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  [Discuss] SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy (Page 6)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy
David C
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posted 05-06-2021 02:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Outstanding, well done SpaceX. Hoping for less broken video on the next one.

SkyMan1958
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posted 05-06-2021 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to SpaceX!!! Obviously a major step forward.

Maybe it's nitpicking, but I'd hardly call a prolonged fire at the base of a landed rocket "nominal." Still. one would assume that SpaceX will pick away at the problem.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2021 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX Starship SN15 flight test recap
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, Starship serial number 15 (SN15) successfully completed SpaceX's fifth high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype from Starbase in Texas. SN15 ascended, transitioned propellant, and reoriented itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent. The Raptor engines reignited to perform the landing flip maneuver before touching down for a nominal landing on the pad.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-13-2021 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX document (via FCC)
Starship Orbital First Flight FCC Exhibit

The Starship Orbital test flight will originate from Starbase, TX. The Booster stage will separate approximately 170 seconds into flight. The Booster will then perform a partial return and land in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 20 miles from the shore.

The Orbital Starship will continue on flying between the Florida Straits. It will achieve orbit until performing a powered, targeted landing approximately 100km (~62 miles) off the northwest coast of Kauai in a soft ocean landing.

Booster Stage Launch and Landing

Orbital Stage Launch

Orbital Stage Landing

Event Timelines

  • Liftoff: T+0 seconds
  • MECO: T+169
  • Stage Separation: T+171
  • SES: T+176
  • Booster Touchdown: T+495
  • SECO: T+521
  • Ship Splashdown: T+5420
Objectives

SpaceX intends to collect as much data as possible during flight to quantify entry dynamics and better understand what the vehicle experiences in a flight regime that is extremely difficult to accurately predict or replicate computationally. This data will anchor any changes in vehicle design or CONOPs after the first flight and build better models for us to use in our internal simulations.

SkyMan1958
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posted 05-13-2021 09:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally I would be concerned that the Chinese would try and recover the remnants X months after the mission. Remember what the Soviet Union did in the Kwajalein atoll with the Minuteman warhead.

SpaceAholic
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posted 06-02-2021 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Air Force plans to invest $47.9 million into SpaceX's Starship in the coming fiscal year, which begins October 1, reports Ars Technica.
"The Department of the Air Force seeks to leverage the current multi-billion dollar commercial investment to develop the largest rockets ever, and with full reusability to develop and test the capability to leverage a commercial rocket to deliver AF cargo anywhere on the Earth in less than one hour, with a 100-ton capacity," the document [U.S. Air Force budget "justification book"] states.

Although this does not refer to Starship by name, this is the only vehicle under development in the world with this kind of capability. The Air Force does not intend to invest directly into the vehicle's development, the document says. However, it proposes to fund science and technology needed to interface with the Starship vehicle so that the Air Force might leverage its capabilities.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-04-2021 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Air Force said today that its $47.9 million investment is not in SpaceX, but in its own capabilities to load military cargo containers into 30-to-100 ton class rockets, reports SpaceNews.
Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, said AFRL and the U.S Space Force will collaborate on the rocket cargo project. She said it could take several years of research and experimentation before rocket cargo can become operational. "This newest Vanguard has the support of the entire Department of the Air Force," Pringle said.
Greg Spanjers, manager of the rocket cargo program, said the focus is not on just one rocket or company.
"We don't see SpaceX as being the only viable provider of this capability," he said, declining to name other companies. Spanjers suggested that any company developing lunar lander vehicles for NASA could adapt them so they could land in austere terrains on Earth and drop off cargo.

The vehicles would have to go into an orbital or a suborbital trajectory to bring the payload back down and land it, Spanjers said. "There are multiple companies that have that technological capability today, not just SpaceX."

SpaceAholic
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posted 06-16-2021 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Local authorities have accused SpaceX of violating the law by attempting to block access to public roads around its spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, according to KGRW reporter Rudy Mireles.
SpaceX's security staff may have broken Texas laws against obstructing public roads and impersonating a public official — Class B misdemeanor and third-degree felony violations, respectively — Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz wrote in a letter to SpaceX, according to Mireles.

Saenz warned SpaceX that future violations could result in individual SpaceX employees or contractors being arrested as well as the company facing criminal prosecution, according to the letter.

Headshot
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posted 06-17-2021 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have more information about the story on today's CNN Business? "Texas authorities threaten SpaceX with legal action over beach closures, private security"
SpaceX received a warning from a district attorney in Texas this week, warning that the company could be violating several state laws by shutting down public beaches for extended periods of time and using unlicensed security guards to ward people off public roads.
Editor's note: Threads merged.

Cozmosis22
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posted 06-25-2021 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting new high quality video production from Martian Colonist titled "Mars Mission Update: June 2021".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-01-2021 02:18 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 (via Twitter):
Super Heavy on road and 7th Tower segment added.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-19-2021 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First static fire with three Raptor engines on a prototype Super Heavy (Booster 3). Video still via NASA Spaceflight's livestream.

From Elon Musk (via Twitter):

Full test duration firing of 3 Raptors on Super Heavy Booster!

Depending on progress with Booster 4, we might try a 9 engine firing on Booster 3.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-31-2021 08:03 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):
Starbase is moving at Warp 9.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-01-2021 10:05 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):
Installing Starship booster engines for first orbital flight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-02-2021 11:43 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):
Raptors on Super Heavy.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-03-2021 12:33 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):
Super Heavy Booster moving to orbital launch mount.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-04-2021 09:51 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):
All six engines mounted to first orbital Starship.

Blackarrow
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posted 08-04-2021 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there a realistic expectation of when SpaceX will attempt the orbital test launch?

In passing, I can't help noticing that transport for the SuperHeavy is a little less impressive than NASA's Crawler Transporter, but I suppose the proof of the pudding...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-04-2021 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The FAA has not approved the launch pad infrastructure, let alone issued a license for an orbital launch, so until those things occur, any date is notional.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-04-2021 05:16 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):
Moving rocket to orbital launch pad.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-05-2021 01:47 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):
Aiming to stack ship on booster today.

Update: Musk tweeted this afternoon (Aug. 5):

Winds are too high today. Looks like wind speed will be low enough to stack early tomorrow morning.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2021 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For about an hour this morning (Aug. 6), SpaceX's Super Heavy booster 4 and Starship SN20 were stacked, forming the world's tallest rocket. SN20 has since been lowered back down as work continues. (Video still: NASA Spaceflight)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2021 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 (via Twitter):
Starship Fully Stacked.

SkyMan1958
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posted 08-06-2021 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Given how massive the amount of energy the Super Heavy will release at liftoff, I'm amazed that there is no water deluge system set up.

Cozmosis22
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posted 08-06-2021 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like that final stage they just stacked has some sort of black surface wrapping down one side. Is that some sort of insulation?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-06-2021 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are only two stages: the Super Heavy booster and the Starship (collectively known as "Starship").

The orbital Starship requires thermal protection tiles (the black "wrapping") on one side due to reentry heating. The earlier hops didn't require the tiles, though some of the later tests did have sample tiles for evaluation.

Here is a video still showing the tile detail:

Blackarrow
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posted 10-09-2021 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it astounding that for the last two months not one comment has been made about the ongoing preparations by SpaceX to launch a rocket with twice the thrust of the Saturn V. I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone else, but here I am, asking: why the apparent lack of interest in a truly astounding event which seems likely to be attempted in the next few months?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-09-2021 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hard to comment when there has been no news. SpaceX (Elon Musk or otherwise) has not released any recent updates on the work on going at Boca Chica.

There have been some tweets and articles based on spectator reports, but nothing from the company itself.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-09-2021 12:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The lack of official news has never stopped stalwart cSers from commenting, speculating and asking "what if?" questions about numerous other important (and not so important) topics. There are, for example, two ongoing (and very interesting) threads about entirely hypothetical "what-ifs" involving Apollo 1 and Apollo 8. There have been numerous discussions about Apollo crew-changes if particular astronauts had died/not died. I don't see it as a stretch to expect space enthusiasts to enthuse about the forthcoming launch of a 15 million pound-thrust rocket ultimately intended to land colonists on Mars.

Anyway, Youtube has shown numerous videos detailing ongoing work at Boca Chica. The pictures speak for themselves, but it still surprises me that nobody on cS (particularly those with solid backgrounds in engineering and rocketry) has felt the need to offer any recent thoughts on whether the system being constructed in open view at Boca Chica looks capable of reaching Pluto or is better compared to Mickey Mouse.

oly
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posted 10-09-2021 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
I find it astounding that for the last two months not one comment has been made about the ongoing preparations by SpaceX to launch a rocket with twice the thrust of the Saturn V.
Perhaps because SpaceX are designing and re-designing things so often, or that the FAA have put a roadblock in the way, or that many of the websites and youtubers are guessing what could be happening. Much of the information available is speculative.

My two cents worth, is that I am impressed at the speed of iterative design and construction, and that the infrastructure being built to support the vehicle looks to be taken from the set of a space movie.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-11-2021 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I appreciate your two cents. I hope that "space movie" isn't the one where the giant rocket explodes and destroys all the nearby infrastructure!

oly
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posted 10-12-2021 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think SpaceX are a creative company that bring some fun into an otherwise serious business through their designs that look similar to the science fiction works before the space race mixed with Looney Tunes cartoons. Large silver rockets and giant machines that lift them on to the launch pad and catch them when they land.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-12-2021 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agreed! I just think such innovative research and rapid production deserves more attention from space enthusiasts.

David C
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posted 10-12-2021 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They'd get more if they put hard information out in the public domain. For obvious reasons, they're reluctant to do that. In fact I'd probably re-phrase my statement to say they shouldn't do that. So any more attention is really not going to be much more than a "fan club".

L2 has pretty much what's known plus reasonable speculation. Beyond that I think we're into the realms of pointless speculation and discussions about Elon's bandanas. Well, I don't think "serious" space enthusiasts really have time for that.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-17-2021 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think you miss the point I made previously. Even "serious" space enthusiasts often find valuable time to speculate on who would have flown on such-and-such Apollo mission if one of the crew had died earlier or not been available (interesting, but entirely moot points). I suggest that it would actually be more productive to discuss the likely viability of the hardware and support structures we can all seeing being constructed at Boca Chica.

I would value the opinions of engineers and others who have perhaps worked with NASA. After all, if this stuff doesn't work, we're not likely to see anyone walking on the Moon for a long time. It's not a race between NASA and SpaceX to put astronauts on the Moon. Both have to come together and succeed together.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2021 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This forum and its community are generally focused on the space history, rather than its future, though we have plenty of discussion threads devoted to both.

If you are looking for more discussion about SpaceX's Starship development, I would point you to the Starship forum on NASA Spaceflight and the threads on /r/spacex on Reddit. Both forums are active with armchair and professional engineers commenting on everything that is seen on a handful of live webcams pointed at SpaceX's Boca Chica facilities.

Of course, we'll continue to host this thread and others, especially as events merit, and with time, they will become more active as more details are made public about the development of the human landing system.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-18-2021 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Point taken, Robert, although of course history begins today. Thanks for those links, which are new to me.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-18-2021 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the subject of updates, the FAA will hold the first of two virtual public hearings today (Oct. 18) to discuss the Draft Environmental Assessment for the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy program in Boca Chica, TX.
SpaceX plans to execute its Starship/Super Heavy program over the next several years and may require a number of new or modified experimental permits or vehicle operator licenses issued from the FAA in order to execute the program. Thus, the FAA has drafted a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA), which evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the activities associated with SpaceX’s Starship/Super Heavy program. The FAA is not licensing the entire Starship/Super Heavy program because SpaceX does not have the full details of all its planned operations at this time. The applicant, however, has provided the FAA with an initial mission profile that has been analyzed in this PEA.

oly
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posted 10-18-2021 09:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
I suggest that it would actually be more productive...
I would be happy to discuss the likely viability of the hardware and support structures constructed at Boca Chica, and I would recommend that you watch the three part interview between Tim Dodd and Elon Musk as they tour the Boca China site and discuss some of the engineering happening there.

One issue with discussing this subject is that we don't know what unique problems they experience such as the issue of designing their thermal protection system around the moveable control surface joint, which we know is a design issue challenging SpaceX engineers. We can guess what may happen, but as can be seen in the above interview series, SpaceX tends to test ideas to see what does not work and go from there.

Then there is the landing system SpaceX is touting for the heavy-lift first stage with the mechanised structure, which may be a novel idea. Attenuating such a large mass by catching it moves the mass of a heavy-duty landing gear from the flight vehicle to the GSE, but as a stop-gap measure because for these systems to meet Musk's dream of rockets operating like passenger aircraft, they will have to be flexible about where they operate. I foresee most large cities won't want multiple such systems on their doorstep.

Most sites that cover the Boca Chica operations appear to be excited to see anything happen, and having such close access to the site, being able to leave remote cameras in the area, and make regular overflight of the site to photograph developments daily, feeds the public appetite for views that are generally restricted when it comes to NASA and military operations.

I am interested in the lessons learned from Starship and how SpaceX plans to incorporate this into their lunar lander. I can't wait to see the Super Heavy lift off with a heavy payload.

Blackarrow
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posted 10-19-2021 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Oly. I will make a point of viewing those interview videos. I will be looking to see if Elon Musk addresses the differences between the "standard" Starship (with thermal protection tiles, moveable flaps and the problems of returning to Earth) and the "lunar" Starship, which doesn't have those complicating factors.


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