Poll

Which SHLV will successfully fly first?

SLS
65 (33.5%)
Starship/Super Heavy stack
129 (66.5%)

Total Members Voted: 194

Voting closed: 04/23/2020 02:38 am


Author Topic: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?  (Read 26444 times)

Offline TomH

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Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« on: 02/23/2020 01:38 am »
Which super heavy launch vehicle will successfully fly first, SLS Block I or the full Super Heavy/Starship stack?  For this poll, success means either to orbit or deep space. A Starship flight without the SH booster does not qualify, however on-orbit refueling is not a requirement. Since SLS is disposable, and to make the playing field a bit more level, landing is not a requirement for SS or SH (at least for this poll).

If SpaceX beats Boeing with a successful flight, how much (if any) affect will that have on SLS's future, both in terms of public perception as well as political ramifications? How important do you think it is to Elon that he beats Boeing and does Boeing even care? You may vote only once, however you are allowed to change your vote based on changing circumstances. Poll closes in 60 days.
« Last Edit: 02/23/2020 02:15 am by TomH »

Offline Hog

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #1 on: 02/23/2020 03:46 am »
Interesting question, the ability of either of them to be able to orbit humans or send them "towards" Luna is another. In the end its about people moving and the long term goal is Mars. "Moon first.....on the way to Mars and other places." If the government says "we want a national heavy lift rocket to carry on after the STS mission" then seeing buying blocks of 10 Core Stages makes huge sense. Economics of scale.  SLS may be the last nationally procured space heavy lifter. The "Space Industry" as a whole is hugely dynamic right now.  It's exciting to a bystander. SLS coming off of 39-B will be great. A "VISIBLE" national capability. I last saw a TV commercial that featured a Shuttle Orbiter representation in mid 2019.(8 years after the program was retired after 4 decades of STS/SSP service.(1971-2011 plus T&R services).  The Space Shuttle as a program represented American technological dominance.  Will Orion "carry the torch"?  I don't know how it will end up, but I'll no doubt enjoy the ride.

So Artemis-2 vs. crewed SH/SS?    In the end, Congress will get what it wants. If would be great if US spaceflight was limited by "technological challenges" rather than financial/political ones.  We'd have been buying Martian mined diamonds on the InterPLANETARYnet. years ago.
Paul

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #2 on: 02/23/2020 05:02 am »
I voted SLS.  If SLS does fly in April of 2021, I don't think there is enough time to get Starship and Super Heavy tested out and ready to fly as a stack by then.  If SLS gets delayed to later in 2021 then my vote changes.

Offline Rebel44

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #3 on: 02/23/2020 08:07 am »
IMO, if the first Spaceship high-altitude flight goes well, Superheavy + Starship will have a good chance at launching in the early 2021 - before SLS.

Offline c4fusion

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #4 on: 02/23/2020 08:14 am »
I will go bullish, very bullish and say that SpaceX will beat SLS by at least 6 months.  Why?  Because they will be building something that is suboptimized very, very quickly (at least by large rocket terms).  I would not be surprised that by October that there will be 5 starships and at least a couple of super heavies built.  The only hard part of the super heavies are the engines.  Once they nail the the Starship (which I think SN1 will still go boom), building the SuperHeavy is relatively trivial.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #5 on: 02/23/2020 08:17 am »
I like this competition. SLS = Saturn V, Starship = N1. Either way, USA wins ... unlike last time where the outcome was in doubt.



Is history about to repeat itself or is NASA losing this one?
« Last Edit: 02/23/2020 08:30 am by ncb1397 »

Offline nicp

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #6 on: 02/23/2020 08:54 am »
I voted SLS (despite disliking it and being a SpaceX amazing people).

I think Starship will fly before SLS but not the full Superheavy/Starship stack.

I expect difficulties revealed by Starship (not necessarily LOV) which will require several flights before the full stack can fly.

Offline randomly

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #7 on: 02/23/2020 09:17 am »
Boeing is working under a cost plus contract. As historically seen their motivation is to drag the process out as long as possible without getting it cancelled. Unless other factors come in to play such as getting an EUS contract there is no urgency on their part to complete SLS. Until Shelby is out of office I don't think there is any danger about SLS funding stopping. I think it likely the SLS launch will get delayed again past april 2021.

 Elon on the other hand is going flat out 24 hours a day and building infrastructure for very rapid production of Starships. I expect quite a few starships constructed before SLS flies, there will be some failures in testing, but I'm optimistically thinking they may reach orbit first anyway.

Offline daedalus1

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #8 on: 02/23/2020 09:34 am »
Am I correct that the starship (upper stage) with all 6/7? engines installed doesn't have enough thrust to lift off from the ground fully fueled, and therefore cannot achieve orbit on its own.
It would have to do this with the heavy first stage.

Offline tyrred

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #9 on: 02/23/2020 09:54 am »
Am I correct that the starship (upper stage) with all 6/7? engines installed doesn't have enough thrust to lift off from the ground fully fueled, and therefore cannot achieve orbit on its own.
It would have to do this with the heavy first stage.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  TWR >1 =/= SSTO.

That being said, Starship is not designed to be SSTO from Earth, but is designed to be SSTO from Mars.  It is designed to require Superheavy booster to achieve Earth orbit, required components all reusable.

Contrast to SLS, which will not be SSTO from anywhere, has no component designed to lift off from Mars, and solid boosters to achieve Earth orbit, required components all expendable.

The expendable camp is experiencing considerably embarrassing setbacks, considering it's heritage.  Meanwhile, the reusable camp is experiencing exciting setbacks, considering it's rapidity.

I voted for more exciting than embarrassing.
« Last Edit: 02/23/2020 09:56 am by tyrred »

Offline daedalus1

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #10 on: 02/23/2020 10:37 am »
Am I correct that the starship (upper stage) with all 6/7? engines installed doesn't have enough thrust to lift off from the ground fully fueled, and therefore cannot achieve orbit on its own.
It would have to do this with the heavy first stage.

The two aren't mutually exclusive.  TWR >1 =/= SSTO.

That being said, Starship is not designed to be SSTO from Earth, but is designed to be SSTO from Mars.  It is designed to require Superheavy booster to achieve Earth orbit, required components all reusable.

Contrast to SLS, which will not be SSTO from anywhere, has no component designed to lift off from Mars, and solid boosters to achieve Earth orbit, required components all expendable.

The expendable camp is experiencing considerably embarrassing setbacks, considering it's heritage.  Meanwhile, the reusable camp is experiencing exciting setbacks, considering it's rapidity.

I voted for more exciting than embarrassing.

So my point is that it requires the whole stack to reach orbit, therefore the timescale for the purpose of this poll is much longer.
I have not seen any construction of the super heavy 1st stage yet.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #11 on: 02/23/2020 01:17 pm »
From what I gather, Superheavy first stage is not supposed to be hard.  It's software is based on the f9 booster, so it should be easier to get up and running.  Starship on the other hand is supposed to be hard, since the whole stage is to come back through the atmosphere and land.  If they get the Starship bugs out this year, Superheavy should be fine for launching Starship when it is built. 

I voted Starship/Superheavy.  I feel like SLS will be delayed beyond April 2021, as everything associated with SLS has been delayed continuously. 

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #12 on: 02/23/2020 01:34 pm »
I'm hoping both fly ASAP. However I expect Starship to go through 1 or 2 RUDs before reaching orbit which may delay it just a bit more than the inevitable delay in SLS.

SLSs days are numbered either way and I pretty much wish that it's replaced by an 8.4 m RSHLV with clusters of BE4 engines underneath it, built with the same tooling.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline pochimax

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #13 on: 02/23/2020 02:34 pm »
Votes for SLS. Starship is years away.

Offline meberbs

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #14 on: 02/23/2020 05:06 pm »
I voted SLS (despite disliking it and being a SpaceX amazing people).

I think Starship will fly before SLS but not the full Superheavy/Starship stack.

I expect difficulties revealed by Starship (not necessarily LOV) which will require several flights before the full stack can fly.
Agree about difficulties and multiple flights, however, SN1 has been largely built in 2 months, and should be basically done in 3, while additional infrastructure to speed future builds has been built. Up through SN4 and a Super Heavy should reasonably be built by the end of the year.

On the other hand, SLS is at best April 2021, realistically in the summer, and delays to late 2021 would not be that surprising.

If things go average, with Starship failures and even LOV, Starship will be first by a comfortable margin, if things go well it will be no contest.

Offline su27k

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #15 on: 02/24/2020 02:14 am »
I last saw a TV commercial that featured a Shuttle Orbiter representation in mid 2019.(8 years after the program was retired after 4 decades of STS/SSP service.(1971-2011 plus T&R services).  The Space Shuttle as a program represented American technological dominance.  Will Orion "carry the torch"?  I don't know how it will end up, but I'll no doubt enjoy the ride.

This may be off topic, but in my mind Starship will be the perfect replacement of Shuttle as symbol of American technological dominance, SLS/Orion doesn't even come close to do this. In fact I would go as far as to say SLS/Orion is a symbol of American losing its technological dominance, given its lack of breakthrough in terms of design, technology and performance.

Starship is a true and better Shuttle replacement: inline configuration, all liquid propulsion, separation of cargo and crew, fully reusable, 4 times the payload to LEO, and it can go beyond LEO. You can't come up with a better Shuttle 2.0 than this if you go back in time and ask Max Faget himself.

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #16 on: 02/24/2020 02:21 am »
I think Starship will reach suborbit before SLS, but I think SLS and Orion will reach orbit before Starship.
Astronomer & launch photographer

Offline high road

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #17 on: 02/24/2020 09:29 am »
I voted SLS (despite disliking it and being a SpaceX amazing people).

I think Starship will fly before SLS but not the full Superheavy/Starship stack.

I expect difficulties revealed by Starship (not necessarily LOV) which will require several flights before the full stack can fly.

Same here.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #18 on: 02/24/2020 09:59 am »
What does "fly" mean?

Reach orbit?

Reach orbit AND land the capsule vs both stages?


Offline indaco1

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #19 on: 02/24/2020 12:58 pm »
Technically speaking hopper already flew but:

For this poll, success means either to orbit or deep space.
« Last Edit: 02/24/2020 01:01 pm by indaco1 »
Non-native English speaker and non-expert, be patient.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #20 on: 02/24/2020 01:12 pm »
Votes for SLS. Starship is years away.
Voted for Starship. SLS is years away.

Offline Hog

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #21 on: 02/24/2020 05:31 pm »
Technically speaking hopper already flew but:

For this poll, success means either to orbit or deep space.
Orion flew in 2014.

I voted for SLS. We are at the end of the 2nd month of 2020, 1/6th of the year is now history and SLS has slipped to Spring'ish 2021.  I'm sure something will come up, but Artemis-1 launching in 2021 seems logical.  Getting test vehicles "on orbit" is one thing, getting humans beyond LEO is another.  Exciting times for sure!
Paul

Offline butters

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #22 on: 02/24/2020 05:47 pm »
If SpaceX completes the 20km test successfully with Starship SN1 or SN2 before the end of June, then I think Starship/SuperHeavy will launch first. Otherwise SLS will edge it out by less than 4 months. Until the 20km test is complete it's hard to judge how flight-ready the current production process might be.

Offline TomH

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #23 on: 02/25/2020 01:44 am »
What does "fly" mean?

Reach orbit?

Reach orbit AND land the capsule vs both stages?

The parameters are given in the opening post. It is not possible to include all that information in a question title. With respect, I would recommend reading the opening post in a poll thread prior to replying.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2020 01:54 am by TomH »

Offline TomH

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #24 on: 02/25/2020 01:48 am »
Orion flew in 2014.

With respect, that just is not germane to the question re. these SHLVs.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2020 01:55 am by TomH »

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #25 on: 02/25/2020 02:02 pm »
What a conundrum!  I feel like I should vote SLS as it's so close to being done. But then they can't even make their April 2021 date.   SpaceX looks like they'll have a least one or two orbital SS prototypes available this year if they don't increase their production rate (and they will).  I just can't bet against them having SH ready before summer next year.

Their 'reach orbit' plan seems hard to break given the way production is gearing up.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #26 on: 02/25/2020 02:26 pm »
It's going to be fairly close. My personal hope is that Starship, Vulcan, New Glenn, and SLS all launch to orbit within six months of each other.
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Offline envy887

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #27 on: 02/25/2020 02:33 pm »
It's going to be fairly close. My personal hope is that Starship, Vulcan, New Glenn, and SLS all launch to orbit within six months of each other.

The middle of 2021 is shaping up to be outstanding in terms of heavy rocket launches. All of those will be launching or at least highly visible for pad ops, plus a FH will launch AFSPC-52.

Offline Negan

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #28 on: 02/25/2020 08:27 pm »
I chose Starship/Super Heavy stack. I expect the first orbital flight to be successful like Falcon Heavy was.

Offline Jimmy Murdok

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #29 on: 02/25/2020 10:25 pm »
For an apples to apples, I would say that if Orion do loops around the moon and reenters Earth successfully, Starship should at least land after orbit. ArtemisI should human rate rocket and capsule in missions around the moon and this is a big thing.

Taking into account the development time, this poll is also good, so I voted Starship

I´m pretty sure that SpaceX is pretty motivated to send a Starship to Orbit and return it safe to Earth before SLS launch, NASA has not yet bought a Falcon Heavy, only sent a sad cubesat in a defense test launch.

SpaceX is building traction to claim a significant portion of Artemis by obvious proven capabilities. They have the best engineers and have chosen an aggressive but at the same time conservative and economic architecture. They are moving fast and they are hungry.

Boeing and NASA better move fast.

Offline indaco1

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #30 on: 02/29/2020 10:14 pm »
...NASA has not yet bought a Falcon Heavy..
Psyche mission promptly announced.

Could you ask for something else? Maybe it works. 
Non-native English speaker and non-expert, be patient.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #31 on: 03/02/2020 04:27 pm »
Despite not liking SLS at all, I have a hunch is that it will fly before the full SS/SH, even after the additional SLS delay announced on Friday.  SS has yet to fly and SH is further away.  Apply the usual SpaceX time-dilation factor, and I come to the conclusion that NASA's head start on SLS, nearly a decade, makes it the likely winner of this particular horse race, despite it's own time-dilation field.

Regarding the secondary question as to the effect on SLS of SS/SH flying first, I think it would be significantly negative for SLS in the long term but not in the short term.  It will seem significant to space cadets, with some SLS supporters saying, well, I always said we should drop SLS if a cheaper commercial alternative became available, and now it's available.  I doubt the larger public would really understand the significance.  I would expect SLS's supporters in Congress and elsewhere in government (lookin' at you, Scott Pace) to invent various reasons that it remains essential, which I think would be perfectly adequate to carry it for a few more years, at least until Sen. Shelby departs.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2020 04:39 pm by Proponent »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #32 on: 03/02/2020 04:38 pm »
I voted SS/SH because of the two choices, it is the one with the incentives behind it.  SpaceX needs SS/SH to deliver Starlink satellites as soon as possible.  Don't think it matters to SLS when it launches, now that it is after the election.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #33 on: 03/02/2020 07:15 pm »
Despite not liking SLS at all, I have a hunch is that it will fly before the full SS/SH, even after the additional SLS delay announced on Friday.

I'm not sure there was an actual delay. Mid 2021 doesn't mean July 1st 2021. There are days on either end of it that could be considered "mid 2021". There are 62 days between April 30th 2021 and July 1st 2021. So, is "mid 2021" a 4 month range in the middle of next year?

You can see the associate administrator's somewhat informal style presentation here (he at one point jokes about all female spacewalks being unmanned spacewalks):


Jeff Foust just got this one wrong. He converted mid to late 2021 to second half of 2021. Those aren't accurate conversions.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2020 07:20 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline spacenut

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #34 on: 03/02/2020 07:38 pm »
Mid-2021 also means July 1st to September 30th.  I predict more delays for SLS and it will be mid to late 2021 (July 1st to December 31st).  Hopefully Starship will fly before then as they are supposed to fly their paying customer(s) around the moon in 2022. 

Offline meberbs

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #35 on: 03/02/2020 07:48 pm »
Despite not liking SLS at all, I have a hunch is that it will fly before the full SS/SH, even after the additional SLS delay announced on Friday.
These are not new delays, just a more clear statement of what was already known. To quote the article on this site that first mentions the delay to April "Most of those notes continue to indicate a Summer 2021 “realistic” launch timeline"

To quote what I said upthread more than a week ago:
On the other hand, SLS is at best April 2021, realistically in the summer, and delays to late 2021 would not be that surprising.
The most recent statement is nothing new, just more realistic than the April 2021 date. Unlike every other SLS announced timeframe to date, there is actually a reasonable chance that SLS might not slip out of this stated period of mid to late 2021.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #36 on: 03/03/2020 02:08 pm »
Despite not liking SLS at all, I have a hunch is that it will fly before the full SS/SH, even after the additional SLS delay announced on Friday.

I'm not sure there was an actual delay. Mid 2021 doesn't mean July 1st 2021. There are days on either end of it that could be considered "mid 2021". There are 62 days between April 30th 2021 and July 1st 2021. So, is "mid 2021" a 4 month range in the middle of next year?

You can see the associate administrator's somewhat informal style presentation here (he at one point jokes about all female spacewalks being unmanned spacewalks):


Jeff Foust just got this one wrong. He converted mid to late 2021 to second half of 2021. Those aren't accurate conversions.

Thanks for pointing out the video.  Listening from 27:29, I hear, after dropping a few ums and repeated words, "... and integrating for <glitch> hopefully in the mid-'21 time-frame, mid-to-late '21 time frame, for Artemis I."  Assuming the glitch is "launch," and it does sound like it ends in "ch," it matches up well with the quote provided by Marcia Smith at SpacePolicyOnline, which is what I was going on.

To me it sounds like "mid-to-late '21" is a correction of "mid-'21,"  That the entire statement is preceded by "hopefully" makes me think "late '21" might begin to be a reasonable interpretation.

Offline Hog

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #37 on: 03/05/2020 03:42 pm »
Orion flew in 2014.

With respect, that just is not germane to the question re. these SHLVs.
In that case, neither is "Hopper".
Paul

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #38 on: 03/05/2020 03:45 pm »
It's going to be fairly close. My personal hope is that Starship, Vulcan, New Glenn, and SLS all launch to orbit within six months of each other.
As long as that six months isn't in 2030.
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Offline envy887

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #39 on: 03/06/2020 01:03 pm »
Orion flew in 2014.

With respect, that just is not germane to the question re. these SHLVs.
In that case, neither is "Hopper".

Hopper is a SHLV testbed. Orion is a crewed spacecraft. This thread is about SHLVs, not crewed spacecraft.

The only possible relevance of EFT-1 is that Orion readiness could in theory pace the first flight of SLS, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Orion is well ahead on readiness, and core stage testing and final integration are pacing SLS.

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #40 on: 03/06/2020 03:49 pm »
These results are not going to age well.

Even if you assume that the SS/SH full stack takes only as long to develop as Falcon Heavy (which I find to be a very optimistic assumption considering FH was a much simpler project), there's zero chance it would launch before SLS.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2020 03:54 pm by jadebenn »

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #41 on: 03/06/2020 04:39 pm »
Even if you assume that the SS/SH full stack takes only as long to develop as Falcon Heavy...

Starship development is occurring very differently than FH development. Maybe go check the Boca Chica threads.

If you need a reminder, FH development co-existed with F9 improvements and reusability development.

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #42 on: 03/06/2020 05:58 pm »
Starship development is occurring very differently than FH development. Maybe go check the Boca Chica threads.

If you need a reminder, FH development co-existed with F9 improvements and reusability development.
Falcon Heavy also had the benefit of working from an existing design with existing parts proven and certified to work that were already in production.

Meanwhile, Starship has already slipped multiple times, even in this very early stage of development. We were supposed to see a 20km hop last year, for example.

It's different, alright. But that doesn't mean it'll be faster.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2020 05:59 pm by jadebenn »

Offline spacenut

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #43 on: 03/06/2020 06:17 pm »
Second tank is on the way to the pad for testing. 

Offline envy887

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #44 on: 03/06/2020 07:12 pm »
These results are not going to age well.

Even if you assume that the SS/SH full stack takes only as long to develop as Falcon Heavy (which I find to be a very optimistic assumption considering FH was a much simpler project), there's zero chance it would launch before SLS.

Some of these comments certainly aren't going to age well. Can't be sure they won't be yours, though... :D
« Last Edit: 03/06/2020 07:15 pm by envy887 »

Offline dglow

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #45 on: 03/06/2020 07:32 pm »
Recency bias is such a trap with predictions like this.

I had voted SLS a few weeks back. My thinking: November was the current official EM-1 date, but April was considered reality. I guessed that Superheavy wouldn't be ready by April, and figured surely this will be EM-1's final date slip. Right? Thus SLS.

Then came the NASA comments a few days ago indicating 2H 2021 for EM-1, and my first urge was to change this vote. Oh well.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2020 04:23 pm by dglow »

Offline su27k

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #46 on: 03/07/2020 04:08 am »
These results are not going to age well.

Even if you assume that the SS/SH full stack takes only as long to develop as Falcon Heavy (which I find to be a very optimistic assumption considering FH was a much simpler project), there's zero chance it would launch before SLS.

Ok, so you think optimistically speaking SS/SH full stack will take at least 7 years to develop, so the first launch is what, 2025? Just want to be sure so that we can see which result is actually not going to age well.

Offline soyuzu

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #47 on: 03/07/2020 04:57 am »
These results are not going to age well.

Even if you assume that the SS/SH full stack takes only as long to develop as Falcon Heavy (which I find to be a very optimistic assumption considering FH was a much simpler project), there's zero chance it would launch before SLS.


Quote from: ncb1397
Quote
Compare that to NASA and its Space Launch System, the big rocket that the space agency has been developing for a decade

I don't see much of a difference here. We first started hearing about raptor development in 2013 regarding testing at SSC, 7 years ago. We are going into our fifth annual update somewhere in the ~September time frame.
Link: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50310.msg2054683#msg2054683

So do you mean you agree that by optimistic assumption Starship will launch this year? Fine.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2020 05:05 am by soyuzu »

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #48 on: 03/09/2020 05:03 am »
Ok, so you think optimistically speaking SS/SH full stack will take at least 7 years to develop, so the first launch is what, 2025? Just want to be sure so that we can see which result is actually not going to age well.
A fully-functional cargo Starship that can perform all aspects of the architecture that can successfully land the booster, successfully survive re-entry, and successfully land the Starship itself? 2025 absolutely sounds reasonable for that.

I'm certain they can shoot off a non-functional "Starship I-X" before that if they want, but that would be little more than a PR stunt. Certainly not an operational vehicle.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2020 05:13 am by jadebenn »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #49 on: 03/09/2020 05:36 am »
Ok, so you think optimistically speaking SS/SH full stack will take at least 7 years to develop, so the first launch is what, 2025? Just want to be sure so that we can see which result is actually not going to age well.
A fully-functional cargo Starship that can perform all aspects of the architecture that can successfully land the booster, successfully survive re-entry, and successfully land the Starship itself? 2025 absolutely sounds reasonable for that.

I'm certain they can shoot off a non-functional "Starship I-X" before that if they want, but that would be little more than a PR stunt. Certainly not an operational vehicle.
I have to ask, have you even looked at any of the Starship update threads? At the rate they are building them they will get a large number of Starships built this year, even if they lose a few, they should have plenty of chances to get it to orbit this year.

Also recovery is not necessary for payload to orbit (or this poll), and Starship would blow many other launchers out of the water for total cost without reuse just due to relatively low cost, high volume production. Booster recovery is just a scaled versio of Falcon 9, and the scaling up actually makes it easier in many ways. Or are you thinking that it would take 5 years to develop a functional fairing? If you were to insist on successful recovery, then SLS simply fails before you begin. Really we are at the point already where any rocket that doesn't have reuse in some form planned is simply a dead end (except maybe smallsat launchers.) Your post here almost sounds like you recognizing this fact that reuse is fundamental to the future of rockets, but based on your other posts, I am guessing this sudden requirement for successful recovery is just grabbing the goal post and running with it as fast as you can to stay ahead of the pace SpaceX is moving at.

Offline su27k

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #50 on: 03/09/2020 05:51 am »
Ok, so you think optimistically speaking SS/SH full stack will take at least 7 years to develop, so the first launch is what, 2025? Just want to be sure so that we can see which result is actually not going to age well.
A fully-functional cargo Starship that can perform all aspects of the architecture that can successfully land the booster, successfully survive re-entry, and successfully land the Starship itself? 2025 absolutely sounds reasonable for that.

I'm certain they can shoot off a non-functional "Starship I-X" before that if they want, but that would be little more than a PR stunt. Certainly not an operational vehicle.

You didn't read the rules in the first post? "landing is not a requirement for SS or SH (at least for this poll)."

Also a SS/SH stack without landing is still functional as long as it can put payload into orbit, F9/FH doesn't suddenly become non-functional when it is used in expendable launch or when landing fails.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2020 06:02 am by su27k »

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #51 on: 03/09/2020 06:07 pm »
You didn't read the rules in the first post? "landing is not a requirement for SS or SH (at least for this poll)."
Landing or not landing does not change my answer to the question posed by this poll. I believe SLS will still fly before a full stack.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #52 on: 03/09/2020 06:10 pm »
I don't see how anyone can reasonable believe Starship will be ready in the next 12-18 months, let alone integrated with its booster for a test flight.

The exciting thing is, we get to root for both and are better off no matter what the outcome is  ;)

« Last Edit: 03/09/2020 06:13 pm by Khadgars »
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Offline envy887

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #53 on: 03/09/2020 06:31 pm »
I don't see how anyone can reasonable believe Starship will be ready in the next 12-18 months, let alone integrated with its booster for a test flight.

The exciting thing is, we get to root for both and are better off no matter what the outcome is  ;)

For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like NASA is all too sure about SLS flying within 18 months either.

Offline su27k

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #54 on: 03/10/2020 02:03 am »
You didn't read the rules in the first post? "landing is not a requirement for SS or SH (at least for this poll)."
Landing or not landing does not change my answer to the question posed by this poll. I believe SLS will still fly before a full stack.

That's good to know but we're not asking you to change your answer, you're entitled to pick any answer that fits your beliefs, this discussion started when you question the answers of everyone else.

So, given the poll's rules, do you still think there is zero chance SS/SH would launch before SLS, a full stack SS/SH launch is NET 2025 and everyone who picked Starship in poll is "unreasonable" as Khadgars puts it?

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #55 on: 03/10/2020 08:34 am »
So, given the poll's rules, do you still think there is zero chance SS/SH would launch before SLS
No chance is zero, but I do find it so ridiculously unlikely that I'm willing to bet on it, yes.
a full stack SS/SH launch is NET 2025
I'm not married to that particular date, but it's certainly past 2021.
and everyone who picked Starship in poll is "unreasonable" as Khadgars puts it?
That's a value-judgement, and not one I share.

I will say though, that fans of a project are going to be consistently over-optimistic about its timelines. Just look about any of the dozen CCrew flight polls, or, for something closer to home, my speculation on the Artemis 1 launch date from about a year ago.
« Last Edit: 03/10/2020 08:34 am by jadebenn »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #56 on: 03/10/2020 03:37 pm »
So, given the poll's rules, do you still think there is zero chance SS/SH would launch before SLS
No chance is zero, but I do find it so ridiculously unlikely that I'm willing to bet on it, yes.
a full stack SS/SH launch is NET 2025
I'm not married to that particular date, but it's certainly past 2021.
and everyone who picked Starship in poll is "unreasonable" as Khadgars puts it?
That's a value-judgement, and not one I share.
It is not a value judgement, if you truly believe your statement about it being "ridiculously unlikely" then it is a simple fact from there that around two-thirds of the voters in the poll picked an unreasonable option. (Picking an unreasonable option is the definition of a person being unreasonable.) One of your 2 statements here is false.

I'd offer to bet you on the Starship orbital launch date (small change this year, quite a lot for by the end of 2021) but I know Lar was in the middle of working out a bet with you and I see no need for a duplicate bet. If those bet details don't end up including terms on Starship first orbital launch or a similar equivalent, then I would bet.

Offline Lar

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #57 on: 03/10/2020 09:56 pm »
I'd offer to bet you on the Starship orbital launch date (small change this year, quite a lot for by the end of 2021) but I know Lar was in the middle of working out a bet with you and I see no need for a duplicate bet. If those bet details don't end up including terms on Starship first orbital launch or a similar equivalent, then I would bet.
You can have my slot if you want it... I won't be mad. I pointed Jadebenn to the bet thread to let them get some ideas, then got busy so haven't pinged about it.

(and no I don't want to bet about who finalizes a bet first)
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #58 on: 03/12/2020 07:54 pm »
I voted SLS (even though I'm super pessimistic on SLS and wish it was canceled). I'm hoping I'm wrong, I'm just not very optimistic on how soon SpaceX will really be ready to launch a full Starship/SuperHeavy stack.

~Jon

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #59 on: 03/15/2020 05:12 am »
You can have my slot if you want it... I won't be mad. I pointed Jadebenn to the bet thread to let them get some ideas, then got busy so haven't pinged about it.

(and no I don't want to bet about who finalizes a bet first)
Oh yeah. I forgot about that.

Remind me if I haven't PMed you by the end of tomorrow.

Offline sdsds

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #60 on: 03/15/2020 02:30 pm »
This is certainly a fun race to watch, and a fun poll to participate in.

I voted SLS. Having flight hardware already manufactured seems like a big head start. The major risk to SLS isn't schedule slip, it's outright cancellation. That's particularly a concern if there's a significant change in the US federal government after November 2020.
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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #61 on: 03/15/2020 04:15 pm »
I don't think SLS or Starship will reach orbit until 2022... At this point I'd give Starship a 70% chance of beating it. You're gauging the unknown-unknowns of Starship development and pitting it against the seemingly endless incompetence of modern-day Boeing and the Federal Government...
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Offline spacenut

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #62 on: 03/15/2020 04:21 pm »
The corona virus could slow down either one of these.   Depends on where and outbreak takes place and what has to be done there.  Just one parts supplier for either could slow it to a crawl.  SpaceX is mostly in house everything and SLS builders are all over the country.  Once glitch somewhere and boom, another 6 months delay. 

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #63 on: 03/15/2020 04:31 pm »
Yes, SLS is certainly more at risk than SpaceX's operation down in Boca Chica.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #64 on: 03/16/2020 04:23 am »
The corona virus could slow down either one of these.   Depends on where and outbreak takes place and what has to be done there.  Just one parts supplier for either could slow it to a crawl.  SpaceX is mostly in house everything and SLS builders are all over the country.  Once glitch somewhere and boom, another 6 months delay. 

With how seriously Elon is taking the coronavirus (ie not very at all so far), there's a non-zero chance of slowdowns if a lot of their people get sick. Waiting until people are feeling ill to do something is closing the barn doors way after most of the animals have left.

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Offline su27k

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #65 on: 03/16/2020 11:45 am »
The corona virus could slow down either one of these.   Depends on where and outbreak takes place and what has to be done there.  Just one parts supplier for either could slow it to a crawl.  SpaceX is mostly in house everything and SLS builders are all over the country.  Once glitch somewhere and boom, another 6 months delay. 

With how seriously Elon is taking the coronavirus (ie not very at all so far), there's a non-zero chance of slowdowns if a lot of their people get sick. Waiting until people are feeling ill to do something is closing the barn doors way after most of the animals have left.

~Jon

Seems premature to infer SpaceX's preparedness just based on some tweets and a few selected sentences from an email (very suspicious that the entire email is not published, makes it easy to quote out of context).

Also I believe CDC still maintains symptom transmission is the primary concern.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #66 on: 03/17/2020 03:05 am »
Given Elon's latest tweets, I still don't think he's taking this seriously.
The corona virus could slow down either one of these.   Depends on where and outbreak takes place and what has to be done there.  Just one parts supplier for either could slow it to a crawl.  SpaceX is mostly in house everything and SLS builders are all over the country.  Once glitch somewhere and boom, another 6 months delay. 

With how seriously Elon is taking the coronavirus (ie not very at all so far), there's a non-zero chance of slowdowns if a lot of their people get sick. Waiting until people are feeling ill to do something is closing the barn doors way after most of the animals have left.

~Jon

Seems premature to infer SpaceX's preparedness just based on some tweets and a few selected sentences from an email (very suspicious that the entire email is not published, makes it easy to quote out of context).

Also I believe CDC still maintains symptom transmission is the primary concern.

Given Elon's latest tweets, I still don't think Elon's taking this very seriously. Hopefully Gwynne is providing some adult-supervision. But if the head honcho doesn't take something seriously, it's likely that attitude will propagate to the rest of the team.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 03/17/2020 03:06 am by jongoff »

Offline high road

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #67 on: 03/17/2020 05:09 am »
The corona virus could slow down either one of these.   Depends on where and outbreak takes place and what has to be done there.  Just one parts supplier for either could slow it to a crawl.  SpaceX is mostly in house everything and SLS builders are all over the country.  Once glitch somewhere and boom, another 6 months delay. 

With how seriously Elon is taking the coronavirus (ie not very at all so far), there's a non-zero chance of slowdowns if a lot of their people get sick. Waiting until people are feeling ill to do something is closing the barn doors way after most of the animals have left.

~Jon

On the level of an individual company, having your people in isolation for months to prevent the spread might be worse than when everyone is infected around the same time and it only takes them weeks to recover. Not good for flattening the curve though.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #68 on: 03/17/2020 02:40 pm »
The corona virus could slow down either one of these.   Depends on where and outbreak takes place and what has to be done there.  Just one parts supplier for either could slow it to a crawl.  SpaceX is mostly in house everything and SLS builders are all over the country.  Once glitch somewhere and boom, another 6 months delay. 

With how seriously Elon is taking the coronavirus (ie not very at all so far), there's a non-zero chance of slowdowns if a lot of their people get sick. Waiting until people are feeling ill to do something is closing the barn doors way after most of the animals have left.

~Jon

On the level of an individual company, having your people in isolation for months to prevent the spread might be worse than when everyone is infected around the same time and it only takes them weeks to recover. Not good for flattening the curve though.

I think there are other ways of continuing on with some production while being proactive about protecting your team (and their community) from being a massive virus vector. But finding those ways kind of requires you to take the virus seriously, and be willing to accept some productivity hits as part of addressing things.

~Jon

Offline spacenut

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #69 on: 03/29/2020 07:15 pm »
With SLS work being stopped and SpaceX still working at Boca Chica, I think now for sure Starship will orbit first.

I think with enough testing kits and masks being produced everyone could go back to work.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #70 on: 04/01/2020 02:38 pm »
With SLS work being stopped and SpaceX still working at Boca Chica, I think now for sure Starship will orbit first.

But the question at hand is whether the Starship/Superheavy stack will fly first.

Offline dglow

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #71 on: 04/01/2020 11:03 pm »
With SLS work being stopped and SpaceX still working at Boca Chica, I think now for sure Starship will orbit first.

But the question at hand is whether the Starship/Superheavy stack will fly first.

You're both right. For the poll first flight = first orbit.

For this poll, success means either to orbit or deep space. A Starship flight without the SH booster does not qualify, however on-orbit refueling is not a requirement. Since SLS is disposable, and to make the playing field a bit more level, landing is not a requirement for SS or SH (at least for this poll).

Offline Proponent

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #72 on: 04/02/2020 01:06 pm »
With SLS work being stopped and SpaceX still working at Boca Chica, I think now for sure Starship will orbit first.

But the question at hand is whether the Starship/Superheavy stack will fly first.

You're both right. For the poll first flight = first orbit.

For this poll, success means either to orbit or deep space. A Starship flight without the SH booster does not qualify, however on-orbit refueling is not a requirement. Since SLS is disposable, and to make the playing field a bit more level, landing is not a requirement for SS or SH (at least for this poll).

My concern was that spacenut might be thinking of a Starship flight to orbit without Superheavy.

Offline randomly

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #73 on: 04/03/2020 07:43 am »
I'm thinking Boeing will turn the Covid-19 situation into at LEAST a year delay on SLS. So SLS definitely no sooner than 2022, and very likely into 2023.

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #74 on: 04/03/2020 08:06 am »
Voted SLS much as I hate it. Starship tank problems are acute. Meanwhile SLS core stage one is already built.
This does not mean SLS will not explode in flight or have some other major problem, it just means the one existing SLS vehicle will probably fly before star-ship IMO.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #75 on: 04/11/2020 04:22 am »
Voted SLS. Super Heavy may be tough, too, due to pure scale.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #76 on: 04/11/2020 04:46 pm »
Voted Starship.

With SLS receiving delays by no testing the launch date is experiencing a practical one for one slip. To get back going is at least a 3 month minimum slip. The launch date before COVID-19 was already mid 2021. So the best is now late 2021 or early 2022. The effect on Artemis-2 may not be much at all unless there are anomilies in processing or launch of A-1.

With SS continuing manufacture challenges to meet the structural as well as the weight requirements Starship is also experiencing delays for achieving orbit. But COVID-19 may slow efforts a little it is unlikely to halt it completely. This is due to how manufacturing is done and the numbers and how widely the personnel are normally dispersed. Most activity is in well ventilated or outside areas conducted mostly by singular individuals. When multiples are involved, they are wearing gloves, masks, hats and protective eyewear. This is not something new this is the normal state. With a few extra precautions little impact to activity will occur.

But the structual testing failures of tanks is offset by how rapidly SpaceX is building tanks for test. Tests are occuring at about 2 month intervals. And the last test likely will lead to the next test succeeding. The good thing is that SpaceX is learning the structural weakness points of failure without learning about them after a launch. So once a structure passes the structural qualification pressure tests. The next article will be the first flight element. Likely to be SN5. That vehicle tank would be ready for full integration of all the rest of the flight equipment in 4 months or around August. With a likely actual hop like test flight around October. Then if that was successful a higher altitude 20km test flight around December. The next up would be during these flight tests of SS there would be manufacturing and structural qualification tests of SH tanks and thrust structures occurring sometime after October with a structural qualified design around March 2021. This would be followed by a full up article for hot fire and hop tests 4 months latter around August 2021. A full stack flight test is then likely before EOY 2021.

It is still a horse race. Both could have additional delays. It is mostly about who will have the least additional delays since at this point both have near identical possible launch dates for going to orbit. As to likely effects of additional delays SpaceX innovation and issues resolution process is about 10X faster than the Boeing/NASA process. Meaning Starship can suffer 9 or less technical/procedural issues vs SLS just one, and still make orbit ahead of SLS.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #77 on: 04/11/2020 04:54 pm »
Most activity is in well ventilated or outside areas conducted mostly by singular individuals. When multiples are involved, they are wearing gloves, masks, hats and protective eyewear.

Not really? I've seen multiple photos of this not being the case.

like this one:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=48895.0;attach=1624720;image

and this one:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=48895.0;attach=1624708;image

edit: It appears the situation in Cameron County is getting out of hand. They just announced 36 new cases, a 22% case increase in one day. SLS was affected first as Louisiana was an initial hotspot, but it is hard to see how operations in Boca Chica won't be given the current trends.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2020 05:26 am by ncb1397 »

Offline su27k

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #78 on: 04/13/2020 03:43 am »
edit: It appears the situation in Cameron County is getting out of hand. They just announced 36 new cases, a 22% case increase in one day. SLS was affected first as Louisiana was an initial hotspot, but it is hard to see how operations in Boca Chica won't be given the current trends.

You can see detailed breakdown of the cases in their news releases: https://www.cameroncounty.us/covid-19/, most of the new cases are from two nursing homes at Harlingen.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #79 on: 08/10/2020 07:00 am »
With SN5 successfully completing a 150m hop and is likely to do another flight. This demos that Starship is aimed and can in its current design support reusability. Multiple flights lots of data, post flight hardware inspections available, will rapidly accelerate the project toward orbital flight including at least SH recovery but possibly SS as well. This projects that currently Starship has a possible 3 or more month lead on SLS.

Offline Inoeth

Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #80 on: 08/10/2020 07:05 pm »
With SN5 successfully completing a 150m hop and is likely to do another flight. This demos that Starship is aimed and can in its current design support reusability. Multiple flights lots of data, post flight hardware inspections available, will rapidly accelerate the project toward orbital flight including at least SH recovery but possibly SS as well. This projects that currently Starship has a possible 3 or more month lead on SLS.

While I agree that seeing SN5 hop is a great sign i'm not counting any chickens until we see several more hop tests to really prove out that reliability/reusability and then move on to the far harder high altitude tests with the 'bellyflop' landing.

That being said SLS isn't going to fly until Late 21 if you're incredibly optimistic at the earliest and more likely mid-latter 2022 from various reporting (tho what happens with the Green Run will give us perhaps a better sense of where they are progress wise). Either way at the pace SpaceX is going the High Bay for building the Super Heavy booster looks like it'll be done in a month or so and I fully expect to see them progress to the higher altitude test flights by the end of this year.

flying the full stack, getting orbital and thus being the first SHLV seems entirely doable in the next 15 months for SpaceX even with what i'm sure are going to be some (spectacular and explosive) setbacks.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #81 on: 06/15/2022 03:43 pm »
Time for an update as vehicles may actually launch in the coming months:

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1537096088821370880

Quote
NASA's Jim Free confirms that August 23-to-September 6 is the earliest window that the Artemis I mission could launch. This assumes a timely completion of the wet-dress test and finding few (if any) issues that require follow-up work.

Elon said yesterday that Starship & SH would be ready for launch in July (I interpreted that as vehicles ready only, not launch licence granted etc too).

So I think the first launches of both SHLVs could be quite close together. Of course that’s not necessarily the same as first successful launches!

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Which SHLV Will Fly 1st?
« Reply #82 on: 06/28/2022 07:43 pm »
Time for an update as vehicles may actually launch in the coming months:

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1537096088821370880

Quote
NASA's Jim Free confirms that August 23-to-September 6 is the earliest window that the Artemis I mission could launch. This assumes a timely completion of the wet-dress test and finding few (if any) issues that require follow-up work.
NASA is now moving towards scheduling the first launch of the SLS for late August/early September of this year after having completed the final WDR test for the SLS, and the rollback of the SLS rocket into the VAB is scheduled for the beginning of July. Since SpaceX has to make a few tweaks to the environment surroundings near the launch site from which the Starship will be launched, the SLS is definitely fly first.
Elon said yesterday that Starship & SH would be ready for launch in July (I interpreted that as vehicles ready only, not launch licence granted etc too).

So I think the first launches of both SHLVs could be quite close together. Of course that’s not necessarily the same as first successful launches!

Tags: Artemis 1 SLS falcon 
 

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