Author Topic: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion  (Read 1016975 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

New thread (23) for discussion of the Starship (and Booster) prototypes being built in Boca Chica, Texas.  Previous posts on these prototypes can be found in these threads:

Discussion 1

Discussion 2

Discussion 3

Discussion 4

Discussion 5

Discussion 6

Discussion 7

Discussion 8

Discussion 9

Discussion 10

Discussion 11

Discussion 12

Discussion 13

Discussion 14

Discussion 15

Discussion 16

Discussion 17

Discussion 18

Discussion 19

Discussion 20

Discussion 21

Discussion 22

Thread 23 - you're in it!

UPDATES:

SpaceX BFS : Phase 2 - Starship Orbital Prototype(s) - Photos and Updates -3 (Previous)

SpaceX Boca Chica - Production Updates - MASTER Thread (4)

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« Last Edit: 08/16/2022 03:01 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Okie_Steve

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So, given the apparent tile damage from flexing when ship 20 was llifted for the fit check, what has likely changed during replacement to prevent a repeat going forward? Barring major changes like internal bracing or pressurization, all I can think of is tweaks to placement and tolerances to "pre-compensate" for the stress/strain of lifting, now that they have hard data on it.

Offline cscott

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So, given the apparent tile damage from flexing when ship 20 was lifted for the fit check

{{Citation needed}}

How many tiles are we taking about and how sure are you that they were installed correctly before the lift?

Also, this discussion belongs in its dedicated thread:

Just for fun, someone should start poll or a contest to guess number of tiles that will fall off from before its next lift to the time it is stacked.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2021 09:51 pm by cscott »

Offline Okie_Steve

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NSF articles have extensively covered the colored tape marking and replacement of damaged tiles which were primarily on the nosecone and not the barrel section. Let's not rehash that discussion or make cheap shot shuttle comparison, please. My point is that something presumably unexpected happened to lots of tiles during the fit check and SpaceX has smart people who are also presumably making sure it does not happen again during restack.

How?

I though about both the heat shield thread and the engineering thread but given this is a discussion about an existing prototype and the changes might be more procedural and wider ranging than I can imagine I brought it here. If the mods disagree they can move or delete the whole subthread.

Offline ETurner

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So, given the apparent tile damage from flexing when ship 20 was llifted for the fit check, what has likely changed during replacement to prevent a repeat going forward? Barring major changes like internal bracing or pressurization, all I can think of is tweaks to placement and tolerances to "pre-compensate" for the stress/strain of lifting, now that they have hard data on it.
I doubt that the double-curved surface of the nosecone flexes much. The sheet metal can’t bend significantly without outright buckling, and it doesn’t do that (the cylindrical sides pop in and out easily, but they’re single-curved). By tile-tolerance standards, stretching of the steel will be negligible. I think that the tile damage requires a different explanation.

Online edzieba

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My point is that something presumably unexpected happened to lots of tiles during the fit check and SpaceX has smart people who are also presumably making sure it does not happen again during restack.
That presumption has no backing: we have no way to tell when the tiles were damaged (at fit check? After? Before transport? Before tile install (i.e. reject tiles installed because they were ready and the flight tiles were not, as with the Raptors on BN4) beyond that the tiles were labelled as damaged after SN20 was placed on the suborbital pad.
The claim that the tiles were damaged as a result of the fit check is unsupported.

Offline Okie_Steve

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My point is that something presumably unexpected happened to lots of tiles during the fit check and SpaceX has smart people who are also presumably making sure it does not happen again during restack.
That presumption has no backing: we have no way to tell when the tiles were damaged (at fit check? After? Before transport? Before tile install (i.e. reject tiles installed because they were ready and the flight tiles were not, as with the Raptors on BN4) beyond that the tiles were labelled as damaged after SN20 was placed on the suborbital pad.
The claim that the tiles were damaged as a result of the fit check is unsupported.

Fair point, I retract the assertion.

Offline yakman2020

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Respecting the retraction,
still, if they tiles were damaged by the fit test one would expect most of the damage would have been at the very bottom or top of the vehicle, rather than pretty uniformly throughout.

I wonder if they simply started inspecting the placement, or whether they tiles had been placed experimentally, with a lot of failures, but different techniques, then repaired as expected as a post-process.

Online Vettedrmr

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OTOH, this is a discussion thread about the prototypes.  Literally *everything* topic you mentioned can be considered relevant to the prototypes.
Aviation/space enthusiast, retired control system SW engineer, doesn't know anything!

Online cpushack

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Its a good sign to see SpaceX continuing to build boosters while waiting for the eventual B4 testing.
We now see B5 stacking has commenced, and bits and pieces of B6 being made.

Have we seen similar progress on S21/22? I don't recall seeing pics for them but probably missed some


Offline Okie_Steve

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #10 on: 09/14/2021 07:16 pm »
Boosters B1 to B4  had major changes for each one. Now we are seeing B4, B5 and B6 which *appear* to be more of a similar series along the lines of 3 or 4 builds between major iterations like they did with Starship for a while. I think that means things are stabilizing a bit. Which makes sense with the push to orbit. Of course while S21 is building, even before S20 flys, Musk has mentioned changes to smaller, more leeward "body flaps" so not stabilizing too much  ::)  yet.

Edit2 - Fix leeward/windward correctly this time
« Last Edit: 09/14/2021 09:04 pm by Okie_Steve »

Offline rsdavis9

Boosters B1 to B4  had major changes for each one. Now we are seeing B4, B5 and B6 which *appear* to be more of a similar series along the lines of 3 or 4 builds between major iterations like they did with Starship for a while. I think that means things are stabilizing a bit. Which makes sense with the push to orbit. Of course while S21 is building, even before S20 flys, Musk has mentioned changes to smaller, more windward "body flaps" so not stabilizing too much  ::)  yet.

Edit - Fix leeward -> windward

Leeward is what elon said.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1437163979953016832?s=20
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Offline daavery

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #12 on: 09/15/2021 02:22 am »



actually  - booster transport stand

Offline Hamish.Student

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #13 on: 09/15/2021 05:01 am »
I wonder if we could see B5/B6 and S21/S22 leapfrog B4/S20 to the first orbital flight if construction ends up going faster than regulatory approval. 
Just by nature of how fast they are moving, by the time the govt gives the go ahead we could already be several vehicles behind the most recent version.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2021 12:02 pm by Hamish.Student »

Offline sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #14 on: 09/15/2021 11:19 am »
Anybody know how they plan to heatshield the lifting points on S20?  I'd have thought they'd have had some kind of cover.  ???
« Last Edit: 09/15/2021 11:19 am by sferrin »
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Online WiresMN

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #15 on: 09/15/2021 11:38 am »
Anybody know how they plan to heatshield the lifting points on S20?  I'd have thought they'd have had some kind of cover.  ???

These are prototypes and to not require fancy covers. When stacked, remove the lift points and tile over the areas. It will be a while before they need a better solution.

Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #16 on: 09/15/2021 11:48 am »
Anybody know how they plan to heatshield the lifting points on S20?  I'd have thought they'd have had some kind of cover.  ???

These are prototypes and to not require fancy covers. When stacked, remove the lift points and tile over the areas. It will be a while before they need a better solution.

How do they get to them to remove them? They are needed to stack the SS on the SH, but once up there, there are no cherry pickers that go that high. Could they use the grabber arms I wonder?

Offline eriblo

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #17 on: 09/15/2021 11:54 am »
Anybody know how they plan to heatshield the lifting points on S20?  I'd have thought they'd have had some kind of cover.  ???

These are prototypes and to not require fancy covers. When stacked, remove the lift points and tile over the areas. It will be a while before they need a better solution.

How do they get to them to remove them? They are needed to stack the SS on the SH, but once up there, there are no cherry pickers that go that high. Could they use the grabber arms I wonder?
The same way that they get there to disconnect the lifting slings/cables? The suggestion has been a crane suspended personell platform (aka man basket).

Offline SkyRate

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #18 on: 09/15/2021 12:08 pm »
Anybody know how they plan to heatshield the lifting points on S20?  I'd have thought they'd have had some kind of cover.  ???

These are prototypes and to not require fancy covers. When stacked, remove the lift points and tile over the areas. It will be a while before they need a better solution.

How do they get to them to remove them? They are needed to stack the SS on the SH, but once up there, there are no cherry pickers that go that high. Could they use the grabber arms I wonder?

Same thing applies to releasing the SS from the lift harness in the first place. I assume they can lift someone in a construction basket using the whip line of Frankencrane for both.

Offline SkyRate

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Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 23 : Discussion
« Reply #19 on: 09/15/2021 12:16 pm »
Anybody know how they plan to heatshield the lifting points on S20?  I'd have thought they'd have had some kind of cover.  ???
These are prototypes and to not require fancy covers. When stacked, remove the lift points and tile over the areas. It will be a while before they need a better solution.
Strongly agree. The current solution is not suitable for regular operations. Regardless of whether SS is caught or lands on legs, they'll want to stack it using the same method as SH. Something that requires no manual handling high in the air and that lets SS be precisely clocked and positioned.

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