Will Starship reach escape velocity before 2026?
Basic
42
6.3k
2026
15%
chance

Resolves YES if a SpaceX Starship reaches an Earth escape trajectory, such that it is no longer gravitationally bound to Earth.

This will be determined via statements from SpaceX that Starship has reached an escape trajectory, or from telemetry data showing Starship having a speed of at least:

where d is Starship's altitude as measured from the centre of the Earth.

Note that SpaceX livestreams ordinarily show speed telemetry data in a frame rotating with the Earth, so a coordinate transformation may be needed to determine whether Starship has reached escape velocity or not, if it's close enough for the rotation of the Earth to matter. I know how to do the needed transformation, as long as altitude telemetry is also available, and Starship's downrange direction is known (from these one can infer the full 3D velocity vector).

Resolves NO if no Starship reaches escape velocity before 2026, and N/A if it's not possible to reasonably determine whether escape velocity was reached or not.

The relevant timezone for "before 2026" is local time at the launch site.

Get Ṁ1,000 play money
Sort by:

I don't think transit to the Moon involves reaching escape velocity unless you want to use extra delta-v to get there faster, and from what I can tell the Apollo missions did not reach escape velocity. So I think this would only happen if Starship was sent on an interplanetary trajectory, like going to Mars. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, the only Mars launch window before 2026 is in Q4 of this year. I suppose SpaceX could send a Starship to Solar orbit like with the Roadster, but I think that's unlikely.

bought Ṁ25 NO from 40% to 38%

Shouldn't the title say "escape speed", technically, instead of the slightly misleading "escape velocity"?

@lastuserhere Serious answer, Isaac does have a point, and I'm in favour of activism around changing the name generally I think. But I also want to use bog-standard language in my Manifold questions. Writing questions that are understood correctly is hard enough, I don't want to take any extra risks by doing terminology activism in them too. Less misleading to stick to the most common term for it I think.