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  [Discuss] SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy (BFR) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy (BFR)
Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 09-30-2017 08:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk has produced artwork showing "Moon Base Alpha." (In passing, should that not be "Eta"?) He refers to "crewed missions to Mars in 2024." Does he give any timescale for his first crewed moon landing?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2017 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on the his talk alone, the "Moon Base Alpha" artwork was only cited as an example of what the BFR could be used for, not something that SpaceX was pursuing.

SpaceX is only planning itself to fund going to Mars, but if a customer (NASA or some other entity) wanted to use the BFR to go to the moon, it would be possible.

Headshot
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posted 09-30-2017 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Off topic, but still relevant, has any cSer heard when SpaceX will relaunch a first stage that has been relaunched already? In other words, using a first stage for the third time.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2017 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No specific timeline for such has been given. SpaceX still has customers (NASA among them) that will only fly on new Falcon 9 stages.

Blackarrow
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posted 09-30-2017 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...not something that SpaceX was pursuing.
Thanks, Robert. Of course, he might find it useful to test the concept on a closer target...

I'm a little confused about Musk's intentions regarding Falcon Heavy. Is he definitely proceeding with FH? If so, would it not be a short-lived cul de sac? If not, is moving on to BFR a face-saver for being unable to make Falcon Heavy work?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2017 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, SpaceX is proceeding with Falcon Heavy. BFR won't be ready to fly for another five to six years. It will only be after BFR is in service does SpaceX plan to phase out its Falcon architecture (and even then, Musk said they plan to retain a stock of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles for customers that do not want to use BFR).

Blackarrow
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posted 09-30-2017 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good, thanks. It is rarely a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

I suspect Musk's timescales will prove to be well wide of the mark, but if he does eventually pull this off, he will be Goddard, von Braun and Korolev all rolled into one!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-09-2018 02:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Instagram, the BFS carbon fiber jig:
SpaceX main body tool for the BFR interplanetary spaceship.

oly
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posted 04-09-2018 04:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is going to be one BFR!

SkyMan1958
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posted 06-06-2018 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Obviously I'd very much like to see the BFR project be successful, but one rather important practicality occurred to me last night. How does the upper stage of the BFR handle a launch abort?

I'm guessing the size of the BFR upper stage is at least the size of the Saturn IV-B with CSM/LM on top. I find it hard to believe that the liquid rocket engines of the second stage of the BFR can pull away quickly enough from the first stage if there is a "rapid unscheduled disassembly" of the first stage, to not have the second stage get caught up in the fireball.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-20-2018 07:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter:
Renaming BFR to Starship.

Technically, two parts: Starship is the spaceship/upper stage and Super Heavy is the rocket booster needed to escape Earth's deep gravity well (not needed for other planets or moons).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-24-2018 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter:
Stainless Steel Starship
A few additional details from Musk:
  • On weight of steel versus carbon composite:
    Usable strength/weight of full hard stainless at cryo is slightly better than carbon fiber, room temp is worse, high temp is vastly better.
  • On whether Starship will be painted:
    Skin will get too hot for paint. Stainless mirror finish. Maximum reflectivity.

cspg
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posted 12-25-2018 04:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like something from a 1950s science-fiction movie set.

teopze
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posted 12-25-2018 05:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for teopze   Click Here to Email teopze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At this point it also looks like a cheap mockup. Just look around, dirt, gravel, mud and what not.

I really like how it looks at this stage. Very inspiring for newbies: you can build a rocket in your backyard, go for it!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-05-2019 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter (photo: Maria Pointer):
Good shot of SpaceX Starship flight test vehicle being assembled in Boca Chica, Texas.

Starship test vehicle under assembly will look similar to this illustration when finished. Operational Starships would obviously have windows, etc.

Engines currently on Starship hopper are a blend of Raptor development and operational parts. First hopper engine to be fired is almost finished assembly in California. Probably fires next month.

Aiming for [first flight in] 4 weeks, which probably means 8 weeks, due to unforeseen issues.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-10-2019 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter (photo: Maria Pointer):
Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the SpaceX Texas launch site. This is an actual picture, not a rendering.

This is for suborbital VTOL tests. Orbital version is taller, has thicker skins (won't wrinkle) and a smoothly curving nose section.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-16-2019 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX has confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that it is moving its development of the Starship and Super Heavy from the Port of Los Angeles to South Texas.

SpaceX said in a statement Wednesday that the decision was made to "streamline operations."

"This decision does not impact our current manufacture, design, and launch operations in Hawthorne and Vandenberg Air Force Base," a company spokesperson said in the statement. "Additionally, SpaceX will continue recovery operations of our reusable Falcon rockets and Dragon spacecraft at the Port of Los Angeles."

Though Port of L.A. officials are "disappointed that SpaceX will not be expanding their operations at the Port of Los Angeles, we are pleased that they will continue their recovery operations here," spokesman Phillip Sanfield said in a statement.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-16-2019 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk (via Twitter) clarifies, saying the Los Angeles Times' report was due to a miscommunication by SpaceX:
The source info is incorrect. Starship and Raptor development is being done out of our HQ in Hawthorne, CA. We are building the Starship prototypes locally at our launch site in Texas, as their size makes them very difficult to transport.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-22-2019 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk describes the choice of stainless steel over carbon fiber in this interview with Popular Mechanics.
The thing that's counterintuitive about the stainless steel is, it's obviously cheap, it's obviously fast — but it's not obviously the lightest. But it is actually the lightest. If you look at the properties of a high-quality stainless steel, the thing that isn't obvious is that at cryogenic temperatures, the strength is boosted by 50 percent.

Most steels, as you get to cryogenic temperatures, they become very brittle. You've seen the trick with liquid nitrogen on typical carbon steel: You spray liquid nitrogen, you can hit it with a hammer, it shatters like glass. That's true of most steels, but not of stainless steel that has a high chrome-nickel content. That actually increases in strength, and ductility is still very high. So you have, like, 12 to 18 percent ductility at, say, minus 330 degrees Fahrenheit. Very ductile, very tough. No fracture issues.

Musk also talks about his plans for a first-of-its-kind heat shield.
On the windward side, what I want to do is have the first-ever regenerative heat shield. A double-walled stainless shell — like a stainless-steel sandwich, essentially, with two layers. You just need, essentially, two layers that are joined with stringers. You flow either fuel or water in between the sandwich layer, and then you have micro-perforations on the outside — very tiny perforations — and you essentially bleed water, or you could bleed fuel, through the micro-perforations on the outside. You wouldn't see them unless you got up close. But you use transpiration cooling to cool the windward side of the rocket. So the whole thing will still look fully chrome, like this cocktail shaker in front of us. But one side will be double-walled and that serves a double purpose, which is to stiffen the structure of the vehicle so it does not suffer from the fate of the Atlas. You have a heat shield that serves double duty as structure.

Yeah.

To the best of my knowledge this has never been proposed before.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-23-2019 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter, regarding damage sustained last night (Jan. 22) to the upper half of the "Starhopper":
50 mph winds broke the mooring blocks late last night and fairing was blown over. Will take a few weeks to repair.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 01-23-2019 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fortunately, Martian wind loads are lower.

lspooz
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posted 01-23-2019 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, not according to Mark Watney!

Cozmosis22
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posted 01-25-2019 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Short video showing wind damage to the vehicle.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-01-2019 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter:
Preparing to fire the Starship Raptor engine at SpaceX Texas.

Initially making one 200 metric ton thrust engine common across ship and booster to reach the moon as fast as possible. Next versions will split to vacuum-optimized (380+ sec Isp) and sea-level thrust optimized (~250 ton).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-03-2019 10:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter:
First firing of Starship Raptor flight engine! So proud of great work by SpaceX team!!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-18-2019 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX could begin initial tests of the Starhopper, a prototype of the company's Super Heavy vehicle, as soon as this week, Elon Musk said March 17.
In a series of tweets, Musk said flights of a "hopper" test vehicle, powered by a single Raptor engine, would "hopefully" begin this week pending work to integrate the engine, which arrived at the company's South Texas test site late last week, with the vehicle.

Residents of a housing subdivision known as Boca Chica Village, near the test site on the Gulf of Mexico coast east of Brownsville, Texas, received a notice Friday from local officials informing them that the company could start testing "as soon as the week of March 18, 2019," according to copies of the notice posted on social media. The notice said that a "safety zone" perimeter would be established for those tests, including checkpoints on the road leading from Brownsville past Boca Chica Village to the SpaceX site.

Asked on Twitter if the tests were in fact scheduled to begin this week, Musk replied, "Hopefully. Always many issues integrating engine & stage. First hops will lift off, but only barely."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-21-2019 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the South Padre Surf Company, a live Starship cam:
STARSHIP CAM is located on South Padre Island, 6 miles away from Boca Chica Launch Pad. Visibility and clarity is relative to atmospheric conditions.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-04-2019 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter:
Starhopper completed tethered hop. All systems green.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-06-2019 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on April 5 via Twitter (compilation video by Space.com):
Starhopper just lifted off and hit tether limits!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2019 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Starhopper ignited its Raptor engine for about 3 seconds at SpaceX's Boca Chica test site in South Texas on Wednesday (July 24), but the vehicle failed to lift off. Instead of hopping up about 65 feet (20 meters) as planned, the rocket belched flame and smoke, then shut down.
"It appears as though we have had an abort on today's test," SpaceX certification engineer Kate Tice said during a webcast of the Starhopper test. "As you can see there, the vehicle did not lift off today."

[Wednesday's] test flight was designed to be the first untethered flight for Starhopper, with its Raptor engine firing at 80% capacity, Tice said.

"This is a development program," she added. "Today was a test flight designed to test the boundaries of the vehicle."

Elon Musk later tweeted that the shutdown was due to the Raptor engine's chamber pressure being high due to "colder than expected propellant."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-25-2019 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Twitter (on July 25):
Starhopper flight successful. Water towers *can* fly haha!!


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