Author Topic: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion  (Read 532495 times)

Offline beelsebob

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 258
  • CA
  • Liked: 353
  • Likes Given: 95
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #900 on: 01/29/2021 01:01 am »
I want SN9 to fly tomorrow as much as anyone else, but to be honest, the incident with the kayaker last week was ridiculous and SpaceX deserves to be scrutinized over it.

Not sure how SpaceX deserves to be scrutinized for the counties job to ensure beach is clear, etc. The county closes the road and clears the beach, not SpaceX. SpaceX may help, but not their liability.
Who said SpaceX were being scrutinised?

The FAA told SpaceX that they could carry out launch activities if they made sure the surrounding area was deserted.  The mechanism that SpaceX proposed for doing that didn’t work.  Now they have to show that they have a mechanism that does work.  It doesn’t matter who physically was doing the beach clearing, it didn’t work, and that means launches aren’t safe.

Online chopsticks

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1110
  • Québec, Canada
  • Liked: 1107
  • Likes Given: 170
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #901 on: 01/29/2021 01:01 am »
The way I understand the FAA thing is a two part process: 1, a TFR is required for flights like this, 2, the vehicle (or launch area/general situation) has to also be approved for flight by the FAA which is not necessarily public knowledge. Do I have it right? I wonder if the TFR was cancelled today because the FAA deemed SN9 not flightworthy and therefore no more need to restrict the airspace for the duration of the day.

At least this is how I'm reading the events of the day.

Offline mlindner

  • Software Engineer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2919
  • Space Capitalist
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2213
  • Likes Given: 823
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #902 on: 01/29/2021 01:24 am »
I want SN9 to fly tomorrow as much as anyone else, but to be honest, the incident with the kayaker last week was ridiculous and SpaceX deserves to be scrutinized over it.

Not sure how SpaceX deserves to be scrutinized for the counties job to ensure beach is clear, etc. The county closes the road and clears the beach, not SpaceX. SpaceX may help, but not their liability.

It most certainly is SpaceX's liability. The beach is a public state park and the road accessing it is a public thoroughfare. The State and County agree to allow SpaceX to close them periodically in exchange for other consideration (economic development and investment, etc) but the closures are for SpaceX's benefit. The liability for death, injury or property damage resulting from SpaceX operations is very much SpaceX's responsibility, to the tune of something like $125M (*) based on the size of the bond the FAA required SpaceX to post for their operating license for the site.

(*) I'm going from memory here - this could be wrong; if anything, it may be low as I recall some posts when the FAA increased the amount required.

But none of this - including this post - have anything to do specifically with the current Texas prototypes so this whole thing is off-topic for the thread.

SpaceX doesn't close the road, the county closes the road. The State and County allow SpaceX to request to close the road, but the County is the one who closes the road. A judge signs a piece of paper each time. The liability for damages is certainly SpaceX's responsibility, if they actually damage something, but that's not the same as making sure people are removed from the area which SpaceX is not actually legally able to do as it's not their property.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 01:27 am by mlindner »
LEO is the ocean, not an island (let alone a continent). We create cruise liners to ride the oceans, not artificial islands in the middle of them. We need a physical place, which has physical resources, to make our future out there.

Offline mlindner

  • Software Engineer
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2919
  • Space Capitalist
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2213
  • Likes Given: 823
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #903 on: 01/29/2021 01:32 am »
The way I understand the FAA thing is a two part process: 1, a TFR is required for flights like this, 2, the vehicle (or launch area/general situation) has to also be approved for flight by the FAA which is not necessarily public knowledge. Do I have it right? I wonder if the TFR was cancelled today because the FAA deemed SN9 not flightworthy and therefore no more need to restrict the airspace for the duration of the day.

At least this is how I'm reading the events of the day.

For experimental vehicles like this the FAA licenses every single launch. As part of the experimental nature SpaceX has to not endanger the public. As part of that SpaceX through the FAA has the FAA publish a TFR NOTAM (to keep aircraft away), a NOTMAR (to keep boats away), and has the county close the roads (to keep vehicles/people away). For some reason the FAA deemed SN9 not flight worthy and so somehow the TFR was canceled and changed to one that only covered surface to 7000 feet which basically covers aircraft getting hit by debris if the thing exploded. (There's also a permanent TFR over the site up to 1200 feet.)
LEO is the ocean, not an island (let alone a continent). We create cruise liners to ride the oceans, not artificial islands in the middle of them. We need a physical place, which has physical resources, to make our future out there.

Offline Ionmars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1704
  • North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 666
  • Likes Given: 1822
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #904 on: 01/29/2021 01:54 am »
We may arrive at a time, after some years of experience, that we acknowledge the use of Boca Chica as a Rocket Development Facility is incompatible with its use as a public beach.

To implement this designation, SpX could petition the State to rezone the use of the property for Rocket Development and Wildlife Conservation only 24/7. Highway 4, beginning with a gate 2 miles from the production area, would become a limited use road for employees and  invited guests only. Everyone would wear a badge and sign a waiver to be onsite. Rules would be designed to ensure that people are either in secure spaces or off the SpX property during testing.That would include NSF and other observers.

Everyone, including SpX,  loves BC as it is today and would hate to see it fenced off like a military reservation. But as politically sensitive as a fatal accident would be, it may be inevitable.

Also note that rocket development testing is also incompatible with routine use of proven rockets for public transportation. Also incompatible with tourist attractions or resorts.

Offline rickyramjet

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 114
  • Killeen, TX
  • Liked: 106
  • Likes Given: 80
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #905 on: 01/29/2021 02:53 am »
It may be difficult to permanently close the beach.  It's in the Texas Constitution.  https://www.glo.texas.gov/coast/coastal-management/open-beaches/index.html

Offline ericgu

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 113
  • United States
  • Liked: 183
  • Likes Given: 213
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #906 on: 01/29/2021 02:59 am »

Update from Elon:
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1354862567680847876

Quote
Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure.

Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.

Having a rocket on the pad fueled up and ready to go and not being able to launch because of FAA withholding approval is great evidence that regulatory change is needed; I think it's really smart of Musk to be meeting with them.

Offline Faerwald

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
  • Liked: 72
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #907 on: 01/29/2021 03:22 am »

Having a rocket on the pad fueled up and ready to go and not being able to launch because of FAA withholding approval is great evidence that regulatory change is needed; I think it's really smart of Musk to be meeting with them.

Sorry that is ridiculous. To demand regulatory changes you need more evidence than puttting a random tin can with fuel on a pad.

Not saying that SN9 is a random tin can. It certainly has proven pressure testing, static fires, and prior demonstration that a very similar design craft is capable of completing the planned test. So I am at a loss and very curious as to why the FAA is taking so long. Alas I fear we will never know and we will need to put up with it.

Offline su27k

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6414
  • Liked: 9101
  • Likes Given: 885
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #908 on: 01/29/2021 03:49 am »
I probably need a timeline too but just to throw this out there: I do believe the whole kayaker thing is red herring, however it looks to me that it is SpaceX's responsibility to monitor the beach area, from the Boca Chica EIS:

Quote
On the day of a launch operation, the Boca Chica Beach would be closed to the public from the Brownsville Shipping Channel south to the U.S./Mexico border on the Gulf Coast. The Brownsville Shipping Channel would not be affected by the closure. As necessary, SpaceX would monitor the beach area using video surveillance, an ATV or SUV, or small unmanned aerial vehicle to ensure that the area is clear before a launch operation. Small unmanned aerial vehicles are approximately 3 ft in diameter and are quiet.

But I don't think this is the issue, because the kayaker incident happened during a static fire attempt, if FAA thinks this is an problem that needs to be resolved, they should have stopped all further static fire attempts. But we have seen static fire went ahead after this incident and many other tests that require closing the beach went ahead too, QED this is not the cause of the delay.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 03:50 am by su27k »

Offline hartspace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
  • Liked: 308
  • Likes Given: 150
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #909 on: 01/29/2021 04:09 am »
Update from Elon:
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1354862567680847876

Quote
Unlike its aircraft division, which is fine, the FAA space division has a fundamentally broken regulatory structure.

Their rules are meant for a handful of expendable launches per year from a few government facilities. Under those rules, humanity will never get to Mars.

I'm not sure using the FAA aircraft division is a great example since they were rightly reamed over their initial certification of the 737 MAX, where they deferred much of the work to the contractor, and people died because of it.  I wouldn't be surprised if that experience has made the whole agency much more cautious in approving things.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 04:16 am by hartspace »

Offline Yazata

  • Member
  • Posts: 92
  • Silicon Valley California
  • Liked: 152
  • Likes Given: 461
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #910 on: 01/29/2021 04:56 am »
While I can't say that I was 'infuriated' today, I was certainly 'frustrated'. (And my sense of entitlement is just warming up.) To steal a phrase from Winston Churchill, events today were a mystery, inside a riddle, wrapped in an enigma. (Part of the fascination of Boca Chica is that you never know what you are going to see.)

Do we know if there's some kind of outstanding issue that SpaceX has failed to address to the FAA's satisfaction? Or is this a matter of SpaceX having reported all the anomalies on the Sn8 flight plus their fixes, as they are required to do by the launch license, and the FAA bureaucracy is just slow approving it?

Blame might lie with SpaceX if they aren't addressing issues satisfactorily, but it might lie with the FAA if they aren't processing the submissions in a timely manner. Maybe both. Maybe neither. We don't know.

I can imagine a culture-clash though, between a Washington bureaucracy whose model of aerospace propriety is the way legacy aerospace has done things for decades, colliding with Elon and SpaceX's very different methods in very different time frames. Washington will probably have trouble adapting to that. Government offices just don't work on Elon-time.

« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 05:04 am by Yazata »

Offline r2tincan

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • Liked: 62
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #911 on: 01/29/2021 05:17 am »
It continues to amaze me the amount of people that are okay with the government telling them what to do in the name of safety.

Clearly Elon isn't.

There aren't paying commercial customers aboard these things guys, it's a development program.

Don't be [deleted].
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 08:41 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5490
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1811
  • Likes Given: 1302
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #912 on: 01/29/2021 05:20 am »
Have a wacky idea. Maybe the FAA have issues with Helium filled COPVs aboard SN9. Which were not installed on SN8.

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7223
  • “With peace and hope for all mankind.”
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 2073
  • Likes Given: 1981
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #913 on: 01/29/2021 05:30 am »
Have a wacky idea. Maybe the FAA have issues with Helium filled COPVs aboard SN9. Which were not installed on SN8.

Ah, that's good thinking. COPVs could conceivably survive as ejecta after use of the flight termination system. On a ballistic trajectory could they possibly reach South Padre? SpaceX might not have provided the FAA with a definitive answer to that.
— 𝐬𝐝𝐒𝐝𝐬 —

Offline BlackholeLP

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 158
  • London
  • Liked: 286
  • Likes Given: 102
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #914 on: 01/29/2021 05:30 am »
It continues to amaze me the amount of people that are okay with the government telling them what to do in the name of safety.

Clearly Elon isn't.

There aren't paying commercial customers aboard these things guys, it's a development program.

Don't be [deleted].

Personally, I'd rather not like to live in a world where private consortiums are free to assemble highly explosive, 10-story ballistic vehicles within a couple of miles of inhabited suburbia without at least some sort of oversight.

Come on now.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 08:42 am by zubenelgenubi »

Online matthewkantar

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2115
  • Liked: 2559
  • Likes Given: 2253
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #915 on: 01/29/2021 05:36 am »
Have a wacky idea. Maybe the FAA have issues with Helium filled COPVs aboard SN9. Which were not installed on SN8.

Why would helium filled COPVs present more of a danger to the public than the nitrogen filled COPVs seen leaving the crash site of SN8?

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39286
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25283
  • Likes Given: 12125
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #916 on: 01/29/2021 05:42 am »
Have a wacky idea. Maybe the FAA have issues with Helium filled COPVs aboard SN9. Which were not installed on SN8.

Ah, that's good thinking. COPVs could conceivably survive as ejecta after use of the flight termination system. On a ballistic trajectory could they possibly reach South Padre? SpaceX might not have provided the FAA with a definitive answer to that.
No, there were some COPVs on SN8.

It’s not COPVs.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline daedalus1

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 941
  • uk
  • Liked: 487
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #917 on: 01/29/2021 06:27 am »
Well this is embarrassing isn't it. Who is responsible for leaving such an important part of a Starship launch to so late you don't get to do it? I mean it's not like it hasn't been planned for ages.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12130
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 18308
  • Likes Given: 12267
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #918 on: 01/29/2021 06:56 am »
Not sure how SpaceX deserves to be scrutinized for the counties job to ensure beach is clear, etc. The county closes the road and clears the beach, not SpaceX. SpaceX may help, but not their liability.

It most certainly is SpaceX's liability. The beach is a public state park and the road accessing it is a public thoroughfare. The State and County agree to allow SpaceX to close them periodically in exchange for other consideration (economic development and investment, etc) but the closures are for SpaceX's benefit.

Emphasis mine.

Sorry Herb, but that is factually incorrect.

SpaceX cannot enforce the closure of a public beach and a public highway. It can only request the county to do so. And when the county agrees (judge signs a piece of paper), the law-enforcement agency of the county is responsible for the actual closure of the beach and highway and enforcing those closures. Hence why the sherrif is always there when the road and beach are closed.The only thing SpaceX can do is ASSIST the law enforcement agency. For example by reconning (via a drone) the beach, dunes and roads for 'hidden' vehicles and people, and forwarding that info to the sherrif's department. It is ultimately the responsibility of the law enforcement agency to get those people out.

So, failure to clear a beach properly (vehicles remaining on the beach after closure) and failure to prevent a kayak from entering the area (after closure) ultimately is a failure by the law enforcement agency to properly do its job.

You are however correct that the aspect of liability comes down on SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 07:58 am by woods170 »

Offline Faerwald

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
  • Liked: 72
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: SpaceX Starship : Texas Prototype(s) Thread 16 : Discussion
« Reply #919 on: 01/29/2021 09:01 am »
AgreeD. SpaceX is pushing the whole industry to a new level at an astonishing rate and it will take a while for everything to catch up. This is turning into a policy discussion though so off topic for this thread.

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1