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  [Discuss] SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy (Page 8)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-13-2022 03:41 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 SpaceAholic:
At a minimum this has the appearance of a non-apolitical process weaponized to obstruct the program.
I don't see how; there are really no show stoppers on the list, just precautions to preserve reasonable public access to the beach and mitigate light and noise pollution, as well as make sure SpaceX is taking the proper care to respect the historical and natural landmarks in the area.

Unless I missed something, the technical challenges of launching Starship remain the long pole in the tent.

SpaceAholic
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posted 06-13-2022 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We shall see how it plays out; the regulatory burden being imposed on SpaceX is substantial.

SkyMan1958
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posted 06-13-2022 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Robert. Given the scale of what SpaceX is trying to do the regulatory "burden" placed upon SpaceX is minimal. For anyone that is aware of the inner workings of large scale development projects this is almost a "get out of jail free" card.

The assorted species biological protections make good logical sense, and are not particularly difficult to do. While Cape Canaveral/KSC did not have significant environmental laws when they were first developed, you can bet your bottom dollar that biological protection of the area has become much more restrictive over the years, thanks in part to the "Earthrise" photo of Apollo 8.

As an aside, if you actually read the 40 page report in the link, it is amusing to see how some of the interest groups were bought off for absolute chump change... $5,000 here and there... for "free" fishing tackle etc.

To me perhaps the biggest constraint placed upon the project is the 500 hours per year closure limit on the highway, with, up to, another 300 for "anomalies." It would not surprise me, that if SpaceX has made it safely through a given year with no major anomalies, that they may claim some in December, to add some extra hours for highway usage.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2022 02:27 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):
Starship will be ready to fly next month. I was in the high bay and mega bay late last night reviewing progress.

We will have a second Starship stack ready to fly in August and then monthly thereafter.

Headshot
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posted 06-19-2022 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has a study been conducted on the effects of an exploding, fully fueled Super Heavy booster on the area surrounding Pad 39A at KSC? Could debris from such an event damage the Pad 39B launch site as well?

I might also be concerned that a launch or landing mishap involving the Super Heavy booster might take out the Falcon 9 launch pad facilities and there would be no place from where to launch manned Dragon flights.

I guess that I do not have a clear understanding of SpaceX's launch facilities plans at KSC.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-20-2022 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My guess is your question(s) stem from the Reuters report of a week ago that NASA wants SpaceX to ensure its plan to launch Starship from Florida will not put at risk the infrastructure needed to supports Falcon 9 flights to the International Space Station.
"We all recognize that if you had an early failure like we did on one of the early SpaceX flights, it would be pretty devastating to 39A," Kathy Lueders, NASA's space operations chief, said in an interview of the agency's discussions with SpaceX.

SpaceX did not return a request for comment.

SpaceX has already invested heavily in building a Starship pad some hundreds of feet from pad 39A's launch tower. It has responded by pitching NASA on a plan to outfit its other Florida pad - Launch Complex 40, five miles away on Space Force property - with the means to launch U.S. astronauts, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The company is also studying ways to "harden" 39A, or make the launchpad more resilient to both an explosive Starship accident and the immense forces emitted from a successful Starship liftoff, Lueders said.

Hardening the 39A pad and launching humans from pad 40 would both require agency approval.

"SpaceX is working with us on those things," said Lueders. "Because it's also in their best interest to not have what is a pretty steady source of income for them become interrupted."

The reality is SpaceX is a year (or more likely, more) away from being ready to launch Starship from Pad 39A, so there is time to address NASA's concerns and take precautions as necessary.

Headshot
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posted 06-20-2022 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert. I did not see the Reuters article to which you refer. I recently ran across my file with the Saturn V "Fireball" estimate/report and started thinking about how much greater a Starship/SuperHeavy fireball/explosion might be.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-23-2022 08:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Super Heavy Booster 7 with 33 Raptor engines installed was transported to the orbital launch pad at Starbase.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-02-2022 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
33 Raptor engines installed on the booster, six on the ship.

SkyMan1958
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posted 07-02-2022 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish SpaceX well with their upcoming test launches. I fully expect the first several to go Boom, but I hope that SpaceX figures out the issues and gets the Super Heavy/Starship combo working properly.

What SpaceX is attempting to do is truly mind boggling, and I hope they are successful in bringing this rocket to full commercial success.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-06-2022 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Ship 24 was transported to the pad at Starbase in preparation for the first orbital flight test of Starship.

SkyMan1958
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posted 07-06-2022 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder what the two linear stripes of no thermal tiles on the Starship are for? Those sure looks like two potential points of failure.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-11-2022 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Something looked to have gone wrong with today's (July 11) testing of the SH7 Super Heavy booster as it resulted in an unannounced ignition event, but according to Elon Musk (via Twitter), it was just "booster engine testing."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-11-2022 09:01 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) later acknowledged things didn't go as planned.
Yeah, actually not good. Team is assessing damage.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-09-2022 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Team at Starbase completed a single Raptor engine static fire test of Super Heavy Booster 7 on the orbital launch pad.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-08-2022 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Ship 24 completes 6-engine static fire test at Starbase.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-19-2022 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX completed a seven engine static fire test with its Super Heavy Booster 7 at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas on Monday (Sept. 19).

From Elon Musk (via Twitter):

Booster 7 now returns to high bay for robustness upgrades and booster 8 moves to pad for testing.

Next big test is probably full stack wet dress rehearsal, then 33 engine firing in a few weeks.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-04-2022 09:59 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 Headshot:
...there would be no place from where to launch manned Dragon flights.
SpaceX is starting work to host cargo and crew Falcon 9 launches from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, SpaceNews reports.
At a Sept. 26 briefing, Bill Gerstenmaier, SpaceX vice president for build and flight reliability, said the company had already started preparations for the upgrades needed at SLC-40 for cargo and crew launches. "We've already started the work to begin the preparations for pad 40. We've ordered some hardware, put some contracts into place," he said.

He didn't elaborate on the work needed to prepare SLC-40 for cargo and crew missions. "We'll do cargo first. We can do that fairly easily," he said. "It gives us some flexibility to move some things off 39A, which helps us balance launches off both pads. We'll add crew at the right time."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-12-2022 07:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Starship 24 and Booster 7 fully stacked on the orbital launch pad at Starbase.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-31-2022 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 the NASA Advisory Committee meeting on Monday (Oct. 31), some of the steps remaining before the first Starship orbital test flight:
  • Booster 7/Starship 24 re-stacking
  • Additional single-species prop system testing
  • Additional de-stacked static fire tests (including Booster 7 33-engine test)
  • Wet dress rehearsals
  • FAA license processing in work

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-04-2022 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
At SpaceX, we are actively developing technologies with the potential to change the course of life on Earth and beyond. We believe that hard work and innovative solutions result in big gains, so we prioritize hiring top talent and cultivating a culture based on merit. From building our interplanetary transport system to working with astronauts and deploying our Starlink broadband internet system, all SpaceX employees directly contribute to making our mission of making humanity multi-planetary a reality.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-10-2023 01:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
Ship 24 stacked on Super Heavy Booster 7 at Starbase in Texas.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-23-2023 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
Starship completed its first full flight-like wet dress rehearsal at Starbase today [Jan. 23]. This was the first time an integrated Ship and Booster were fully loaded with more than 10 million pounds of propellant.

Today's test will help verify a full launch countdown sequence, as well as the performance of Starship and the orbital pad for flight-like operations.

After completing Starship's first full flight-like wet dress rehearsal, Ship 24 will be destacked from Booster 7 in preparation for a static fire of the Booster's 33 Raptor engines.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-08-2023 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX will attempt a static-fire test of all 33 engines in its Starship booster as soon as Feb. 9, a test that could allow the company to attempt an orbital launch a month later, reports SpaceNews.
Speaking at the Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Conference here Feb. 8, Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, announced the impending test, the final major technical milestone before the vehicle's first orbital launch attempt.

"Tomorrow is a big day for SpaceX. We are going to attempt a 33-engine static fire booster test for Starship," she said. "It's really the final ground test that we can do before we light 'em up and go."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2023 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
Congrats to the SpaceX team on full duration of the Starship 33 Engine static fire test!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-09-2023 03:40 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):
Team turned off one engine just before start and one stopped itself, so 31 engines fired overall.

But still enough engines to reach orbit!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-10-2023 04:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX photo release
Super Heavy Booster 7 completed a full duration static fire test of 31 Raptor engines, producing 7.9 million lbf of thrust (~3,600 metric tons) – less than half of the booster's capability

Blackarrow
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posted 02-11-2023 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm assuming that on a real launch attempt, the need to shut down one of the engines before ignition would result in a launch abort, but would the same apply if one of the engines shuts itself down between ignition and liftoff?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-11-2023 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Elon Musk's tweet (see above), even with two engines out, there were "still enough engines to reach orbit," so what the launch rules will be or when an abort might be called is still to be seen.

Blackarrow
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posted 02-11-2023 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I saw that tweet, but I'm pretty sure he meant that if the vehicle lost two engines AFTER lift-off, it would still have enough thrust to make it to orbit. After all, Apollo 6 made it to orbit, but I'm betting if NASA had known in advance they would lose an S-II engine (even excluding the issue over the second engine) they would have aborted the launch.

I suppose the key question is what the launch rules will be. I just can't see the Super Heavy launch going ahead if even one engine signals that it's faulty before ignition, or shuts down after ignition but before liftoff. Of course, we can't really look to the Saturn V for guidance on that: the Saturn V couldn't lift-off on four engines. Maybe 32 out of 33 will be acceptable for Super Heavy.

If you get any insights into the SH launch rules, Robert, please let us know!

SpaceDust
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posted 02-11-2023 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceDust     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wayne Hale tweeted...
I guess I’m old school but

Intent is fill the rocket and ignite all 33 engines

But only fill 1/3 full

And one engine does not light

And one engine shuts itself down in the 5 seconds of the test

Well, you’ve learned a lot but it stretches the definition of success.

328KF
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posted 02-11-2023 06:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With respect to Mr. Hale, we don't know that the intent was to fully fuel the rocket. In my mind, it might be best not to, in the case that something went massively wrong, and you wanted to limit the size of the fireball. Plus, that fuel isn't cheap.

If SpaceX's launch rules are such that a single engine problem just before launch doesn't warrant an abort, then this test was indeed a success. If they aren't comfortable with the results, I would assume we'd see another static fire before the orbital test flight.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-06-2023 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Starship fully stacked at Starbase. Team is working towards a launch rehearsal next week followed by Starship’s first integrated flight test about a week later pending regulatory approval.

Headshot
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posted 04-07-2023 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX still requires a launch license from the FAA. When that license is issued, will it be issued publicly, or is it just between the FAA and SpaceX with no public announcement?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-07-2023 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When granted, the FAA will post the launch license for Starship on its website.

You can also monitor the FAA's Current Operations Plan Advisory, which presently has Starship scheduled for April 17.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-11-2023 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX video
Starship Mission to Mars

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-14-2023 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) release
FAA Issues SpaceX License to Launch Starship/Super Heavy

On April 14, the FAA issued SpaceX a Vehicle Operator License to launch the Starship/Super Heavy vehicle from Boca Chica, Texas. After a comprehensive license evaluation process, the FAA determined SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy, payload, airspace integration and financial responsibility requirements. The license is valid for five years.

The FAA is responsible for protecting the public during commercial space transportation launch and reentry operations. We carefully analyzed the public safety risks during every stage of the mission and required SpaceX to mitigate those risks.

In addition, the FAA will implement various airspace integration measures designed to reduce the impact of the launch on commercial airline flights and other airspace users.

  • The FAA will use key mission "triggers" such as the loading of rocket fuel and the final disposition of the booster rocket to pinpoint when to close and reopen airspace.

  • For the first time, the FAA will implement time-based procedures for a launch from Boca Chica. This will identify and reroute only the aircraft directly affected by the closed airspace allowing more aircraft to stay on their most optimal and efficient routes. It has previously only been used for launches from the Florida space coast.

  • Both the Starship vehicle and the Super Heavy booster rocket will transmit telemetry data to the FAA via the Space Data Integrator tool. Data such as position, altitude, speed and any deviation from its expected flight path will provide the FAA situational awareness, and in combination with other information, help to reopen airspace quicker.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-14-2023 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Targeting as soon as Monday, April 17 for the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket from Starbase in Texas.
The launch window extends from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. CDT. A live webcast (to be linked here on launch day) will begin about 45 minutes before liftoff.

For anyone thinking of traveling to the area to view the launch, SpaceX has released a map detailing the keep out area for the public. Road and beach closure notices can also be found here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-16-2023 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (via Twitter):
Teams are completing final checkouts and reviews ahead of Starship's first flight test attempt; weather is looking pretty good for tomorrow morning (April 17) but we're keeping an eye on wind shear.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-16-2023 08:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New T-0, from SpaceX (via Twitter):
T-12 hours until the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket; targeting about 8:00 a.m. CDT for liftoff.


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