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 9925 times)

Offline Metalskin

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SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« on: 11/20/2023 08:42 pm »
Elon Musk's has stated via Twitter that the hardware for IFT-3 is three to four weeks away from being ready (note this just means the hardware is ready, not launch date).

Quote
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1726422074254578012

Taking into account Herb's nicely written statement of factors that will impact timing of the next launch attempt, when do you think the next launch (IFT-3) will occur?

Remember “Elon time” is at play. There is a mandatory Mishap Investigation that is required after IFT-2 and until SpaceX completes and submits that report, and the FAA reviews data from that report as well as the post-launch inspections and water quality reports required by the existing launch license, IFT-3 is on hold.’

Even aside from the reporting and regulatory aspects, the OLM, tower and tank farm complex need to be inspected and any repairs made; the deluge system probably needs to be pressure tested and maybe flow-tested as well to confirm it held up with no repair necessary; and the deluge and propellant tanks need to be replenished. After all that is done, then the next Booster (10?) and Ship both need static fire campaigns, plus any ancillary servicing (grid fin actuators, TPS tile tests/repairs, potentially engine swaps …).
...

-- edited to clarify some of the statements, formatting
« Last Edit: 11/20/2023 09:12 pm by Metalskin »
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Offline KilroySmith

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #1 on: 11/20/2023 09:04 pm »
Elon's 3-4 weeks is when he thinks the hardware will be ready.  He didn't say a word about when the mishap investigation will be over, or when the FAA license will issue, or what'll happen if they find they need to make significant changes. 

So, not a referendum on Elon time, just a referendum on when everything will align.

Online steveleach

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #2 on: 11/20/2023 09:06 pm »
Elon's 3-4 weeks is when he thinks the hardware will be ready.  He didn't say a word about when the mishap investigation will be over, or when the FAA license will issue, or what'll happen if they find they need to make significant changes. 

So, not a referendum on Elon time, just a referendum on when everything will align.
If the FTS on both booster and ship worked as planned, and the debris stayed in the correct zone, is there a reason why the mishap investigation and license process needs to be more than a formality?

Offline JAFO

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #3 on: 11/20/2023 09:07 pm »
Is this what the forum really thinks of Elon's 3-4 weeks estimate?
I voted on a launch date, not on a hardware ready date. Or are you talking about some  other Elon quote than the one in the OP?
Bad joke, removed by me.

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Offline Barley

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #4 on: 11/20/2023 09:08 pm »
If they change the name to AFT-Alpha is it still IFT-3?

The IFT naming convention has been used for almost a year, long overdue for a change.

Online sdsds

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #5 on: 11/20/2023 09:18 pm »
My spreadsheet gives a predicted IFT-3 launch on Mar 3, 2024, but I voted February 2024 anyway. Paint me ... optimistic. ;)
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Offline AmigaClone

Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #6 on: 11/20/2023 09:27 pm »
Elon's 3-4 weeks is when he thinks the hardware will be ready.  He didn't say a word about when the mishap investigation will be over, or when the FAA license will issue, or what'll happen if they find they need to make significant changes. 

So, not a referendum on Elon time, just a referendum on when everything will align.

I voted for a March '24 launch date based on a coin flip between February and March. Granted, I suspect the hardware would be ready for at least testing before the end of the year.

If they change the name to AFT-Alpha is it still IFT-3?

The IFT naming convention has been used for almost a year, long overdue for a change.

Personally, I would not mind the IFT naming convention remaining until Starship is declared operational.

Offline Metalskin

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #7 on: 11/20/2023 09:43 pm »
Thank you to the mod/admin who moved this to the poll section. My apologies, I didn't realise that there is a separate poll section ;-)
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Online sdsds

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #8 on: 11/20/2023 09:45 pm »
I would not mind the IFT naming convention remaining until Starship is declared operational.

I predict a naming convention change when SpaceX attempts an "Orbital Flight Test."
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Offline tyrred

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #9 on: 11/20/2023 10:07 pm »
I would have voted for January, but it's not on the list  :P

Offline trimeta

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #10 on: 11/20/2023 11:30 pm »
Elon's 3-4 weeks is when he thinks the hardware will be ready.  He didn't say a word about when the mishap investigation will be over, or when the FAA license will issue, or what'll happen if they find they need to make significant changes. 

So, not a referendum on Elon time, just a referendum on when everything will align.
If the FTS on both booster and ship worked as planned, and the debris stayed in the correct zone, is there a reason why the mishap investigation and license process needs to be more than a formality?
Presumably, SpaceX will want to perform a thorough mishap investigation so they understand what went wrong on IFT-2 and how to fix those issues so they don't recur on IFT-3.

Offline Metalskin

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #11 on: 11/20/2023 11:58 pm »
I would have voted for January, but it's not on the list  :P

Ahh bugger, I always misspell January. Thank you for the funny heads up.

Fixed.
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Offline DistantTemple

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #12 on: 11/21/2023 01:39 am »
Voted optimistically for December 2023! Likely the run up to the new year!
That is just a valid x2 translation of Elon time. 6 weeks from Sunday the 19th November to Sunday 31st December. EM X'd 3 to 4 weeks. 3 x 2 = 6
The mishap investigation may make a mockery of this. However if SX has evidence and understanding of the causes of not meeting the planned flightplan, and good mitigations.... can we hope it might be quick?


« Last Edit: 11/21/2023 01:40 am by DistantTemple »
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Offline deltaV

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #13 on: 11/21/2023 02:31 pm »
I voted February but any time in Q1 seems very plausible to me.

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #14 on: 11/21/2023 02:38 pm »
I voted for December '23 because I'm a wild-eyed optimist.  I think pad, SH, and SS will all be ready, and there is a reasonable chance of the mishap investigation being completed. One big question is whether or not SpaceX wants to launch before making any additional hardware changes to SH or SS.

If the 5/yr launch limit is based on a calendar year, a launch in December is "free", and they may as well take it using existing hardware.

Offline eeergo

Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #15 on: 11/21/2023 04:03 pm »
Voted March as a NET with lots of technical and regulatory uncertainties acting on it. Caveat that it can easily slip to the right as per the latest flight's experience - more so based on the first test flights, but I expect the major -and much needed- improvements in infrastructure to play a significant role now. Very unlikely to the left IMO, although institutional (and specifically NASA) pressure has worked its magic once already, and quite publicly so, so now it's not just internal SpaceX interests that drive the program forward, at least short-term.

Source: got a 2/2 track record in prior flight polls, nailed to within very close accuracy, plus repeated correct foresights regardimg 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.

Offline Metalskin

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #16 on: 11/21/2023 08:18 pm »
Voted March as a NET with lots of technical and regulatory uncertainties acting on it. Caveat that it can easily slip to the right as per the latest flight's experience - more so based on the first test flights, but I expect the major -and much needed- improvements in infrastructure to play a significant role now. Very unlikely to the left IMO, although institutional (and specifically NASA) pressure has worked its magic once already, and quite publicly so, so now it's not just internal SpaceX interests that drive the program forward, at least short-term.

Source: got a 2/2 track record in prior flight polls, nailed to within very close accuracy, plus repeated correct foresights regardimg 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.

I used similar rationale to vote April. I hope that I am wrong and that it occurs sooner. However once burnt, twice shy (I was too optimistic for IFT-2).

edit: spelling ;-)
« Last Edit: 11/22/2023 05:51 am by Metalskin »
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Online Rebel44

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #17 on: 11/22/2023 05:22 am »
Given the need to finish the investigation and have the FAA approve the conclusions and for SpaceX to implement changes, plus inevitable paperwork delays (from SpaceX's POV), my guess is early February 2024.

Offline Mark S

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #18 on: 11/22/2023 10:23 am »
It's "Elon time". Just change weeks to months and you should be good.

Being a naive optimist, I voted NET March '24 instead of May. If it ends up during Spring Break, so much the better. Maybe I'll drive down to SPI and watch. The launch, of course. Watch the launch.


Offline c4fusion

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Re: SpaceX Starship IFT-3 : When will it launch?
« Reply #19 on: 11/23/2023 09:19 pm »
Because this Flight went so much better than the first flight and there isn't a big hole in the ground, I expect that the time taken to be about half so landing us in sometime between end of February and beginning of March.  Thus, I just went optimistic and picked February.

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