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  [Discuss] SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-30-2021 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
On the other hand, the FAA complaining about an explosion...
The FAA is not commenting on the nature of its talks with SpaceX, but the reporting thus far suggests the concern is with something that preceded the explosive end of the SN8 test flight and not with the explosion itself.

Blackarrow
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posted 02-01-2021 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The obvious solution here is for the FAA to require SpaceX to fly a WW1-era biplane around the launch-site before and during the next launch, with the pilot waving a red flag to warn of a potential hazard. It worked for the early automobiles.

oly
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posted 02-01-2021 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The paperwork required to use a historic, WW1 era biplane for commercial work would outweigh the maximum payload capacity of the biplane, inhibiting its ability to take off, and creating a fire hazard for both the pilot and the locals.

Plus, at an aircraft of that era would not have an approved fire extinguisher fitted as OEM equipment, additional documentation would be required to install an approved extinguisher, requiring more paperwork, forcing an amendment to the initial approval to fly that encompasses the supplemental type certification of such an extinguisher.

It's a vicious circle.

328KF
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posted 02-01-2021 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if SpaceX has a FAA liaison job opening. It sounds like some folks here have experience with how that agency impedes progress with endless red tape and bureaucracy.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2021 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The SN9 high-altitude test flight has now been approved and could launch soon as later today (Feb. 2). From the FAA:
Prior to SN8 test launch in December 2020, SpaceX sought a waiver to exceed the maximum public risk allowed by federal safety regulations. After the FAA denied the request, SpaceX proceeded with the flight.

As a result of this non-compliance, FAA required SpaceX to conduct an investigation of the incident. All testing that could affect public safety at the Boca Chica, Texas, launch site was suspended until the investigation was completed and FAA approved company's corrective actions to protect public safety. The corrective actions arising from the SN8 incident are incorporated into the SN9 launch license.

Jim Behling
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posted 02-02-2021 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How come everybody assumes SpaceX is in the right and the FAA is doing them wrong?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2021 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video

oly
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posted 02-02-2021 08:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The SpaceX commentary describes as the vehicle is descending that they intend to relight two engines, flip the vehicle from horizontal into the vertical orientation, shut down one engine, and use one engine for the landing burn.

The video shows these steps, however, it appears from my lounge chair engineering and judgment department that the timing of these events did not align with the Δ earth was getting bigger.

Great camera angles and coverage. Thank you SpaceX, bring on the next attempt.

Cozmosis22
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posted 02-02-2021 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"We just gotta work on that landing a little bit."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-03-2021 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
The video shows these steps...
During the landing flip maneuver, one of the Raptor engines did not relight, which was why the landing was not successful, per SpaceX.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-03-2021 03:58 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 (via Twitter):
Starship launch [March 3]. Window opens at 9am.
From SpaceX:
There will be a live feed of the flight test available here that will start a few minutes prior to liftoff. Given the dynamic schedule of development testing, stay tuned to our social media channels for updates as we move toward SpaceX's third high-altitude flight test of Starship!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-03-2021 06:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Until the SpaceX feed is available, here are some live streams:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-03-2021 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Engine ignition and... abort at T-0 seconds.

From Elon Musk (via Twitter):

Launch abort on slightly conservative high thrust limit. Increasing thrust limit and recycling propellant for another flight attempt today.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-03-2021 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX live video

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-03-2021 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Successful flight and soft touchdown for SN10, per John Insprucker, SpaceX's principal integration engineer and commentator.
Third time's the charm! A beautiful soft landing of Starship on the landing pad at Boca Chica!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-03-2021 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Successful flight and landing, but then the vehicle exploded on the pad.

From Elon Musk (via Twitter):

RIP SN10, honorable discharge.

thisismills
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posted 03-03-2021 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thisismills   Click Here to Email thisismills     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another exciting test flight. It was thrilling to see it land upright, the deceleration burn was much improved over the SN8/SN9 flights

A view of SN10 just after landing.

oly
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posted 03-03-2021 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well done to SpaceX for achieving their goal of landing Starship.

Also, somewhat radically solves the problem of what to do with the flown test vehicle.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-04-2021 05:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX photos from the SN10 test flight:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-04-2021 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cosmic Perspective video
We positioned a camera focusing exclusively on the landing pad to capture all the action during the last few moments of descent. The rest was history.

Cameras continued rolling through the 9 minutes or so after landing into the ground explosion.

Additional remote camera views including interviews and what it was like to experience this historic moment from Isla Blanca park coming soon.

SpaceAholic
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posted 03-05-2021 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX created a futuristic tableau at its Texas rocket-testing facilities on Thursday, when a robotic dog wandered the wreckage of the company's latest Starship prototype.
The lifelike machine is a Boston Dynamics "Spot" robot, which SpaceX has apparently renamed Zeus, according to photos that show the name printed across a red doghouse where the robot lives.

Zeus has been spotted inspecting SpaceX landing sites before. It's not clear what exactly the mechanical pooch was doing at the SN10 explosion site, but Zeus is most likely outfitted with cameras and sensors to collect data, since approaching wrecked rockets can be unsafe.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-06-2021 08:39 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, with regards to the SN10 landing (via Twitter):
Thrust was low despite being commanded high for reasons unknown at present, hence hard touchdown. We've never seen this before.

Next time, min two engines all the way to the ground and restart engine 3 if engine 1 or 2 have issues.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-09-2021 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More from Elon Musk on the SN10 landing (via Twitter):
SN10 engine was low on thrust due (probably) to partial helium ingestion from fuel header tank. Impact of 10m/s crushed legs and part of skirt. Multiple fixes in work for SN11.

Blackarrow
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posted 03-14-2021 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is always much discussion about the escape system built into any launcher to protect the crew from a catastrophic failure during launch. It seems clear that in a vehicle like the SpaceX "Starship" an escape system would be useful during the landing phase, too.

oly
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posted 03-14-2021 09:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The window of opportunity for use of the Gemini ejection seat escape system was limited due to survivability issues of ejecting into the engine plume and ejecting at an altitude that has survivable atmospheric conditions. This was only for two crew.

Military aircraft also have a survivable ejection window, with the chances of survival decreasing with lower altitudes and downward velocity vectors.

Any system designed to save the crew needs to A) get the crew clear of the vehicle, and B) slow their descent to a survivable velocity.

With the Starship in the freefall configuration, it is a passive body falling earthward with little to go wrong until the flip maneuver is executed.

Once the flip maneuver has begun, a fault needs to be detected and identified, the ejection vector is changing rapidly, and the altitude is below survivable altitude for all but self-righting zere-zero systems, which add a substantial weight per passenger.

A survival capsule could be a better idea than individual seats, but this introduces the structural design and weight changes that would be significant, but again, by the time a fault with the rocket systems used for flip and landing is detected, the vehicle is at a low level, descending into it's own fireball. The crew would have to be jettisoned quite a distance from an exploding Starship to survive.

A capsule requires a structure that can be torn apart easily along a prescribed pathway and still withstands the structural loads of rocket flight.

It would be a challenge to come up with a working escape system for 100 crew members for use in the last few moments of the landing phase that does not add prohibitive weight and structural penalty.

Blackarrow
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posted 03-15-2021 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good points, but of course an escape system that would work on launch from, and landing back on, Earth would be of no use on the moon. I was really thinking of the test phase, with a flight crew of perhaps 3 to 6 astronauts.

An escape system might work for a small number (as in the two ejector seats in the 7-8 seat shuttle) but obviously not with a crew of 100. I assume that Starship will not fly 100 crew/passengers until the system is regarded as comparable in reliability to the Boeing 707 or the jumbo jet. I've never had a parachute on a jumbo, but on the first test flights of famous airliners, were the test pilots ever given parachutes? That might be a better comparison.

oly
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posted 03-16-2021 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many of the large airline aircraft test crews wore parachutes during the initial test phase. There is a documentary about the Airbus A380 that shows the crew wearing chutes on the maiden flight.

In most cases these flights are done in configurations that just prove the thing can fly, the landing gear is not retracted, and the speed is kept below the max gear extended operating speed. Altitudes are restricted to recognized safe limits, and the machines are flown manually because the automated systems have not been tested.

I have always found the requirement to wear chutes on these flights somewhat useless because if one of these machines suffered a failure whereby the crew needed to bailout, extracting one's self from an out-of-control hulk would be difficult. I guess it is a case where to have is better than to have not.

In the case of Starship, the development would most likely follow that of Dragon, where the system is fully automated, and the crew would assume manual control only in an emergency. The system was test flown and qualified before the crew were introduced into the program, and the emergency abort system caters to a small window of opportunity of the flight profile. The crew would probably not be introduced into the picture until the main system had completed systems qualifications.

Musk has recently commented that the landing form is still being considered, and thought has been given to have the Starship caught by a launch tower, in the same way SpaceX is planning for the booster. There have so far been several iterations of the Starship landing idea, including using the fins as landing gear, and the current retractable legs that experienced problems on the last flight. I guess that until these things are defined, a crew escape system won't be a high priority.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-16-2021 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
On March 3, Starship serial number 10 (SN10) completed SpaceX's third high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype as it successfully ascended, transitioned propellant, and reoriented itself for reentry and an active aerodynamic controlled descent. SN10's Raptor engines reignited to perform the vehicle's landing flip maneuver immediately before successfully touching down on the landing pad.

Test flights such as SN10's are about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights, and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-18-2021 06:39 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 (via Twitter):
First Super Heavy Booster

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-20-2021 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA astronauts Michael Barrett, Reid Wiseman, Christina Koch and Matthew Dominick with Starship SN11. From Koch (via Instagram):
Common goals, shared vision. NASA astronauts learning about the SpaceX Starship — one element in a growing worldwide field of deeper space exploration systems with sights on the moon and Mars.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-22-2021 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX conducted a hot fire with SN11 today (March 22), ahead of a planned test flight this week.

Cooper95
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posted 03-22-2021 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cooper95     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope the weather and other obstacles won't prevent SpaceX from launching SN11 this week. Has someone any predictions for this launch? How will it end?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-26-2021 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX conducted a static fire test of the Starship SN11 prototype engines today (March 26). If the data checks out, SpaceX may attempt a test-flight of the SN11 prototype later today.
There will be a live feed of the flight test that will start a few minutes prior to liftoff. Given the dynamic schedule of development testing, stay tuned for updates as SpaceX moves toward its fourth high-altitude flight test of Starship.

Update: Today's (March 26) attempt has been scrubbed.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-29-2021 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There will be no SN11 flight attempt today (March 29).

From Elon Musk (via Twitter):

FAA inspector unable to reach Starbase in time for launch today. Postponed to no earlier than tomorrow.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-30-2021 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video of today's (March 30) SN11 attempt. From Elon Musk (via Twitter):
Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent and didn't reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn't needed.

Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.

At least the crater is in the right place!

Blackarrow
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posted 03-31-2021 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I question the wisdom of launching and landing in thick fog. That's exactly the time your video-feed is likely to fail, resulting (I assume) in an almost complete loss of any footage of what happened. I just hope the telemetry didn't suffer the same drop-out problems as the video.


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