Poll

The outcome of the first Starship flight will be...

1. Doesn't clear the tower, RUD on the pad
2 (0.5%)
2. Clears the tower, RUDs before MECO
21 (5.3%)
3. MECO, separation, but ship's Raptors fail to ignite
3 (0.8%)
4. Ship separates, ignites, but RUDs during ascent
10 (2.5%)
5. Ship ascends but fails to reach altitude/velocity sufficient for reentry test
17 (4.3%)
6. Ship reaches target altitude and velocity
74 (18.5%)
7. Booster RUDs during return
36 (9%)
8. Booster gently kisses the ocean intact (controlled return)
76 (19%)
9. Ship RUDs during coast phase
1 (0.3%)
10. Ship begins reentry but falls prey to plasma (disintegrates)
81 (20.3%)
11. Ship survives reentry but its Raptors don't ignite
12 (3%)
12. Ship reenters, initiates landing burn, but hits the water hard
43 (10.8%)
13. Ship gently kisses the ocean intact (controlled return)
24 (6%)

Total Members Voted: 174

Voting closed: 12/31/2021 11:22 pm


Author Topic: Starship's First Flight... WAT?  (Read 6663 times)

Offline dglow

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Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« on: 11/15/2021 11:22 pm »
This is a corollary to the Starship's First Flight WEN? poll, but dealing in outcomes rather than timing.

You may cast up to three votes. Vote for each event that will take place on the first flight. Options 1-6 are mutually exclusive, as are 7-8 and 9-13.
Use your votes intelligently, and enjoy.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2021 12:41 am by dglow »

Offline Redclaws

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #1 on: 11/15/2021 11:42 pm »
Thanks for a fun poll!  I’m wishing for a “RUDS at MECO”. :)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #2 on: 11/15/2021 11:52 pm »
I voted for #6, 8, and 10. Potential learning modes for all of the options though  :D
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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #3 on: 11/16/2021 12:06 am »
Thinking this launch will go similarly to the N1 launch vehicle.  Expecting a very very slow liftoff. 

Hope it doesn’t RUD (but think it will RUD).  If it does, should be one for the history books.

A RUD before MECO of a rocket significantly more powerful than the Saturn V should be an interesting experience for spectators.
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Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #4 on: 11/16/2021 03:47 am »

Thinking this launch will go similarly to the N1 launch vehicle.  Expecting a very very slow liftoff. 


Liftoff rate depends on thrust to mass ratio, right?  There is no particular reason SpaceX will attempt to lift the maximum possible mass on this first flight, so liftoff  need not be slow. The not-quite-orbital mission profile with no payload can be flown with partial propellant load in SS, so they liftoff won't be slow unless they use reduced engine throttle.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #5 on: 11/16/2021 01:44 pm »
Hey I didn't read the directions and I only checked one box! Is there a way I can redo?
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Offline dglow

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #6 on: 11/16/2021 02:03 pm »
Hey I didn't read the directions and I only checked one box! Is there a way I can redo?

I don't think so. When making a poll there is a "allow users to change votes" checkbox, but it appears to have no effect.

Offline Vultur

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #7 on: 11/16/2021 02:59 pm »
Given successful static fire of the Ship, IMO the Booster is the larger risk element.

If it does not RUD early I'd expect the Ship to make it to entry interface, though likely not survive reentry.

Big question is whether they will do a full static fire of the Booster before launch.

Offline high road

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #8 on: 11/23/2021 07:45 am »
Clicked too quickly so I only checked one box, but 4, 5 and 7 are my choices  :)

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #9 on: 12/08/2021 10:38 pm »
I think there's a solid chance the Raptors on the Starship won't re-light properly, but I voted both will successfully controlled return.

However: Both will break apart when they tip over and impact the ocean after touchdown.

These are the equivalent of 21 story (70 meter Booster) and 15 story (50 meter Starship) buildings tipping over.

Booster 1050 (Falcon 9 boosters are about 47 meters (14 stories) tall) survived through sheer dumb luck. Remember the carbon fiber interstage was cracked open like an egg...
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Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #10 on: 12/09/2021 04:30 am »
I think there's a solid chance the Raptors on the Starship won't re-light properly, but I voted both will successfully controlled return.

However: Both will break apart when they tip over and impact the ocean after touchdown.

These are the equivalent of 21 story (70 meter Booster) and 15 story (50 meter Starship) buildings tipping over.

Booster 1050 (Falcon 9 boosters are about 47 meters (14 stories) tall) survived through sheer dumb luck. Remember the carbon fiber interstage was cracked open like an egg...
I did not see a video of the F9 water "landing". What happens when the plume hits the water? Will it create a "hole", and if so how deep? the SH and SS will surely fall over, but the are fairly bottom-heavy, so the dynamics must be "interesting" as they first sink vertically and then begin to pop back up while falling horizontally. Will they try to use their thrusters to control this in any way, or would live thrusters just increase the chance of a RUD during or after the fall?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #11 on: 12/09/2021 03:11 pm »
I think there's a solid chance the Raptors on the Starship won't re-light properly, but I voted both will successfully controlled return.

However: Both will break apart when they tip over and impact the ocean after touchdown.

These are the equivalent of 21 story (70 meter Booster) and 15 story (50 meter Starship) buildings tipping over.

Booster 1050 (Falcon 9 boosters are about 47 meters (14 stories) tall) survived through sheer dumb luck. Remember the carbon fiber interstage was cracked open like an egg...
I did not see a video of the F9 water "landing". What happens when the plume hits the water? Will it create a "hole", and if so how deep? the SH and SS will surely fall over, but the are fairly bottom-heavy, so the dynamics must be "interesting" as they first sink vertically and then begin to pop back up while falling horizontally. Will they try to use their thrusters to control this in any way, or would live thrusters just increase the chance of a RUD during or after the fall?

The "hole" in the water would be calculable, but that's not within my abilities. It wouldn't be very deep, in shape it would be a shallow crater, similar to the scouring of the lunar surface by the Apollo lunar landers. And once the landing engines were shut down, the water would rebound to "fill" the hole.

There's a video that was shared on Twitter of the Starship / SH Booster water landing that shows them dipping nearly halfway down into the water after engine shutdown, but that's extremely misleading.  They will not sink very far, being very buoyant. Thrusters will do basically nothing, gravity being by far the dominant force. Here's the video of Booster 1050 splashdown (the CRS-16 launch):

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Offline Mark S

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #12 on: 12/09/2021 03:29 pm »
Voted 6, 8, and 12. Nominal Ship flight, nominal Booster all phases, slightly hard Ship landing (watering? oceaning?).

The rotational staging event should be interesting. Hopefully SpaceX will provide live video like they do for Falcon launches.

Landing is key and the number of successful Ship prototype landings is very small. Booster might also be challenged at landing, but I'm slightly optimistic there for no reason whatsoever.

Cheers!

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #13 on: 12/09/2021 04:08 pm »
I think there's a solid chance the Raptors on the Starship won't re-light properly, but I voted both will successfully controlled return.

However: Both will break apart when they tip over and impact the ocean after touchdown.

These are the equivalent of 21 story (70 meter Booster) and 15 story (50 meter Starship) buildings tipping over.

Booster 1050 (Falcon 9 boosters are about 47 meters (14 stories) tall) survived through sheer dumb luck. Remember the carbon fiber interstage was cracked open like an egg...
I did not see a video of the F9 water "landing". What happens when the plume hits the water? Will it create a "hole", and if so how deep? the SH and SS will surely fall over, but the are fairly bottom-heavy, so the dynamics must be "interesting" as they first sink vertically and then begin to pop back up while falling horizontally. Will they try to use their thrusters to control this in any way, or would live thrusters just increase the chance of a RUD during or after the fall?

The "hole" in the water would be calculable, but that's not within my abilities. It wouldn't be very deep, in shape it would be a shallow crater, similar to the scouring of the lunar surface by the Apollo lunar landers. And once the landing engines were shut down, the water would rebound to "fill" the hole.

There's a video that was shared on Twitter of the Starship / SH Booster water landing that shows them dipping nearly halfway down into the water after engine shutdown, but that's extremely misleading.  They will not sink very far, being very buoyant. Thrusters will do basically nothing, gravity being by far the dominant force. Here's the video of Booster 1050 splashdown (the CRS-16 launch):

That raises an interesting point. to simulate a chopsticks landing, you want to end at zero velocity in three dimensions at a pre-selected height (probably 0 meters above the waves). But this may not be the lowest-stress trajectory for a planned abort into the water for an SS. maybe come in at a tilt and at a low speed (30 kph?) instead, while using the thrusters at max to minimize the rate of further tilting a little. Note relevant for SH, as an SH in the water will be a total loss, but for an SS abort you save the crew and/or cargo.

Also note that the SS is designed for re-entry stresses, while the SH is not, so the SS may stand a better chance of staying intact on splashdown in any orientation, but especially if you execute a tilt to splash in the correct direction.

With respect to this poll, if they are simulating a vertical chopstick landing, then they may not be minimizing the stress, and the probability of breakup after falling over goes up.

Offline dglow

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #14 on: 12/09/2021 06:23 pm »
I think there's a solid chance the Raptors on the Starship won't re-light properly, but I voted both will successfully controlled return.

However: Both will break apart when they tip over and impact the ocean after touchdown.

These are the equivalent of 21 story (70 meter Booster) and 15 story (50 meter Starship) buildings tipping over.

Booster 1050 (Falcon 9 boosters are about 47 meters (14 stories) tall) survived through sheer dumb luck. Remember the carbon fiber interstage was cracked open like an egg...
I did not see a video of the F9 water "landing". What happens when the plume hits the water? Will it create a "hole", and if so how deep? the SH and SS will surely fall over, but the are fairly bottom-heavy, so the dynamics must be "interesting" as they first sink vertically and then begin to pop back up while falling horizontally. Will they try to use their thrusters to control this in any way, or would live thrusters just increase the chance of a RUD during or after the fall?

The "hole" in the water would be calculable, but that's not within my abilities. It wouldn't be very deep, in shape it would be a shallow crater, similar to the scouring of the lunar surface by the Apollo lunar landers. And once the landing engines were shut down, the water would rebound to "fill" the hole.

There's a video that was shared on Twitter of the Starship / SH Booster water landing that shows them dipping nearly halfway down into the water after engine shutdown, but that's extremely misleading.  They will not sink very far, being very buoyant. Thrusters will do basically nothing, gravity being by far the dominant force. Here's the video of Booster 1050 splashdown (the CRS-16 launch):

That raises an interesting point. to simulate a chopsticks landing, you want to end at zero velocity in three dimensions at a pre-selected height (probably 0 meters above the waves). But this may not be the lowest-stress trajectory for a planned abort into the water for an SS. maybe come in at a tilt and at a low speed (30 kph?) instead, while using the thrusters at max to minimize the rate of further tilting a little. Note relevant for SH, as an SH in the water will be a total loss, but for an SS abort you save the crew and/or cargo.

Also note that the SS is designed for re-entry stresses, while the SH is not, so the SS may stand a better chance of staying intact on splashdown in any orientation, but especially if you execute a tilt to splash in the correct direction.

With respect to this poll, if they are simulating a vertical chopstick landing, then they may not be minimizing the stress, and the probability of breakup after falling over goes up.

That's a great point @DC. I'd love to see SpaceX simulate a chopstick-positioning maneuver at catch-level height then cut the engines and let the vehicle drop.

Though I don't see why not to try it with the booster, nor why they wouldn't choose to simulate the presence of a tower and target zero velocity at some distance above the waves. Doing so may also avoid any negative ground surface effects and perhaps aid recording from whatever drone or plane they employ at distance.


For purposes of this poll, any demonstrably controlled touch down (catching/landing/watering), including a chopstick-height deceleration/hover – regardless of the ultimate demise of the vessel following – will be regarded as option number 8 (booster) or 12 (ship). To sum up:

Booster
7. Any RUD on return, including hard/uncontrolled surface impact
8. Controlled touch down

Ship
11. Engines fail after otherwise successful reentry
12. Controlled touch down
13. Hard/uncontrolled surface impact

Offline dglow

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #15 on: 12/29/2021 02:54 pm »
Reminder: cast your vote before this poll closes!

Offline Lar

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #16 on: 12/29/2021 03:39 pm »
I went superopto, 6, 8, 13 (completely successful mission achieving ALL objectives) because that's me.
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Offline eriblo

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WAT?
« Reply #17 on: 12/31/2021 04:34 pm »
I still think I have yet to be to pessimistic in a SpaceX themed poll so I really tried this time and went for 6, 8 and 12  ;D

If it had been an option I might have gone for a failure after the plasma but before the landing burn, i.e. loss of control or breakup during the untested hypersonic/supersonic/transonic flight phases.

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