Author Topic: FAILURE: SpaceX Starship 1st Flight : Starbase TX : 20 April 2023 UPDATES  (Read 252654 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Tank farm clarification:

twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1652464927825879041

Quote
Elon says that most of the homemade tanks at the orbital tank farm will be replaced with the more conventional "hotdog tanks."

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1652465187084206080

Quote
He added that this change is not as a result of the recent launch. It was already planned.

Edit to add: on the loss of comms

Bad transcript of the speech. Musk said that engine 19 lost communications at +27 seconds not the entire rocket.

https://twitter.com/ScottLikesSLS/status/1652466449393364992
« Last Edit: 04/30/2023 12:36 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Twitter spaces recording:


Offline Robotbeat

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Twitter spaces recording:


Confirms the Scott Manley theory about delayed breakup following FTS initiation:

Elon: "from a rocket standpoint and pad standpoint, we are probably ready to launch in 6 to 8 weeks, the longest lead item on that is probably requalification of the flight termination system because we did initiate the flight termination system but it was not enough to , it took way too long to rupture the tanks. We need more detonation cord to unzip the tanks at altitude and ensure that they... basically that the rocket explodes immediately if... flight termination is necessary. so requalification of the...I'm just guessing here... requalification of the much longer detonation cord to unzip the rocket, and that situation is probably the long lead item."

Guest: "What's the timeline? "
Elon: "...on the order of 40 seconds-ish?" [then goes to explain/suggest that if the rocket had been lower in the atmosphere, aerodynamic forces would've been greater and it probably would've disintegrated earlier, and that that's actually what happened, as the vehicle broke up as it got lower in the atmosphere where aerodynamic forces were greater]
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Robotbeat

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Full transcript generated by OpenAI's whisper:
Quote
Tim Dodd from Everyday Astronaut is a nice enough to co-host.
So and Tim, if there's people that you want to add to speak and provide some input or questions, definitely feel free to do so.
Yeah, sounds great.
Thanks, Elon.
Hey Irene.
Hey Elon.
It's been a long time.
Yeah, it has.
That was very exciting to be in Boca Chica.
You always live up to your promises about exciting times with SpaceX.
Yes.
You know, punctuality is not my strong suit, but I do deliver in the end.
Yes, you do.
Excitement was guaranteed and it was delivered.
Exactly.
I mean, so yeah, we just get right into it.
So I think probably people have enough time to get on or hopefully.
So yeah, basically the outcome was roughly in the sort of what I expected and maybe slightly exceeding my expectations, but roughly what I expected, which was or hoped for, I should say, which is that we would get clear of the pad with minimal damage to the pad.
And I'm glad to report that the pad damage is actually quite small and looks like it can be repaired quickly.
And that we would also get significant in-flight data, particularly with respect to the pressurizing of the tanks with the propellant liquids, which is called autogenous pressurization, as opposed to say, Falcon 9, which uses helium pressurization.
But helium is in very short supply and extremely expensive, so it's way better to essentially pressurize with the liquid form of the oxidized raw fuel.
So that actually looked quite good.
And we also went supersonic, which is so that was no problem at all.
And so we're going through obviously some good news items here.
The vehicle structural margins appear to be better than we expected.
As we can tell by the fact that the vehicle is actually doing somersaults towards the end and still staying intact.
So that's also good.
And yeah, so overall I actually feel like that was a great flight.
The SpaceX team did excellent work.
We made a lot of progress.
And I think from a rocket standpoint and pad standpoint, we are probably ready to launch in six to eight weeks.
The longest lead item on that is probably re-qualification of the flight termination system.
Because we did initiate the flight termination system, but it was not enough to...
it took way too long to rupture the tanks.
So we need a basically a much...
we need more detonation cord to lines up the tanks at altitude and ensure that basically the rocket explodes immediately if there's a flight termination is necessary.
So re-qualification of the...
I'm just guessing here that re-qualification of the much longer detonation cord to lines up the rocket in a bad situation is probably the long lead item.
What was the time lag? It was pretty long.
I think it was on the order of 40 seconds-ish.
So quite long.
The yeah, so now the rocket was in a relatively low air density situation.
So the aerodynamic forces that I was experiencing were would be less than if it was at a lower, you know, lower down in the atmosphere.
And so the aerodynamic forces would have, I think, at lower point in the atmosphere aided in the destruction of the vehicle.
And in fact that's kind of what happened when the vehicle got to a low enough altitude that the atmospheric density was enough to cause structural failure.
But I mean this is obviously something that we want to make super sure is solid before proceeding with the next flight.
Let's see, I'll go through a bunch of notables.
So we actually at liftoff there were three engines that we chose not to start essentially, or that hit aborts.
And so we actually lifted off with 30 engines, which is the minimum number of engines.
Those engines did not explode, but they were just, the system didn't think they were healthy enough to bring them to a full thrust.
So they were shut down.
Then at T plus 27 seconds engine 19 lost communications, concurrent with some kind of energetic event that liberated the outer heat shield from the engines 17, 18, 19, and 20 area.
You can see this on video actually.
And by the way, if people have like basically think that maybe something different from this occurred, that would be interesting too.
Because I know some people have looked very closely, frame by frame, at video.
But this is the SpaceX best assessment after a week.
Anyway, so something bad happened at T plus 27 seconds, because engine 19 lost all communications.
And some kind of explosion happened to knock out the heat shields of engines 17, 18, 19, and 20.
And yeah, so and there were visible fires seen from the aft end starting after this event and continuing through flight.
The rocket kept going though.
At T plus 62 seconds, we see additional aft heat shield damage near engine 30.
However, the engine continues to run.
And then at T 85 seconds is where things really hit the fan.
We see engine 6 with lost communication to thrust vector control.
And roughly from this point onwards, we lose thrust vector control of the rocket.
So we lose steering at T plus 85 seconds.
And was that engine 6 that kept trying to relight too? Possibly.
Was there one that looked like in footage, like it just kept attempting to relight, relight, relight over and over, which is pretty wild to see.
I don't think I've ever seen that before.
And it was one of the center-ish engines.
That's interesting.
Okay, we do have relight logic in the center engines, but not in the outer engines, I believe.
So basically, landing engines have relight logic.
The perimeter engines don't.
So that's entirely possible, although if the engine is detecting significant issues, it should not be going into a relight cycle.
What's your best guess as to what caused the initial engine issues? And then, I guess it cascaded after that, but what do you think happened? I think we don't know with certainty.
Obviously, the rocket stayed on the launch pad for a while, and we did generate quite the rock tornado at the base of the vehicle.
And our first guess would have been that the rock tornado would have caused potentially significant damage to the engines.
But at least we actually do not see obvious...
we actually, weirdly, do not see evidence of the rock tornado actually damaging engines or heat shields in a material way.
But it may have, but we have not yet seen evidence of that.
So for the next flight, we certainly will be taking off faster.
So for this flight, we were on the side of babying the engines and just gently starting each engine one at a time.
And the engines on Booster 7 were built over a long period of time, so each engine was a little bit of a unique item.
Whereas the engines on Booster 9, which is next, are much newer and more consistent, and really with a significant reliability improvement over Booster 7.
So I think we'll see a much more robust engine situation with Booster 9.
The heat shield, or I should say the shields, which are both force and heat shields around the engines for Booster 9 are much better because they weren't retrofitted.
For Booster 7, we retrofitted heat shields, whereas Booster 9 is designed in.
So they're much stouter.
Will you be doing something with the Raptor Chill system on Booster 9 differently than what you did with 7? It kind of seems like that was an expendable part of the pad, essentially, with having all of those hoses rip free.
I'm guessing that's something you would like to avoid having to replace every time in the future? Yeah, over time, it needs to be a rapid reflight capability, so there can't be any expendable items over time.
It was actually just good to get this vehicle off the ground because we've made so many improvements in Booster 9 and beyond that we really just needed to fly this vehicle and then move on to the much improved Booster 9 and later ship designs.
The thing that we want to make sure of, probably most, with the next flight is that any kind of central nexus that affects multiple engines is extremely robust and with extra shielding, so that we don't have a single point that can take out multiple engines.
And for sure, we don't want a single point that can take out thrust vector control, which is engine steering.
The range of detail we can go into here is level 9 rocket wizardry all the way to how do rockets work.
Understood.
Can I try again? I can confirm that we have all been doing a massive amount of speculation out here, and I guess one of the big points that a lot of us have been wondering is related to stage separation.
I guess the two-part question, what actually triggers second stage ignition? And also the second part of that question, did Ship 24 attempt to light its engines after the destruction of Booster 7? No, it did not.
When flight termination is executed, it's executed on both.
So the ship currently does not attempt to save itself.
Arguably, maybe it should.
That's a good point.
It's crazy.
It looks like the engines lit after the booster let go, and after the booster finally blew up, there's what looks like a termination event.
The big things that are important for the next slide are ensuring that we don't lose thrust vector control, so sort of isolation of thrust vector control, which with the Booster 9 is a lot easier because we use electric motors to steer the engines, as opposed to hydraulic actuators where you've got a common manifold between the hydraulic actuators.
So if you lose hydraulic pressure, you can lose multiple engines, essentially, if you have some kind of failure in the hydraulic system.
The electric actuated engines will be much more isolated and not have a single event failure, as long as they do not lose power or coms.
Elon, since you've gone ahead and excavated your launch mount a bit, I assume you're going to go ahead and put in the steel grid and the water deluge.
Do you think that that will fully address the issue of the wider than expected debris field? And are you expecting any pushback from environmental and kind of community groups that this event did put debris where it wasn't expected? Yeah, we're going to be putting down a lot of steel.
I mean, the debris is really just basically sand and rock, so it's not toxic at all or anything.
It's just like a sandstorm, essentially, basically a human-made sandstorm.
But we don't want to do that again.
So we were going to be putting down a very strong steel sandwich that is basically a water jacketed sandwich.
It's two layers of very thick plate steel that are also perforated on the upper side so that you have what is basically a massive, super strong steel showerhead pointing up.
And then the water pressure coming out of there has to exceed the pressure that the engine's thrust is exerting on the steel plate beneath the launch stand.
So it is all doable and being done.
And so it should be much, much less dusty and we should not have a rock tornado with the next flight.
Hey, Elon, it's Joey from Reuters.
Why couldn't you install that before this launch? Was that a technical reason or a regulatory reason? It wasn't ready.
So it's not like we expected.
If we'd expected to dig a hole, we would not have flown.
So the reason we would not expect to excavate a hole, we'd done a static fire of the booster.
And that had just resulted in a fairly modest erosion of the high strength concrete at the base, which is called Fondag.
It's basically the strongest, highest temperature concrete that you can get, steel reinforced and everything.
And so we thought it would be fine for one launch.
We would erode some amount of the concrete, but that it would be fine.
We certainly didn't expect to effectively, what looks like when we went up to full thrust, probably shatter the concrete.
Is it possible that the base layer failed first and not the actual Fondag layer on top? It is.
So we are getting into some amount of speculation here.
But it's one of the explanations, and one of the more probable explanations is that when we went up to full thrust, that we may have compressed the sand underneath the concrete to such a degree that the concrete effectively bent and then cracked.
That is a leading theory.
So we definitely want to not have that gain.
And Fondag was never our long-term goal.
We thought it would just be fine for one launch.
We'd erode some Fondag just as we did with the booster static fire.
And then for the next launch, we were going to put in the sort of steel, mega steel pancake.
This thing's a beast.
It's like...
Why the steel pancake over a flame trench or something like that? Well, you could do it either way.
But the...
And there's different schools of thought there.
The important thing is that you have a regeneratively cooled...
Like, wherever the flame is hitting, that that is regeneratively and evaporatively cooled.
So what you'll see is quite a big steam cloud, but not a dust cloud.
So the...
And we've run some both ways.
And you could do it both ways, and they both work.
The acoustic environment is worse with a flat plate, as you might imagine.
But the payload is so far up in the...
It's like, you know, the payload is like 400 feet away from where the plume is impinging.
So it's so far away that the acoustics are not actually not that bad in the payload fairing.
So we don't have to worry too much about it being too loud in the payload fairing.
And...
Yeah, so it can be done either way, but this is one way.
And we're pretty confident this will work.
And we're going to extend the steel out beyond just underneath the rocket, because we want to make sure we don't sort of dig up concrete elsewhere.
And then we're going to connect the load of the massive steel sandwich underneath the launch pad into the launch mount legs.
So it can take that load in tension as well as compression.
So anyway, I think we're pretty good about that.
We should see it come together in the next month or so.
But like I said, that actually does not currently appear to be what prevented the rocket from getting further than it did.
There appears to be perhaps a flame path somewhere within the vehicle structure that, as some of the engines failed, there would appear to be a flame path to a piece of avionics or control system that knocked out the thrust vector control.
So once you knock out thrust vector control, the rocket no longer has steering authority.
What things do you think went better than you expected and what things went worse than you expected? It was pretty close to what I expected, at least for this flight it was pretty close to what I expected.
I mean, getting past max Q was a pretty big deal.
I was actually quite shocked.
I don't know why.
That whole fins and flaps up front and all that stuff, especially starting to lose control authority with the TVC going out, that was pretty impressive.
The thing just kept chugging along and punching right through.
So that was my big one.
If it made it through max Q, I was going to consider that a pretty big milestone for sure.
Yeah, definitely.
That's for sure an important milestone.
And it got pretty close to stage separation.
So if we had maintained thrust vector control and throttled up, which we should have, because we needed to compensate.
We'd lost too many engines, so we should have throttled up the remaining engines to make up for the missing ones.
But if we'd throttled up the remaining engines and maintained thrust vector control, we would have made it to staging, which would be cool.
So that's our goal for the next flight, is make it to staging and hopefully succeed in staging and get to orbit.
So I think we've had a decent shot at getting to orbit with the next flight.
Did the booster command separation, did it actually try letting go of Starship and it just couldn't because of something? Or did it not even get that far in the program? No, unfortunately it did not get to the point where it would do separation.
One could argue that at the point at which the booster is kaput, the ship may as well just take off and keep going.
But the problem is that we have a very precise targeted entry point in the Pacific.
So the ship really wouldn't have the capability of reaching that target point.
You wouldn't want it re-entering over Africa or something and then just touching down randomly.
Exactly.
So it would only be worth really starting the ship if the ship is able to complete its mission and reach its targeted landing point just west of Hawaii.
Elon, would you change the flight profile at all and what would you have to do to actually reach orbit as opposed to the 146 miles that this one seemed like that would have been the max altitude? Yeah, well, so orbit is mostly about velocity rather than altitude.
But I'd say like I think we've got a better than 30% chance of reaching orbit on the next flight.
So I'd say that my expectation for the next flight would be more likely to reach orbit than not.
And are you going to be attempting orbit or like doing the same profile of re-entering over Hawaii and that whole thing? Yeah, we're just going to do a repeat basically.
The goal of these early missions is just information.
Like we don't have any payload or anything.
It's let's try to learn as much as possible.
And so that's why I would consider this to be a success because since the goal of the flight was to learn a lot and we learned a lot, I would characterize it as a success.
Obviously not a complete success, but still nonetheless successful.
And, you know, I always want to frame this, the difficulty of this with respect to the, you know, the sort of Soviet Union Warsaw Pact rocket developments of the past for which I have a lot of respect.
Back when Russia and Ukraine were working together, they made great, they did great stuff in space, I have to say.
Yeah, definitely.
Maybe when they can return to that, it's much more productive.
So, like the N1 program is always worth, I always recommend people read the history of the Soviet N1 program, which was the competitor rocket to the Saturn V, US Saturn V moon rocket.
And that's a point you're talking about, like, you know, late 60s, early 70s, where the Soviets were really at their A game.
I mean, they were just really fantastic.
They, so they had A plus players.
It's fair to say that their motivation was maximized.
Like, you know, success means you're a hero of the Soviet Union.
Failure, you're probably going to the gulag.
So A plus players, maximum motivation.
And still the N1 failed.
It never reached orbit.
So, you know, that's a team for one, you really have to have a tremendous amount of respect for the N1 team.
And they did not succeed.
And it didn't help that Glushko never wanted that thing anyway.
He wanted his own mega rocket.
And then once Karelyov died, it was game over for that poor thing.
I mean, the Soviet Union certainly suffered a massive loss with Karlev dying.
You know, he was their sort of von Braun, basically.
So that, for Karlev, it was awesome.
It's like losing your best player at the worst time, really.
But nonetheless, there were so many super smart people in that program.
And they really knew what they were doing with rockets and maximum motivation.
They did not succeed.
So it's just worth bearing that in mind.
The N1 is the closest to starship of any rocket that's flown.
And a starship is actually a bit more risky in some ways in that we've got a cryogenic fuel.
And the thing about a cryogenic fuel is it can gasify and form sort of fuel oxygen pockets and that kind of thing.
It's always harder to deal with a cryogenic fuel than with a fuel that is liquid at room temperature, like kerosene, you know, basically rocket-grade jet fuel, which is what Falcon and the N1 used.
So we're risking that risk.
We're running a higher chamber pressure engine that's full flow stage combustion.
So it's the most complex and difficult engine configuration, but the one with the highest efficiency.
And we're using autogenous pressurization, which I don't think they did.
So those are things.
And our scale is also bigger.
We're about twice the mass and about, I think, 60% more thrust than an N1.
So if you don't mind me asking here, like, you know, why do you think starship will succeed using a similar, you know, even not just the multi-engine philosophy or anything like that, but just even the general like test by flying philosophy of the N1? Why do you think, you know, there's four flights of the N1, never made it to stage separation.
Why do you think starship will succeed in a, you know, with all the comparisons that are so similar to it? Well, we do have a production line that if it takes us 10 flights, we'll do it.
They would eventually have succeeded with the N1.
They just decided that it was too expensive to continue and they wanted to do other things.
So after they had those failures, they, I guess it was probably pretty embarrassing, you know, national level.
But I do think that the starship design, like, so if you've got to rock it with a lot of engines, as we do, if you have extremely good engine isolation, so that if an engine fails, it does not cause a failure of neighboring engine or the stage itself.
You have a very robust design because then, you know, if you lose one of 33 engines, that's a 3% thrust loss.
It's not a big deal.
But if you do not have good engine isolation and an engine failure can domino to other engines or to parts of the stage, then you have an extremely unreliable design.
So that's why with Booster 7, but especially Booster 9, we've gone to so much trouble to isolate the engines.
And so if one engine goes wrong, it does not knock out other engines or damage the rest of the stage.
So I think when all is said and done, this will be an extremely reliable design.
But it's absolutely fundamental to achieve engine isolation.
Elon, do you expect HLS to be, Starship HLS to be the long pole for Artemis 3? No, I definitely don't.
I think we will be the first thing to really be, I think we'll, no, I think we will be, yeah, that will not be a limiting factor at all.
Elon, how much do you expect to spend in this kind of like, you know, prototype development phase before one of these Starships actually starts flying real payloads, whether, you know, Starlink or otherwise? And how many kind of tests are you targeting before that? Well, I'm hopeful we can get four flights out this year, maybe five.
And we should be, I would be surprised if we exit this year without getting to orbit.
I'd say it's not 100% probability, but I think we've probably got an 80% plus probability of reaching orbit this year.
And pretty, and I don't want to tempt fate here, knock on wood, but I think close to 100% chance of reaching orbit within 12 months.
You know, the thing to bear in mind is like SpaceX is actually quite good at production.
So like extremely, like the best in history of any rocket maker with production.
I mean, we're making a Falcon 9 upper stage, which is a large complex machine every three or four days.
And a Raptor every day right now.
Yes, we're capable, we're actually slowed it down slightly because we've got more Raptors than we know what to do with.
So we're actually focusing a bit more on the Raptor side on upgrades.
Mostly to improve reliability and robustness of the engine.
Some performance improvements as well.
And the cost of all this, like I guess how much do you expect to spend on all that either this year or before you start flying real payloads? Well, it's probably a couple billion dollars this year, $2 billion-ish.
All in on Starship.
And there's a kind of a struggle by other companies to raise funds lately for a number of reasons.
And SpaceX has usually kind of been insulated from that.
But do you see any kind of difference nowadays? Is SpaceX kind of thinking about fundraising differently? And does that affect how, you know, the pressure on the Starship program at all? We do not anticipate needing to raise funding.
We think we don't think we need to raise funding.
We'll do our standard thing where we provide liquidity to employees who are in stock.
But to the best of my knowledge, we do not need to raise incremental funding for SpaceX.
Hey, you want to be sensitive over here.
Yeah, probably like another 5-10 minutes.
Okay, cool.
Yeah, I was going to say how much time.
And I did want to get, it'd be fun to get some new people in here.
John Krauthen, I know I haven't said anything yet, and also Mary Liz.
So John, I saw you were starting to speak there for a second.
Yeah, I have a fun question.
So the lean off the pad, was that intentional? Was it more than you thought it might be? Was it related to the engines out? And do you expect to do that on like future more operational launches? No, we're not.
It was related to the engines out, and we do not normally expect to lean.
It should be aspirationally going straight up.
So there will be some debate as to, because you can, so for the next fight, we're going to start the engines faster and get off the pad faster.
Like I think we're from start, for engine start to actually moving was around five seconds, which is really a long time to be blasting the pad.
We're going to try to get that down to about half that time, maybe two and a half seconds.
Start the engines faster and throttle up faster and just get off the deck and reduce how much we blast the pad.
And then there's a debate of do you keep the rocket over the pad, in which case there's more cooking of the base, or do you start moving sideways sooner? If you move sideways sooner, you are moving that big cutting torch across the launch room.
So if you can think of a thing like the world's biggest cutting torch, basically.
And so like we have big steel plates over the top of launch ring, but I think depending on how close the engines are, they erode that steel at a roughly, I think, half an inch to an inch per second of high strength steel is eroded by the cutting torch.
So you don't want the engines to be too close to the launch ring before you start moving sideways.
And with it doing that, what's the opposite? Yeah, and on this one, as it did move across the launch ring because it kind of yeeted out there sideways, did it torch the top of the launch ring too bad or did it actually hold up pretty good? It actually held up surprisingly well.
So we're glad to see that there appears to be minimal damage to the launch ring and to the components inside launch ring.
So that's great because that launch ring takes six months to build up a new launch ring.
We have some spares, but there's a lot of complex plumbing and wiring inside launch ring, and that actually appears to be in good shape.
I just had one quick question, speaking of that launch ring kind of like lift-off conditions topic.
Why couldn't you wait like a month to install that steel plate for it to be ready? Why launch before that's ready? As I said, we did the static fire of the booster with the concrete, the pondag, and we saw manageable amounts of erosion.
So we thought the launch would have increased erosion but would not smash the concrete.
So it was not our expectation to smash the concrete.
We did not think that would occur based on the data we saw from the static fire.
If we thought that would occur, then we would have waited for the steel.
The steel is intended to have a launch pad that requires minimal refurbishment.
That's the intent of the sort of what are called the mega steel sandwich.
Was the communications blackout the reason the staging event didn't happen, or was it because it just didn't get to that point and started tumbling before? Yeah, it just didn't get to what we consider to be a safe point to do stage separation.
I should point out stage separation itself is a dodgy thing, and many a rocket in the past has failed at stage separation.
So we're putting a lot of attention on -- like I said, I don't want to get too confident, but I feel like we're really quite likely to get to stage separation with the next flight.
So then we want to make sure that we actually execute the stage separation, because it is different from Falcon.
So we want to get through that stage separation, light the ship, and complete almost a full orbit.
It's actually got the -- the Delta Plus C is almost identical to orbit.
So we actually could send it to a decently good orbit.
But we want to test the entry system of the ship, so test the ship heat shield in the high -- so get to orbit and then ideally de-orbit with the ship, so we can test how well the heat shield works for the ship portion of the vehicle.
Yeah.
Let's grab one more Mary Liz Bender.
Hey.
Actually, Mary Liz Chalinski.
Sorry, sorry.
Yeah, I had to figure out how to change my handle here.
Elon, that launch was so epic.
I don't know how you felt in mission control.
I know you were nervous and paying attention to data, but for the rest of us that have witnessed, you know, years and years of Falcon launches and many other launches, I think it's safe to say that was the most epic launch of them all, and I hope you got a chance to really enjoy it.
I was actually wondering about that moment in the room with your team, or maybe for you personally, like how did this compare to the other firsts that you've gone through in the Falcon program with Hopper? Like how did you feel? Yeah, I was very excited.
I thought the SpaceX team did amazing work, and this is really one of the hottest technical projects that humanity has ever done.
I mean, if you say like fully reusable, humongous rocket, fully and rapidly reusable, reliable rocket of unusual size, this is certainly a candidate for hardest technical problem done by humans.
Yeah.
It's the candidate, you know.
A little bit.
So I think the team's done excellent work on a very hard problem, and I think we're actually up about the next 12 months.
I think we're going to get to orbit, and then it'll probably take us a few more years to achieve reusability on a regular basis where we bring the booster back and bring the ship back, and where it gets to.
It'll take a few years to get to where Falcon 9 is today, where it is now quite normal for the rocket to land.
It'd be weird if it doesn't land these days.
Yeah, isn't that wild? Yeah, it's crazy.
I mean, hitting the bullseye of a ship out in stormy weather, that ship is not anchored.
It's literally trying to keep position.
It's holding to a GPS position, and the rocket's flying to that position.
It still manages to hit the bullseye in a storm.
You guys make it look so easy.
It's crazy every time to watch that happen.
Yeah.
It's a testament to the awesome team.
Elon, this looks to be my— Sorry, I just have one more question.
There's a lot of opposition from these environmental groups in the area over the debris, and I just wanted to kind of get your reaction to that since some didn't expect the debris to go as far as it seemed to go.
If there is a legal challenge in court, either against SpaceX or the FAA, how would SpaceX respond, and what would that do to the timeline? Yeah, I think if you say for practical purposes, I think if you were to say at this point, look at an aerial picture of the area, and apart from the area around the launch stand, tell me where things are damaged, I think you can't even see it at this point.
The rocket uses non-toxic propellants, so it does scatter a lot of dust, but to the best of our knowledge, there has not been any meaningful damage to the environment that we're aware of.
To be honest, I was out there at the pad two days after, and there was a huge storm on Saturday, like 70, 80-mile-an-hour winds.
Yeah, it was intense.
There was a lot more debris coming off the shore from people's docks falling into the water, and capsizing boats, than I did anything more than just some bits of concrete.
Yeah, to exceed the damage done by a hurricane is quite difficult.
The power of nature is immense compared to...
We are still feeble compared to the power of nature.
A little tiny miniature hurricane.
We're really tiny.
I look at Starship and it's like, wow, it seems so big to us humans.
But if you zoomed out and were looking at Earth from a distance, you wouldn't even see Starship.
It'd be like, I think I see a tiny little dot jumping off the surface, maybe.
We're like microbes trying to get from one dust mode to another dust mode.
Did you see the footage? By the way, pad footage of how dark and crazy it got.
It's crazy because it looks so violent and wild, but it looks like a miniature tornado just for a minute there.
Some of the footage is actually terrifying to imagine.
Obviously, no one's around it at the time, but it is nuts, the amount of power that thing has.
Yes, we were actually recently looking at the Raptor's throat, which we believe is the highest heat flux of any human-made object ever.
Whoa.
How does it survive? Somehow that plasma has to go through a throat? How did that throat not melt? That's crazy.
Literally, how does it? Is it from a massive amount of film cooling and regenerative cooling? Yes, it's getting crazy, regenerative cooling.
We're flowing liquid methane at extreme pressure, 11,000 psi through the jacket.
It's ripping.
Then you combine that with film cooling and the best thermal barrier coatings we can come up with.
But it's still shocking that we do not vaporize the throat of that engine immediately.
The heat transfer is so insane.
We live on a planet with strong gravity and a thick atmosphere.
This is what's needed if we're to become a space-faring civilization and build a base on the moon and a city on Mars.
Yes, a multi-planet species, which is a super exciting future.
At a high level, the super cool thing here is that this thing kind of works.
We're going to solve the issues that are remaining.
We'll get it to orbit and we'll make it reusable.
That means that we have a real path here to get humanity to Mars.
That's awesome.
That's mind-blowing.
Elon, I want to let other people talk here, but I did want to say just on behalf of all of us that the production work that you guys put on, the actual show, we all greatly appreciate it.
I think that was one of the most amazing launch coverages I've ever seen.
I think a lot of us were hoping that you guys were going to give us cool angles, and you guys by far exceeded the expectations.
I greatly appreciate that, and I think everybody else does as well.
Thank you.
You guys are most welcome.
I just want to say I super appreciate your support.
I'm always looking for critical feedback and stuff, so support and critical feedback is always extremely welcome.
Thanks for helping bring the public along for the ride, because at the end of the day, the support of the public is essential.
It's also about inspiring the public.
There are all these things in the world that are reasons to be sad about the future.
There's got to be things that wake up in the morning and inspire you and just be excited about the future of life.
This is one of them, and you guys are key to conveying that to the public.
Thank you.
You guys are doing it for us as well, so it goes both ways.
Hey, Elon, just a quick question, Chris from NSF.
Are you looking to fly with Booster 9 and Ship 28 for this next flight? Are you still deciding that one? Because there are 25s at Macy's, isn't there? I'm done if you're going with 25 or 28.
We've not made a final decision on the ship.
That's why I was referring to Booster 9, but I did not mention the ship number.
Oh, no.
So good catch there.
Yeah, I think we'll probably make that decision this week.
But we do want to bet on success in the sense that if we get to orbit, it would be super helpful to try to de-orbit and see how well the ship heat shield works.
Because we need to maintain control in hypersonic high heating regime, then get through transonic, and then maintain control all the way through a very wide array of Mach regimes.
So the vehicle actually behaves differently with radically different heating and force at the various -- coming back from roughly Mach 23 to zero.
So, yes, I think we want to have that option.
So I think we'll put a ship on that gives us that capability.
But we haven't decided exactly what ship number it should be.
Hey, Elon, this is Michael Sheets with CNBC.
Quick question on the launch tower side of things.
Have you cataloged the damage to the equipment? I mean, it looks like some of the tanks were hit by debris, and there's quite a lot scattered around.
Do you know -- could you give us like a rundown of what you guys need to replace versus repair? We're going to be replacing a bunch of the tanks in the tank bomb.
But these are tanks that we wanted to replace anyway.
So we're going with more of the vacuum jacketed kind of giant hot dog looking tanks as opposed to the -- yeah.
Vacuum jacketed giant hot dog tanks, those are in the best shape, and those are what we want anyway.
So some of the tanks we'll be -- yeah, probably removing and replacing with the hot dog tanks.
The tower itself is in good shape.
We see no meaningful damage to the tower, even though it did get hit with some pretty big chunks of concrete.
And yeah, and then like I said, we'll be installing the big water jacketed steel sandwiched thing under the pad, doing final prep on the next booster and ship, and hopefully be ready to fly again in a couple months.
Once again, excitement guaranteed, success is not.
But I do think -- I'm cautiously optimistic.
Like I think this time we've got a better than 50% chance of reaching orbit.
So that will be incredibly exciting.
Is that steel plate the only thing that you guys are implementing to reduce the amount of debris that gets everywhere? Or are there other fixes that you're considering to fix that? There's a bunch of other things we're doing.
So there's going to be a lot of steel plating, so not just underneath the -- directly underneath the rocket, but also extending beyond that and also tying the whole structure in together with the legs, which -- those legs go down very deep.
So -- and then just in general, we want to have a launch pad that over time requires no refurbishment between flights.
And that means obviously not throwing out chunks of concrete.
Rapidly reusable rockets and reusable launch pads.
Exactly.
Yep.
Totally.
On the launch site itself, it looks like it kind of slid a little bit off the pad instead of going like straight vertical like Falcon does.
Was that part of the profile or was that because of the engine failures? That's because of the engine failures.
Yeah.
So, all right, I better sign off now.
But I'll do another update once we've resolved some of these questions at the exact configuration of the next flight.
And the upgrades to the launch pad and anything else.
So probably in about three weeks-ish, I'll do another update and kind of let you know what we've learned.
As always, I'm like -- I try to be like -- tell people like the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, you know, so that it's like we would tell you our dumb things that we've done and maybe some things that we think are pretty smart.
And yeah.
That's awesome.
We appreciate your time, Elon.
Get out of here and have a good Saturday night.
And thanks so much for all the updates that you gave us.
We love all these juicy details.
So keep up the good work.
We look forward to the next one.
You're most welcome.
I try to think of like -- if I wasn't involved with this, what are all the things I'd want to know so that I try to tell you those things.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2023 02:33 pm by Robotbeat »
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

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Elon mention that the FTS took about 40 seconds to fully work.  Here is my attempt to work backward and located when the FTS was started. Video credit SpaceX.  Some background info from Scott Manely.

« Last Edit: 05/02/2023 09:59 pm by catdlr »
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« Last Edit: 04/30/2023 03:18 am by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

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twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1652506390802358273

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Just for fun, I spent most of the day with our #Starship Flight Test 8K footage, tracking and stabilizing frame by frame (Auto tracking just couldn't handle it) from the Flight Termination Charge to explosion just to see if we could learn anything else. Shot by @considercosmos

https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1652506392333352960

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And here's the same thing with the rotation taken out. Sorry it looks so funky with the background layers and stuff, but whatever.

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https://twitter.com/harry__stranger/status/1653027090734936065

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We finally have the first public satellite imagery of SpaceX's Starbase launch site after Starship launched 10 days ago.

Look closely and you can see the damage to the propellant tanks, concrete beneath the pad and more.

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https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1653805136676888577

Quote
An article reviewing Starship's maiden launch and the next flight with Booster 9 and Ship TBD.

Includes quotes from @elonmusk's pre-flight and post-launch Twitter Spaces events, which were very insightful.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023/05/musk-orbital-goal-starship-debut/

I knocked out 3,000 words, so a summary is below:

Ahead of the launch, Elon set expectations, per not blowing up on the launch site, MaxQ being a win, and the major evolution between Boosters 7 and 9.

Post-launch: Pad damage is minor, and can be repaired quickly (we already see this effort at full speed on NSF Starbase Live).

They understand what caused the "Rock Tornado." SpaceX will install a "mega steel pancake, basically a water-jacketed sandwich," below the OLM to mitigate debris flying during Booster 9's ignition, with lift-off occurring 50 percent sooner compared to Booster 7.

Tank Farm repair and modifications will see it receive vacuum-jacketed giant hot tanks, which was already the plan.

It launched with 30 engines running, which is claimed to be the reason for the lift-off lean. An energetic event at T+27 seconds, additional engines out, and loss of TVC authority at T+85 seconds.

Into a tumble, FTS activated but didn't kill the vehicle. 40-second lag until aerodynamic forces ended the flight. Good sign for the structural margins of the vehicle, but a longer detonation cord and FTS recertification are required ahead of Booster 9's flight. This is the long lead item.

It didn't stage due to where the vehicle was in its profile, relating to Ship 24 requirements per splashdown points.

Major and numerous improvements with Booster 9, from electric TVC through to heatshield structure on the base. Elon claimed a 50% chance of reaching orbit on the next flight.

It will be a repeat of B7/S24 objectives, with B9 flying with a Ship they are yet to decide on (at the time of the Twitter Spaces - S25 through S28 in play).

SpaceX is hoping for four flights out this year, maybe five. Elon would be surprised if they exit this year without getting to orbit. "Not a 100% probability, but we've probably got an 80% probability of reaching orbit this year."

Elon is upbeat about the next 12 months. Praised the SpaceX team. "This is really one of the hardest technical projects that humanity has ever done. I mean, if you say, like, fully reusable, humongous rocket, fully and rapidly reusable, reliable Rocket Of Unusual Size."

"...certainly a candidate for the hardest technical problem done by humans. It's a candidate, you know."
« Last Edit: 05/03/2023 04:56 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

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Video Compilation of the first flight using only SpaceX camera views:

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twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1660704832762658816

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Trust your gut. Starship Superheavy comes to life.

Some images have been recovered! While there is still some data to sort through, I’m absolutely stoked to be seeing these images on screen.

Massive thanks to @derekiswise in aiding data recovery!

📸 - @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1660705601696014336
« Last Edit: 05/22/2023 06:15 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

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Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

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https://twitter.com/starlink/status/1664717672104198147

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Starlink set an altitude and speed record for use in-flight during Starship’s first flight test, providing connectivity at 123,600+ feet and while traveling at Mach 1.7! 🛰️🚀

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1666445467196981250

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Free: NASA is involved with Starship investigation, and just met with FAA. Do have concerns about their ability to meet Dec. 2025 date for Artemis 3. They have a "significant number" of launches to go before that mission.

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Starship IFT Launch Footage Compilation

Cosmic Perspective

Jul 24, 2023
Quote
Grateful to our supporters for making all of this possible. This is a raw compilation of some of our team's footage of SpaceX Starship's inaugural flight test, many of which were LIVE during the  @EverydayAstronaut Livestream.

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San Antonio Express News:

"Three months after SpaceX’s first Starship launch ended in a fiery explosion over the Gulf of Mexico, the company hasn’t submitted its final accident report to the Federal Aviation Administration, signaling that the next-generation rocket program remains grounded and is unlikely to attempt a second launch this summer."

https://www.expressnews.com/business/article/faa-no-spacex-starship-launch-soon-18261658.php
« Last Edit: 07/27/2023 01:25 pm by pospa »


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https://twitter.com/a_leinfelder/status/1686811575221370881

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Researchers have identified the mystery material that fell from the sky after Starship launched on April 20.

It was sand from undern the launch pad.

“It was definitely not any kind of health hazard," said @DrPhiltill. "It was just ordinary beach sand."

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/space/article/spacex-starship-launch-dumped-sand-across-south-18266534.php

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https://twitter.com/jackkuhr/status/1691546890318352385

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Just in: SpaceX has filed its final mishap investigation report to the FAA for its April 20 Starship flight test

The review is ongoing, the FAA told Payload today

https://payloadspace.com/spacex-files-its-starship-mishap-report-to-the-faa/

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https://twitter.com/rgvaerialphotos/status/1697637362870653083

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Crews are busy cleaning up the rubble in the wetlands that was caused by IFT1. Possibly a last-minute requirement, we will see how long it takes to clean that up, hopefully no delays.

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