Poll

When will the full Starship stack first launch?

2021
2 (1.4%)
Jan '22
10 (7.1%)
Feb '22
35 (24.8%)
Mar '22
34 (24.1%)
Apr '22
33 (23.4%)
May '22
8 (5.7%)
Jun '22
8 (5.7%)
Q3 '22
5 (3.5%)
Q4 '22
4 (2.8%)
2023
2 (1.4%)
2024
0 (0%)
Nope
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 141

Voting closed: 01/01/2022 10:50 pm


Author Topic: Starship's First Flight... WEN?  (Read 12475 times)

Offline dglow

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Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« on: 11/15/2021 10:50 pm »
In the prior poll, @philw1776 observed that "that the vast majority of predictions made in the poll are kaput" and a new poll was needed.

The poll question is: timing of the first full Starship flight regardless of orbital outcome.
Flight is defined as the full ship and booster stack lifting off and clearing Mechazilla.

A related, outcome-oriented poll is here.




It is a time of great conflict finally put to rest. The Court of Federal Claims finally speaks, but time has taken its toll. The air chills, leaves fall, and 2021 quickly rushes to an end.

And yet this interminable delay has not deterred our hero's resolve. From his secret above-ground lair in Starbase, Texas, The Musk's work continues unabated: Booster 4 + Ship 20, Booster 5 + Ship 21, the orbital pad, tank farm, Mechazilla, robot dogs, high bay stairs, and beyond.

Meanwhile, in the nation's capitol... FAA deliberates. The great aerial agency sifts through community feedback, ponders, and asks itself the age-old question: FONSI or new EIS?

Then, an announcement! A declaration regarding our hero's fate... or at least, his environmental approval status. The nation, the world, and rabid tank watchers everywhere will know, at last, and before years's end.


What will come of The Musk's future? When will the great steel cylinders take flight? Answer above!


« Last Edit: 11/19/2021 03:27 pm by dglow »

Online eeergo

Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #1 on: 11/16/2021 09:55 am »
I note there's a slight mismatch between the prior poll and this one: the result there was when the system would reach (any) orbit, or orbital velocity magnitude in space. This one is about "first flight", which presumably starts at first motion away from the mount.

This thread has been understandably moribund but today 15 November the FAA announced that its rulings would be published by 31 December 2021. That means that the vast majority of predictions made in the poll are kaput. ~75% forecast successful launch in 2021 which will not happen. 
Should we do a new poll for 2022/23 for successfully reaching orbit? First launch does not necessarily mean LEO reached.

Done: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55220.0
I have voted congruently with the stated question: when will the first launch with any outcome happen? Reasonable estimates, including SpaceX's from a year ago, point to a NET February-March. I don't think they will be ready before SLS as currently scheduled, and they will try to beat it at the last moment (barring any major problems or delays with SLS). I also believe that will not work, but unless they find some serious showstoppers will try to launch around Q3.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2021 09:59 am by eeergo »
-DaviD-

Offline dglow

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #2 on: 11/16/2021 10:08 am »
I note there's a slight mismatch between the prior poll and this one: the result there was when the system would reach (any) orbit, or orbital velocity magnitude in space. This one is about "first flight", which presumably starts at first motion away from the mount.

Yes – first flight which clears the tower.

The poll question is: timing of the first flight regardless of orbital outcome.
Flight is defined as the full ship and booster stack lifting off and clearing Mechazilla.

A related, outcome-oriented poll is here.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #3 on: 11/18/2021 04:41 am »
I stuck with my vote from last year -- May 2022 timeframe. I don't think he's as ready to light the candle in early January as some seem to think, but unless the FAA comes back with more environmental work, I think he's going to be under pressure to launch in the first half of the year. They could go sooner or later, but I think May is where you hit 50% of the timing probability distribution.

~Jon

Offline high road

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #4 on: 11/23/2021 07:51 am »
I still have a feeling there's six more months of troubleshooting left on SS/SH before they feel comfortable launching that thing, so may 2022 it is. So comfortably before SLS which the OIG estimated will be in summer, which leaves plenty of time to find new reasons to postpone SLS launch beyond 2022.

Offline shm6666

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #5 on: 12/07/2021 11:09 am »
With the complete knowledge that everything I write will be obsolete after Elons next tweet but here we go.  ;).

I voted and believed that Starship will launch its first flight in May 2022. In the last pole that was the latest I could vote next to vote never. So why do I think May?

First we have seen documents from NASA stating that they will help SpaceX with telemetry etc in March 2022, In my book that is the NET date. That also tells me we are getting close and that is a positive thing.

Second, there is a lot of thing that we need to see happen from now to launch. I will list some this is not comprehensive list but it is what I I’m looking for.

•   Test of the chopsticks. We must see them lift the SuperHeavy BN4 and put it down gently on the launch table.
•   The proof test of BN4 with LN2.
•   The complete filling of fuel in BN4.
•   Static fire of all engines on BN4. Here I expect they will start with a subset of them to see how the booster reacts. But every engine will get fired I believe.
•   A complete static fire om BN4 with all engines running at the same time.
•   Stacking of SN20 on BN4.
•   A wet dress rehearsal with the entire stack.
•   And here me and a friend have discussed this for hours. But I believe we will see a full static fire with the entire stack fully fueled.

After this list is complete, we will see the first launch, and I believe after some swapping out raptors etc we will be in may 2022. About a year after SN15 successful flight.

Offline Craigles

Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #6 on: 12/22/2021 01:56 pm »
With the complete knowledge that everything I write will be obsolete after Elons next tweet but here we go.  ;).

I voted and believed that Starship will launch its first flight in May 2022. In the last pole that was the latest I could vote next to vote never. So why do I think May?

First we have seen documents from NASA stating that they will help SpaceX with telemetry etc in March 2022, In my book that is the NET date. That also tells me we are getting close and that is a positive thing.

Second, there is a lot of thing that we need to see happen from now to launch. I will list some this is not comprehensive list but it is what I I’m looking for.

•   Test of the chopsticks. We must see them lift the SuperHeavy BN4 and put it down gently on the launch table.
•   The proof test of BN4 with LN2.
•   The complete filling of fuel in BN4.
•   Static fire of all engines on BN4. Here I expect they will start with a subset of them to see how the booster reacts. But every engine will get fired I believe.
•   A complete static fire om BN4 with all engines running at the same time.
•   Stacking of SN20 on BN4.
•   A wet dress rehearsal with the entire stack.
•   And here me and a friend have discussed this for hours. But I believe we will see a full static fire with the entire stack fully fueled.

After this list is complete, we will see the first launch, and I believe after some swapping out raptors etc we will be in may 2022. About a year after SN15 successful flight.
Building on shm6666's 'WEN' list above, these work items will also indicate progress. These don't seem worrisome unless unduly delayed:
 - Water deluge demonstration
 - OLT rail work under the scaffolds and scaffold removal
 - Readiness of infrared camera in NASA's jet intended to track Starship reentry over the Pacific, previously planned for early Spring. This may be optional but I'm betting my travel plans on any news about it.
I'd rather be here now

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #7 on: 12/23/2021 03:18 am »
With the complete knowledge that everything I write will be obsolete after Elons next tweet but here we go.  ;).

I voted and believed that Starship will launch its first flight in May 2022. In the last pole that was the latest I could vote next to vote never. So why do I think May?

First we have seen documents from NASA stating that they will help SpaceX with telemetry etc in March 2022, In my book that is the NET date. That also tells me we are getting close and that is a positive thing.

Second, there is a lot of thing that we need to see happen from now to launch. I will list some this is not comprehensive list but it is what I I’m looking for.

•   Test of the chopsticks. We must see them lift the SuperHeavy BN4 and put it down gently on the launch table.
•   The proof test of BN4 with LN2.
•   The complete filling of fuel in BN4.
•   Static fire of all engines on BN4. Here I expect they will start with a subset of them to see how the booster reacts. But every engine will get fired I believe.
•   A complete static fire om BN4 with all engines running at the same time.
•   Stacking of SN20 on BN4.
•   A wet dress rehearsal with the entire stack.
•   And here me and a friend have discussed this for hours. But I believe we will see a full static fire with the entire stack fully fueled.

After this list is complete, we will see the first launch, and I believe after some swapping out raptors etc we will be in may 2022. About a year after SN15 successful flight.
Building on shm6666's 'WEN' list above, these work items will also indicate progress. These don't seem worrisome unless unduly delayed:
 - Water deluge demonstration
 - OLT rail work under the scaffolds and scaffold removal
 - Readiness of infrared camera in NASA's jet intended to track Starship reentry over the Pacific, previously planned for early Spring. This may be optional but I'm betting my travel plans on any news about it.

The chopsticks is a nice to have, but not a must have full functional critical path item.

The LN2 cryo proof test may have been completed today. Unless there was an issue that need to be retested it would be on to the next step.

The next step would be the testing of the LOX and LCH4 OLS systems. Which would likely go through the multiple step process like that the LN2 proof test went through. This is the equivalent to some level of a WDR likely at first with a reduced prop load. Which would then be done multiple times on subsequent days to attempt various engine tests up to some level of hot fire test of some X number of engines. After going through sufficient number of tests that exercise all the engines likely in small groups, it would be ready to proceed to the next step full hot fire test.

Next now that it has been shown that all the engines are capable of being started. Then a sufficient prop load to then be able to accomplish an all at once 29 engine hot fire. Likely this would need a full prop load or close to full prop load to increase the mass of the SH to the point other problems are not created.

Next is SS stacking. The tower systems dealing with the SS QD should all be ready for use before stacking is done. As well as the mechanical bracing part of the QD Arm.  It is possible that if the Chopsticks are working they can be part of the stabilizing bracing used, otherwise just the QD Arm.

Next a full vehicle WDR/countdown run through. Optionally could also have a hot fire at the end of it.

So timeline of these steps:
The LOX/LCH4 prop load tests -> 1 week (last week of Dec)

The initial first minimal engine hot fire test of a few X number of engines -> 2 weeks (first and second week of Jan) Safety note is that all of the scaffolding that could end being projectiles from the engine exhaust during a hot fire would have to be removed first. Includes general area clean up.

The full hot fire test -> 1 week (third/forth week of Jan)

Launch -> first/second week of Feb


Some additional items whose status is unknown that can impact significantly the launch NET date:
- Tower systems supporting the QD Arm: electrical, props
- Tank farm LCH4 storage tanks certification
- FAA EA/Launch License

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #8 on: 12/28/2021 05:18 pm »
April 1st!

Offline Mark K

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #9 on: 12/28/2021 07:05 pm »
Surely April 20 right? In the afternoon sometime...

Offline AmigaClone

Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #10 on: 12/28/2021 07:33 pm »
I note there's a slight mismatch between the prior poll and this one: the result there was when the system would reach (any) orbit, or orbital velocity magnitude in space. This one is about "first flight", which presumably starts at first motion away from the mount.

Yes – first flight which clears the tower.

The poll question is: timing of the first flight regardless of orbital outcome.
Flight is defined as the full ship and booster stack lifting off and clearing Mechazilla.

A related, outcome-oriented poll is here.

Does it have to clear the tower vertically (remembering a certain launch by Astra)?
« Last Edit: 12/28/2021 07:36 pm by AmigaClone »

Offline dglow

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #11 on: 12/29/2021 02:53 pm »
Reminder to cast your vote before this poll closes!

Offline Lar

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #12 on: 12/29/2021 03:40 pm »
Mar '22 (my vote) is still "possible" but is now "ragingly optimistic" given the FAA 28 Feb rather than 31 Dec for environmental stuff...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Vultur

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #13 on: 12/30/2021 01:00 am »
Since this says first launch, not first successful launch, I'd say probably April if there is a mitigated FONSI on Feb 28 (launch license might take another month or so, but I'd expect the hardware to be totally ready by then, and SpaceX to launch pretty quickly after getting the license).

Offline dglow

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #14 on: 12/30/2021 04:56 pm »
Does it have to clear the tower vertically (remembering a certain launch by Astra)?

Yes, the top of tower must be cleared by the bottom of the booster.

A more forward or laterally-thinking poll might have defined "escapes the radius of the launch mount" as a measure of success. Ad Astra, indeed.   ;D

Offline Lar

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #15 on: 12/30/2021 07:46 pm »
Does it have to clear the tower vertically (remembering a certain launch by Astra)?

That launch DID clear the tower vertically. Eventually. (although if they'd left the gate closed maybe it wouldn't have)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online eeergo

Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #16 on: 11/25/2022 05:56 pm »
Oh another one with better statistics (98.6% wrong, or 139 out of 141 votes - in this case even I was too optimistic!)
-DaviD-

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #17 on: 11/25/2022 06:15 pm »
The two people who voted 2023, though....
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline ZachS09

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #18 on: 11/25/2022 07:01 pm »
The two people who voted 2023, though....

Lucky them.
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Starship's First Flight... WEN?
« Reply #19 on: 11/25/2022 11:42 pm »
The two people who voted 2023, though....

Lucky them.
Still have a month left before 2023 for the FAA to issue a launch license.

 

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