spaceflight until relatively recently. The first ever SpaceX launch I watched live was the Falcon Heavy test flight in February 2018 and my mind was utterly blown. That double booster landing and seeing Starman chilling up there in space was the best introduction to SpaceX I could’ve possibly had. Routine Starlink launches don’t exactly hit the same I guess, but maybe that’s our fault for not appreciating those poor Falcon 9 boosters enough.
My interest in SpaceX kept growing and growing over the next year or so, and as Starship development started to take shape, I began to keep updated with the developments at Boca Chica. This was when it was just a couple of dirt mounds, rough-looking tents and that one supposed metal water tower that ended up flying.
I created the SpaceX Club Instagram page in December 2019 to try to spread the excitement surrounding SpaceX’s crazy ambitions, as well as using it as a method of helping myself learn more about aerospace. I had literally no expectations at all for the page, but it has since gone on to amass over 137k followers, and it’s been insanely fun to experience SpaceX launches and testing over the last couple of years with so many other like-minded space fans.
The Starship SN8 test flight last December remains my favourite SpaceX event ever. If you were a part of the online space community at that time you’ll be able to remember just how much unprecedented hype and anticipation there was surrounding that flight (I’m kinda missing #wenhop right now). No other simple hardware test in engineering had ever created a buzz that crazy, and honestly the flip-into-boom landing was probably the most exciting outcome there could’ve been for the first ever high-altitude flight test out of Boca Chica.
Looking forward, it’s obvious that things will keep getting much bigger and crazier at Starbase. With Starship 20 gearing up for an unbelievably ambitious orbital flight test atop of Booster 4, you can already feel the excitement around the Starship program beginning to ramp up yet again. And with the construction of the Mechzilla booster catching system already in progress, I think it’s safe to say we can expect a lottttt more booms in the coming years.
The Starship Crew team hopes you can stick along for the crazy ride, as we witness in real-time what will hopefully one day become pivotal moments in humanity’s history. Keep an eye on this website and our Discord for loads of essential Starship info/updates and exciting content coming very soon.
Do you think that the development of Starship is acting as a motivational factor for future aerospace engineers and scientists?
Oh for sure. The Starship program has been the most openly inspiring program for people thinking about entering the STEM fields that we’ve seen in a while. I think the whole publicity of Starbase (e.g. building the prototypes out in the open as opposed to in a closed facility which gives one or two production updates a year) has given people both young and old an amazing insight into the real crazy nature of trial-and-error engineering and how these incredible machines are developed. The end goal and philosophy of the Starship program is equally inspiring and motivational in my opinion. As opposed to other aerospace programs, where the entire purpose of the engineering work is to win government contracts and earn huge sums of money, the Starship program’s main goal of making humanity a multi-planetary species and preserving life as we know it for the foreseeable future must be un-comparably inspiring to so many future scientists.
If you were Elon Musk for one day, would you change anything?
Probably my mullet for a start 🙂
Honestly, I think I would allocate more of my money to causes preventing climate change and preserving biodiversity on Earth. While Elon already does a great deal in the climate crisis fight (e.g. Tesla, SolarCity, Carbon XPrize) which I’m appreciative of, there is still a huge amount that could potentially be done to protect the Earth’s climate and biodiversity with the financial resources he has gained over the years. Becoming a multi-planetary species is just one part of preserving life, we still have time to reverse our actions on Earth and protect our home planet from further human error.
What got you interested in Starship development?
I first heard about the Starship program back in 2016 when the vehicle was still known as ITS (Interplanetary Transport System). I remember finding the whole thing extremely fascinating and futuristic but thought it was gonna be a long, long time before we see anything remotely like that in real life. It wasn’t until I became a huge SpaceX fan in 2018, seeing regular Falcon 9 landings and boosters being reused, that I realised the whole idea of interplanetary travel may not be too far off. I was completely transfixed by the idea that I could genuinely see a Starship landing on Mars in the next 10-20 years, and keeping up to date with Starship development has been one of my biggest interests ever since. To me, it represents hope, determination, ambition, and shows how much us humans can accomplish if we work together towards a common goal.
IPhone or Android?
As a lifelong Android user, I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hold a special place in my heart. But damn, I do wish I had an iPhone from time to time when my Android videos look like they were recorded on a potato.
SLS or Starship?
Is it possible to give an unbiased answer on this website lol
Similarly to the Saturn V, SLS will most likely be a very short-lived system which will achieve incredible things, but will not last long due to insane launch costs and limited capabilities. Starship on the other hand, while facing a huge number of bottlenecks and challenges, has the potential to become the most revolutionary vehicle humans have ever created. So in this case, I’m gonna have to go with Starship. Much love for big orange rocket though <3
How do you envision the first Mars colony? What do you believe the structures will look like? Do you picture them as Marsha, AI SpaceFactory's living quarters design? Or do you imagine them differently?
I think predicting what the first proper Mars colony will look like is equally as difficult as predicting what the weather will be like a year from today. So much data and knowledge will be gathered from the first wave of human landings on the planet that will require us to completely rethink our ideas about Mars architecture.
I really like AI SpaceFactory’s idea of creating 3D printed habitats from materials farmed on Mars, and I think creating structures on the planet itself as opposed to sending them all the way from Earth will be our best bet for creating self-sustaining colonies within the next century or so. As for the living quarters themselves and the design aspect, it’s obviously crucial to prioritise utility and fulfilment of needs for the future Martians. Looking at existing arctic and antarctic bases on Earth may give us a decent idea of what the interior of long-term Mars bases may look like, but obviously the exterior of a Mars base poses many more design challenges.
(living quarters in an antarctic base, shows existing ways humans have been living comfortably in extreme conditions)