Author Topic: Starship S26 flight test  (Read 2521 times)

Offline oscarddt

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Starship S26 flight test
« on: 04/16/2023 05:20 pm »
Since we now know that Starship S26 will possibly be the next to fly, I wonder, can the S26 circle the moon in a free return trajectory? Since it doesn't have much of a payload, mostly sensors, could it carry enough fuel to make it to the moon and back? They're going to destroy it on re-entry anyway.

Online Eer

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Re: Starship S26 flight test
« Reply #1 on: 04/16/2023 05:33 pm »
Alas, no. To reach the moon, Starship will need to be refueled in orbit, and they won’t be testing refueling until they are comfortably able to get starship tankers to orbit. It will be a few more launches before they will be ready to try that.
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Starship S26 flight test
« Reply #2 on: 04/16/2023 05:44 pm »
S26 is the internal fuel transfer demonstrator, isn't it? It has no need to go to the Moon for any reason whatsoever, and they would need to refuel it to get to the Moon anyway. That isn't ready.
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Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Starship S26 flight test
« Reply #3 on: 04/16/2023 05:58 pm »
S26 is the internal fuel transfer demonstrator, isn't it? It has no need to go to the Moon for any reason whatsoever, and they would need to refuel it to get to the Moon anyway. That isn't ready.
We have speculated that it is the fuel transfer demonstrator. I think it is, but have we seen anything from SpaceX to confirm?

The FAA WR covers the first flight completely and the next two flights in less detail. Several commentators seem to think the WR shows flights 2 and 3 to be 1.3 hour flights, just like flight 1. I do not think 1.3 hours suffices for the  fuel transfer test. However, I think the WR can be interpreted as permitting any flight that re-enters over the Hawaii landing zone on that flight path, and this can occur at approximately 24-hour intervals. However, I am not an expert, so someone else should check this. WR is at
    https://www.faa.gov/media/27236

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Starship S26 flight test
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2023 12:11 am »
S26 is the internal fuel transfer demonstrator, isn't it? It has no need to go to the Moon for any reason whatsoever, and they would need to refuel it to get to the Moon anyway. That isn't ready.
NASA in April 2021 announced plans for a refueling demonstration mission for the Starship Human Landing System to take place prior to the Artemis 3 mission. However, it remains to be seen if the S26 vehicle will be used for this mission.

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Starship S26 flight test
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2023 12:25 am »
S26 is the internal fuel transfer demonstrator, isn't it? It has no need to go to the Moon for any reason whatsoever, and they would need to refuel it to get to the Moon anyway. That isn't ready.
NASA in April 2021 announced plans for a refueling demonstration mission for the Starship Human Landing System to take place prior to the Artemis 3 mission. However, it remains to be seen if the S26 vehicle will be used for this mission.
I think the cryo-fluid transfer demo is contractually independent of the HLS contract. Apparently the contract can be met using a single spacecraft that jsut move a fluid between tow tanks. S26 might be such a spacecraft, This is supposed to happen earlier than HLS demo. HLS demo is an uncrewed HLS lunar landing that is supposed to demonstrate pretty much the whole HLS system including Depot, tankers, and the HKS itself, and is supposed to happen prior to Artemis 3.

 

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