Author Topic: Developing the BFS - Phase 1 Big Falcon Hopper (BFH) Discussion - THREAD 3  (Read 387600 times)

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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I am in the camp that this is the tanks for a second prototype (orbital or otherwise). If it does taper, then that is not recognizable at this point. So I do not believe that this is the nose cone. Of course I would not be surprised if my prediction was wrong and they just changed the design to a more straight nose cone...

Offline AC in NC

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Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know what these notches are?  I see them at the bottom of both of the barrel sections.

I have a weak hypothesis they are an access port for joining/unjoining the barrel segments to each other and to the Hopper Base but I'm not at all confident that truly makes sense.

Offline cuddihy

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Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know what these notches are?  I see them at the bottom of both of the barrel sections.

I have a weak hypothesis they are an access port for joining/unjoining the barrel segments to each other and to the Hopper Base but I'm not at all confident that truly makes sense.

Looks like just protrusions from the base for aligning/stiffening the bottom ring during construction & when the hold downs are not bolted down.

Offline prelator

I think this news article can shed some light on the purpose of the hopper and its upcoming test regimen: https://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/county-approves-authority-for-road-closures-for-rocket-testing/article_ef6a2fd4-466b-11e9-aa6e-1b3a1be10f5a.html#.XIqQtxSSuE8.twitter

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“SpaceX will conduct checkouts of the newly installed ground systems and perform a short static fire test in the days ahead,” Gleeson said. “Although the prototype is designed to perform sub-orbital flights, or hops, powered by the SpaceX Raptor engine, the vehicle will be tethered during initial testing and hops will not be visible from offsite. SpaceX will establish a safety zone perimeter in coordination with local enforcement and signage will be in place to alert the community prior to the testing.”

Offline r1279

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Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know what these notches are?

I see them at the bottom of both of the barrel sections.

Considering their position, I wonder if they are related to the welding machine [that the notches made it easier to start/stop the weld that close to the ground]

Offline AC in NC

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I think this news article can shed some light on the purpose of the hopper and its upcoming test regimen: https://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/county-approves-authority-for-road-closures-for-rocket-testing/article_ef6a2fd4-466b-11e9-aa6e-1b3a1be10f5a.html#.XIqQtxSSuE8.twitter

Quote
“SpaceX will conduct checkouts of the newly installed ground systems and perform a short static fire test in the days ahead,” Gleeson said. “Although the prototype is designed to perform sub-orbital flights, or hops, powered by the SpaceX Raptor engine, the vehicle will be tethered during initial testing and hops will not be visible from offsite. SpaceX will establish a safety zone perimeter in coordination with local enforcement and signage will be in place to alert the community prior to the testing.”

Treviño and the county aren't the only ones!!!   ;D

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As tests draw closer, Treviño said the county is on a learning curve as potential launches draw closer to becoming a reality.

“It’s exciting and we know that we keep moving closer and closer to that first test or whatever they’re going to be doing and we’re wishing them all the best of luck and we’re excited,” Treviño said.

Offline AC in NC

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Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know what these notches are?

I see them at the bottom of both of the barrel sections.

Considering their position, I wonder if they are related to the welding machine [that the notches made it easier to start/stop the weld that close to the ground]

Welcome to the Forum.  IMO, you win today as I think you are exactly right:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47120.msg1920689#msg1920689
« Last Edit: 03/14/2019 05:29 pm by AC in NC »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The rapid rate that the first engineering flight test unit was constructed and the progress on what looks to be the #2 EFTU it will be ready to take over testing in mid summer even if or not EFTU #1 crashes or not. It looks that #2 will be a closer match to a SS orbital than that of #1.

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know what these notches are?

I see them at the bottom of both of the barrel sections.

Considering their position, I wonder if they are related to the welding machine [that the notches made it easier to start/stop the weld that close to the ground]

Welcome to the Forum.  IMO, you win today as I think you are exactly right:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47120.msg1920689#msg1920689
Point to make - the girth welder only makes horizontal welds (hence the name). It uses a conveyor to hold flux to the arc (submerging the arc in flux), and the entire rig rolls along on bogies suspended to the top edge of the work piece (the cylinder). There are automated vertical welders, but this isn't one of them.

Beyond that, I am pretty positive these notches were made after the bottom cylinder section was welded together.

Finally, I believe that there is a rectangular hole cut in the cylinder on the concrete jig, maybe about 16' up.
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Online OxCartMark

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Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know what these notches are?

My bad guess:  Metallurgical samples sent to a lab.  If this is like hopper 1 there is a heavy box section ring going around the bottom and cutting out samples here wouldn't hurt much.  I yield the rest of my time and I yield the floor to anyone with a more reasonable guess.

Offline AC in NC

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There are automated vertical welders, but this isn't one of them.

Haven't been following welding pics super-closely but they haven't used a vertical rig on-site?  I just recall looking at the vertical welds and they struck me as perhaps machine-made.

Online Johnnyhinbos

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There are automated vertical welders, but this isn't one of them.

Haven't been following welding pics super-closely but they haven't used a vertical rig on-site?  I just recall looking at the vertical welds and they struck me as perhaps machine-made.
Well, you're kinda half right...

The cylinder is comprised of curved sections. However these sections themselves are made out of four panels. Those sections are pre-assembled out of sight - possibly in the tent. Those four panels sections are two panels wide and two tall. The welds that join these four panels are very clean and look like they were done by some form of automation. Exceptionally clean. Keep in mind therefore that you will see both very clean vertical AND horizontal welds, alongside less clean horizontal and vertical welds.

These four panel sections are then built into a cylinder segment. When they are placed they are held to their neighbor by six or so vertically stacked horizontal bars on the inside of the cylinder - picture this: Left hand four panel segment (SegA) is craned next to another four panel segment (SebB). Along the vertical seam where these two segments meet they weld little horizontal tabs with a hole in it, so SegA and SegB have these tabs on either side of the vertical seam. Then horizontal bars with slots in them are fit so the the tab protrudes through the slot and a metal wedge is dropped through the hole in the tab, thereby locking the horizontal bar into place and voila, SegA and SegB are held together by these bars. They can then do a vertical weld, removing the tabs and bars as they go.

The same technique applies when they go up, but the horizontal bars become vertical bars, and they remove a set at a time as the girth welder works around the cylinder, joining the bottom segment to the top segment (and each segment is two panels high)

You can easily see this in the pics. The bars are yellow.

So - in conclusion - you will see clean vertical and horizontal welds - they are the welds making up the four panel sections. And you will see less clean vertical and horizontal welds they are made by a human (vertical - joining sections together to make one complete segment) and girth welder (horizontal - joining vertical segments together to make the cylinder taller)...

John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Online abaddon

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Hopper will be test-fired with at least one Raptor, at least once, attached to the ground (like every SpaceX vehicle other than Grashopper)
Nitpick: and F9R Dev 1 and Crew Dragon pad abort test article and Crew Dragon hover test article (I think those last two were different, but they could be one and the same).
« Last Edit: 03/14/2019 08:45 pm by abaddon »

Offline Wargrim

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I caught some testing being done on the Hopper.

Another tank pressure test, or do the clouds coming from the ground equipment tell a different story?

Offline RoboGoofers

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cropped this pic to point out the condensation on the cooling tower and what looks like a cryo liquid dump on the slope. (not methane, of course.)

Offline NGC 4258

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Some watching Starship Cam believe a static fire or something fiery was just spotted. There was obviously a flash where the engine is supposed to go.

I think it might have been an ignitor test or something of the sort.
« Last Edit: 03/14/2019 09:23 pm by NGC 4258 »
We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.

Offline Wargrim

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Id be careful to put too much weight in spotted flashes on that distance when the Hopper is so reflective. But if our local observers can confirm some sort of ignition, that would be wonderful. :D Cant be a full burn cause they would have had to close the road before that.

Offline Kansan52

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Reflection off cloud/fog caused by liquid nitrogen?

Offline jimothytones

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Some watching Starship Cam believe a static fire or something fiery was just spotted. There was obviously a flash where the engine is supposed to go.

I think it might have been an ignitor test or something of the sort.

Could it be the flare stack?

Online OxCartMark

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Now we need not only cameras and camera drones but also microphones and maybe seismometers.

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