Poll

When do you think IFT-3 will launch?

December '23
13 (6.7%)
January '24
49 (25.4%)
February '24
91 (47.2%)
March '24
26 (13.5%)
April '24
12 (6.2%)
May '24
0 (0%)
June '24
0 (0%)
Next year, but after June
0 (0%)
2025 or later
1 (0.5%)
I have no opinion
1 (0.5%)

Total Members Voted: 193


Author Topic: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?  (Read 9835 times)

Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #20 on: 11/23/2023 09:38 pm »
I voted Feb '24.

My uniformed reckon tells me that the reason for AFTS activation on SS will be a "simpler" problem to fix than the RUD of the booster. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that the next SH booster will experience the same fate because it'd require significant mods to fix all the findings, but booster 10 is too far along to make those changes so SpaceX is just gonna YOLO it again. I have greater hopes for the ship, that is, if the Raptors overall behave as well as they did on IFT-2

Offline Craigles

Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #21 on: 11/24/2023 05:05 am »
I don't yet understand the root cause of the November 2023 SS flight termination, and what improvements are smart requirements to reach the (orbital) trajectory. Can some of us explain why these requirements are trivial?

If these IFT-3 requirements are trivial then January's possible.
Else it's NET March.
« Last Edit: 11/24/2023 05:12 am by Craigles »
I'd rather be here now

Online catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #22 on: 11/24/2023 05:38 am »
I don't yet understand the root cause of the November 2023 SS flight termination, and what improvements are smart requirements to reach the (orbital) trajectory. Can some of us explain why these requirements are trivial?

If these IFT-3 requirements are trivial then January's possible.
Else it's NET March.

Happy Thanksgiving, I hope your dinner, friends, and family were great.

There are many people interested in the topic being discussed. In fact, there are several intense discussions in this forum where engineers are sharing their thoughts on the cause and effect. However, SpaceX currently holds the flight data and is analyzing the findings. Once this is done, they will be required to report their findings to the FAA and NASA. If Elon Musk decides to share the information with the public, we will know more. Until then, we can only speculate and wait.

Best,
Tony

Here are the set threads on this subject.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=59871.0

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=59110.msg2542314#msg2542314

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=59870.msg2543056#msg2543056
« Last Edit: 11/24/2023 06:25 am by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

Offline DeimosDream

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #23 on: 11/24/2023 03:55 pm »
January to be optimistic although a slip to February wouldn't be surprising.

Rocket Lab plans to return to flight after only 2-months and some change. With negligible pad damage and a fail-early test plan I expect IFT-3 will be closer to that than F9's 6-month return to flight.

Offline trimeta

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #24 on: 11/24/2023 06:22 pm »
January to be optimistic although a slip to February wouldn't be surprising.

Rocket Lab plans to return to flight after only 2-months and some change. With negligible pad damage and a fail-early test plan I expect IFT-3 will be closer to that than F9's 6-month return to flight.
It all comes down to how quickly SpaceX can discover the root cause of IFT-2's upper-stage failure and implement fixes to mitigate it: I think that will be the pacing item for IFT-3, not permits or ground infrastructure. I haven't read those threads linked above, so I don't know how optimistic people are that SpaceX has the data (and information) needed to understand and overcome whatever led to the seemingly-random flight termination of Starship on IFT-2, but I chose to be optimistic and vote for February.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #25 on: 11/24/2023 07:19 pm »
January to be optimistic although a slip to February wouldn't be surprising.

Rocket Lab plans to return to flight after only 2-months and some change. With negligible pad damage and a fail-early test plan I expect IFT-3 will be closer to that than F9's 6-month return to flight.
It all comes down to how quickly SpaceX can discover the root cause of IFT-2's upper-stage failure and implement fixes to mitigate it: I think that will be the pacing item for IFT-3, not permits or ground infrastructure. I haven't read those threads linked above, so I don't know how optimistic people are that SpaceX has the data (and information) needed to understand and overcome whatever led to the seemingly-random flight termination of Starship on IFT-2, but I chose to be optimistic and vote for February.
There is a possible dependency of the License delay on the complexity of the cause and SpaceX' proposed mitigations, if any. FAA's oversight of SpaceX' mishap investigation probably means they can issue the license quickly because they already know what the report is going to say, but The time needed for due diligence increases with the complexity of the report. So, in the best possible ideal case, SpaceX analyzes the problem in a day or two, comes up with a software fix and implements it in a week, and submits their report, FAA signs off, and SpaceX applies for a launch license as soon as the new stack completes its WDR.  Of course, reality will almost certainly be longer than that. I think the highest probability is that the SH mishap and the SS mishap must be analyzed separately and that at least one of them is at least somewhat complicated.

Offline trimeta

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #26 on: 11/24/2023 07:57 pm »
January to be optimistic although a slip to February wouldn't be surprising.

Rocket Lab plans to return to flight after only 2-months and some change. With negligible pad damage and a fail-early test plan I expect IFT-3 will be closer to that than F9's 6-month return to flight.
It all comes down to how quickly SpaceX can discover the root cause of IFT-2's upper-stage failure and implement fixes to mitigate it: I think that will be the pacing item for IFT-3, not permits or ground infrastructure. I haven't read those threads linked above, so I don't know how optimistic people are that SpaceX has the data (and information) needed to understand and overcome whatever led to the seemingly-random flight termination of Starship on IFT-2, but I chose to be optimistic and vote for February.
There is a possible dependency of the License delay on the complexity of the cause and SpaceX' proposed mitigations, if any. FAA's oversight of SpaceX' mishap investigation probably means they can issue the license quickly because they already know what the report is going to say, but The time needed for due diligence increases with the complexity of the report. So, in the best possible ideal case, SpaceX analyzes the problem in a day or two, comes up with a software fix and implements it in a week, and submits their report, FAA signs off, and SpaceX applies for a launch license as soon as the new stack completes its WDR.  Of course, reality will almost certainly be longer than that. I think the highest probability is that the SH mishap and the SS mishap must be analyzed separately and that at least one of them is at least somewhat complicated.
My general assumption is that the FAA will be sufficiently integrated into SpaceX's mishap investigation team that when SpaceX is confident they understand the cause of and solution to the mishap, they can relay this confidence to the FAA pretty much immediately. So there wouldn't be any extra time to talk the FAA into granting them a license, since the mishap investigation itself is also the mechanism by which SpaceX will be granted a new license.

There is one wrinkle, though: if the issue with SH is more challenging than the one with SS, SpaceX may want to launch without fixing the SH issues, basically saying "we know it'll explode shortly after hot staging, but we want the data on our fixes to SS sooner, before we've fully resolved the SH issues." I don't know how the FAA would feel about such a plan. Of course, in a non-SpaceX launch, the booster blowing up some time after staging is nominal, so would it make sense to forbid a SpaceX launch where that's the expected outcome? Perhaps the FAA would demand that SpaceX not attempt the relight and kick-flip, but instead put "activate SH FTS once SS has gotten far enough away" into the flight plan, if they're not going to fix the issues which occurred during IFT-2.

Offline Metalskin

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #27 on: 12/06/2023 10:27 pm »
Hmm, the pace of things makes me think I was a little harsh in my estimate. But I will be very happy to lose :-)
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Offline sdsds

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #28 on: 01/09/2024 08:06 pm »
[...] twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1744801160777638265

Quote
Jessica Jensen of SpaceX says that hardware for Starship flight three will be ready in January, and that the company expects to receive an FAA license in February.

This year a February 28 licensing approval would allow a February 29 launch!
— 𝐬𝐝𝐒𝐝𝐬 —

Offline eeergo

Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #29 on: 02/13/2024 07:37 am »
Voted March as a NET with lots of technical and regulatory uncertainties acting on it. [...]

Source: got a 2/2 track record in prior flight polls, nailed to within very close accuracy, plus repeated correct foresights regarding Boca Chica tests before full stacks were a thing. Nobody's crystal ball is perfect though, that's for sure.

Not a source: Musk's tweets get less factual on average as a function of calendar time (very much not limited to rockets, but most of us know that already). Willing to bet my car on no further flights in 2023.

And with Musk's recent tweet, the result is official beyond reasonable doubt: the distribution's peak is (once again) too optimistic wrt the actual launch date. In fact, the vast majority of voters (82%) were, with the "Gaussian" bell skewed towards earlier dates.

Furthermore, while the first two flights had a lot of regulatory drama around them since early on, in spite of it becoming clear after the fact that they weren't a major schedule driver, this one does not. Of course, that may still factor in as the launch draws nearer. And obviously, the interval between the 2nd and this 3rd flight will most likely be significantly shorter than between the 1st and 2nd.

On other news, I retain my car's ownership, and untainted performance in these polls.
-DaviD-

Offline laszlo

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #30 on: 02/13/2024 06:51 pm »
The 9th option is for the people who understand why it's really called the 10/28 flight  ;)

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