SpaceX Super Heavy and Starship updates


 Share

Recommended Posts

DocM

New thread for the BFR booster and the BFS spaceship now renamed -

 

Super Heavy and Starship

 

Thread 1.... (Interplanetary Transport System)

 

Updated CGI pending.

 

FAA application for test flights pending.

 

FCC application for test flights...

 

Description of tests (duration: 24 months)

 


>
Description of Research Project

SpaceX is looking to fly and operate a Research and Development (R&D) Vertical Takeoff, Vertical Landing (VTVL) vehicle at its South Texas location. The vehicle will take off, ascend vertically to a low altitude, and then descend back to its original landing spot. While the vehicle is in the air, it is important to have communications with the vehicle for two main reasons:

1. Downlink: SpaceX can view the data in real‐time and ensure that all parameters remain nominal.

2. Uplink: If there is an anomaly, SpaceX needs the ability to command the vehicle into a safe state (as a backup to its onboard safety systems).

Thus, to ensure both a safe and useful test, it is important for SpaceX to maintain a bidirectional RF link between the control center and the vehicle.

SpaceX wishes to use the same transmitters on the VTVL vehicle that it uses on its other vehicles. The
major difference is that the ERP is reduced on this vehicle by two orders of magnitude. This transmitter
has been demonstrated to be very safe and reliable under both flight and test conditions and the regulatory agencies involved (both FAA and FCC) are familiar with the hardware and frequencies.

The tests themselves are divided into low‐altitude and higher‐altitude tests. The low‐altitude tests stay below 500 meters in altitude and last approximately 100 seconds. These tests will be run approximately three times per week during the initial portion of the program. The higher‐altitude tests can go as high as 5 km and will occur approximately once per week. These tests last approximately 6 minutes.

Please note that SpaceX is also applying for an experimental permit from the FAA in order to gain permission to run these VTVL tests.
>

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

Starship...the craft formerly known as BFR/BFS....formerly known as ITS....an improvement of a  derivative of Falcon XXX...OK. I'll stop...I like "Starship".

 

Off topic...

Coincident name release during the period of which Elon would have just found out about the "Congressional via NASA Safety Blitz"

 

The same time frame as a decision was made to go with the 250 Million loan as opposed to the availability of 750 Million.

 

This could also be taken as Elon being a bit ticked off and whispering "hold my beer"...as he quietly prepares to get the show on the road at an accelerated pace, garner some extra sci- fi fans (tech junkies)...while putting the pile driver on top of the mess called SLS/Orion via  "media frog in boiling water". 

 

Once this puppy starts the higher altitude testing...this is going to be a "media darling" ...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

Part of Musk's AXIOS HBO interview, 

 

"We've recently made a number of breakthroughs that I, that I am, just really fired up about."

 

Says his odds of going are about 70%.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

Musk mentioned "recent breakthroughs" to AXIOS HBO and that he was stoked, so appatently he wasn't kidding ☺

Think I need a strong drink....

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

From above...

 

Quote

Contour remains approx same, but fundamental materials change to airframe, tanks & heatshield

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1066825927257030656

 

then later...

 

Quote

Used to live in Silicon Valley, now I live in Silicone Valley

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1066913829597003776

 

Heatshield...silicone impregnated...SpaceX CIRCA, XIRCA, etc..breakthrough which also allows tankage design change...Mmmmmm....

Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

The silicon-silicone reference can also be a commonly used malaprop about breast  implants.

 

LA = California's Silicone Valley

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

yes....but that would be like tweeting the sky is blue.

 

Think ceramics and TBC's (thermal barrier coatings) which besides reduction in wear,  are also used for heat "reflection" to increase thermal dynamic efficiencies. This has been in use for many decades in turbines, engine liners, bulk industrial coatings and particularly ICE chamber coatings. You may have a small engine in your garage or a marine engine that was produced with these compounds. 

 

There are various combinations of materials used to further a trait, such as heat reflection, increased wear (ablation), dissimilar metallic contact and stress reduction.

 

One example is Nikasil (nickel silicon carbide matrix) which is still used in high performance engines...even formula 1.

 

When one googles the end users of these materials...guess where a lot of the HQ's and manufacturing is.... California is the worlds 5th largest economy centered in......

 

😎

Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

Musk liked this new PhysOrg article about interesting alloy tricks, then bells went off....

 

 

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-strength-ductility-high-entropy-alloy-oxygen.html

 

Quote

Enhanced strength and ductility in a high-entropy alloy via ordered oxygen complexes

 

Oxygen is an abundant element that can form undesired impurities or ceramic phases in metallic materials, while doping the element on metal can render substrates brittle. 
>
>
In a new study, materials scientists Zhinfeng Lei and co-workers observed that unlike in traditional interstitial strengthening, such ordered interstitial complexes could form high-entropy alloys (HEAs) with unprecedented enhancement in strength and ductility in compositionally complex solid solutions. When the scientists doped a model TiZrHfNb HEA with 2.0 atomic percent (2 at%) oxygen, they observed substantially enhanced tensile strength and ductility, breaking a longstanding conflict on strength and ductility trade-off.
>
>
The authors recommend application of such ordered interstitial strengthening mechanisms to a wider range of other alloy material classes for improved strength-ductility and strain-hardening during the development of advanced materials.
>


 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Unobscured Vision

This is exactly what I suspected.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

So many combinations and testing over the years. The draw back has always been costs for consumer consumption......but for large project corporate use...different cost/benefit structure.

 

I am sure that SpaceX has a top notch "materials" group always on the prowl...

Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

They've already created two new single crystal alloys for the Raptor engine, which apparently don't burn in a hot oxygen rich environment. Also several improved versions of the SIRCA and PICA heat shields, with an improved version of TUFROC (>3,600°F) in development..

Edited by DocM
Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

 

 

 

 

Here is one of the big changes...

during a twitter conversation...

 

while talking about the grid fins in Pauline Acalin's twitter image...above ^ ...

 

 

 

 

 

counter intuitive regarding strength and mass...design and/or manufacturing process...

 

I feel a lot better knowing of a re-use when dealing with metal. Composite has it's uses, but I would rather not push Murphy's Law...

Link to post
Share on other sites

DocM

Follow up,

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

the conversation continues...

 

 

ninja'd...was posting this over on NSF..partially ninja'd there too...I am old and slow...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop
On 11/26/2018 at 11:12 AM, Draggendrop said:

yes....but that would be like tweeting the sky is blue.

 

Think ceramics and TBC's (thermal barrier coatings) which besides reduction in wear,  are also used for heat "reflection" to increase thermal dynamic efficiencies. This has been in use for many decades in turbines, engine liners, bulk industrial coatings and particularly ICE chamber coatings. You may have a small engine in your garage or a marine engine that was produced with these compounds. 

 

There are various combinations of materials used to further a trait, such as heat reflection, increased wear (ablation), dissimilar metallic contact and stress reduction.

 

One example is Nikasil (nickel silicon carbide matrix) which is still used in high performance engines...even formula 1.

 

When one googles the end users of these materials...guess where a lot of the HQ's and manufacturing is.... California is the worlds 5th largest economy centered in......

 

😎

This is weird quoting yourself....but the implication of TBC's with a silicon attribute, has possibly made an appearance now...

 

If so, it will be one tough unit...can't wait for the details....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

Will have to wait for confirmation, but my guess will be a hardened alloy, possibly of a new process...that is readily available. This could possibly be used with a TBC coating, which are well understood and widely used in industry.

 

I would not venture toward a new doping process for metals. Doping processes are notoriously finicky...very hard to control consistency over large area's and requires very expensive equipment.

 

When taking the massive size of the booster and ship into consideration, there has just not been enough time to reliably reproduce large scale doping based upon a recent process discovery.

 

It takes many years to prove viability of a process for commercial use. A process may be better than another but cost benefits drives manufacturing.

 

If I were to wager, it would be to keep it simple with available products and processes....new alloy that they have been investigating along with a purpose coating...cost is paramount for self funded R & D.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

more twitter...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Unobscured Vision

I'm fairly interested to see what they've got in store for all of us. Any guesses (educated or otherwise) that we could make are likely going to be off by a wide margin now; aka "all bets are off now".

 

I'm going to do the "wait and see", like everyone else. ;) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop
10 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

I'm fairly interested to see what they've got in store for all of us. Any guesses (educated or otherwise) that we could make are likely going to be off by a wide margin now; aka "all bets are off now".

 

I'm going to do the "wait and see", like everyone else. ;) 

Actually, for me, this brings it into a more realistic venture with what is available today.

 

She's going to be roughly what we saw...heavy metal now...beef up the strenght, lessen the upmass...test and then iterate later.

 

She needs to fly now to eventually take care of the 2 network groups...F9 realistically can not do it herself...too many launches.

 

This is actually the best I have felt about the whole project...I can eye ball it now. Need to get rid of the "wonder inventions outlook"...deal in reality...that engineering.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Unobscured Vision

I agree with you. Test with what's "here and now", then "improve iteratively" like SpaceX has done with Falcon 9. And what's been accomplished with the Falcon 9 has been nothing short of magnificent. :yes: 

 

Small, incremental steps, sorting out large technical problems in more manageable sizes will get a project where it needs to be. Might take more time, yes -- but the end result WILL justify it.

 

I agree with this new approach. Instead of one massive leap (or the attempted leap) forward, SpaceX will take the "smart approach". I believe it'll prove to be the correct approach. (Y) 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Draggendrop

There had to have been a plan B...or a metal substitute for composite.

 

Composite is fine...just not for every damn thing.

 

For the stress that this will incur...repeatedly...one has to use common sense.

 

Materials that are available now. Processes that are available now. The combination of the former two that is cost effective and accomplishes end goals for now.

 

Dump the up mass for now...fly and iterate as you go...NASA is not involved...they can do what they want, when they want.

 

Remember the "better battery discoveries", the ones that never make it to production, but sound great. Materials science is not immune to this disease.

 

There are vast combinations of alloys available, as well as coatings and treatment processes to enhance variables.

 

Prime directive...launch and iterate...they have no choice now since Starlink must be up rather quickly, in launch terms, and in vast numbers. There is a lot of money riding on this.

 

There will be a few different opinions, I am sticking to sound R & D practice...no magic. A high quality metal alloy with an additive/treatment is the quicker way forward at this time...it is better understood under duress.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Unobscured Vision

Yep to all of the above. :yes: 

 

And there's nothing that says there won't be some "nearly-unimaginable, so-dumb-it-just-might-work-and-really-does composite material that some tertiary Materials Engineer comes up with that was a complete a**-pull out of nowhere" that ends up changing the whole game down the road, either. SpaceX would be in a position to make use of it iteratively, in a non-disruptive way; able to test while they're doing Mars & Lunar Ops. :) 

 

R&D can run parallel to "making money", in other words. Once Starlink, SolarCity, Tesla, the Gigafactories and Elon's other ventures are all changing the world in their own ways (and making money hand-over-fist ... AND THEY WILL ....), SpaceX will be changing THE SOLAR SYSTEM. :D 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stergios Georgopoulos
      Elon Musk confirms first SpaceX ocean spaceport is under construction
      by Stergios Georgopoulos



      Last year, SpaceX announced plans to build floating spaceports for space travel and hypersonic flights around the Earth. The floating launchpads, built on refurbished oil platforms, will serve as a launch and landing platform for the Starship rocket, a spacecraft that the company intends to use to fly astronauts to the Moon, as well as for the exploration and habitation of Mars in the coming years.

      On Sunday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Deimos, the first of the two platforms, is under construction and is expected to become operational next year. Both launchpads, the other one being Phobos, are named after Mars’ moons. The tweet was in response to a fan, who shared a rendered concept image of the offshore spaceport.

      Earlier this month, the company performed a successful soft landing of the latest iteration of Starship, dubbed SN15, for the first time. Previous tests of older prototypes all saw the spacecraft blow up at landing and had varying degrees of success.

    • By zikalify
      SpaceX's Starship performs successful soft landing for the first time [Update]
      by Paul Hill



      SpaceX has successfully landed its Starship craft that it plans to use to fly astronauts to the Moon later in the decade. The Starship SN15 which flew on this test is the first Starship craft to make a successful soft landing after descending from an altitude of 10 km. Previous tests all saw the various Starship iterations blow up at landing and had varying degrees of success.

      The launch today took off around 5:24 p.m. CDT (10:24 p.m. UTC) from Boca Chica in Texas. The main goal of the mission was to perform a successful soft landing which SpaceX did manage to pull off. With all that said, a fire did break out near the base of the ship and it was promptly doused with water before it eventually went out. SpaceX will definitely need to get this sorted out in future missions as fires can cause an explosion, as happened with Starship SN10 back in March.

      Following the landing of Starship, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to what is presumably his favourite social media site, Twitter, to report that Starship’s landing was nominal – in other words, everything went to plan.

      At the end of April, Reuters reported that the Federal Aviation Administration had authorised three launches of Starship – the one that just occurred, SN15; SN16; and SN17. It’s not clear yet when the next two launches are going to take off but we should see them in a relatively short time. We’ll be watching to see whether SpaceX truly has perfected the landing and whether it can stop fires from breaking out on the landing pad.

      Update: Elon Musk has said that SpaceX may try to re-fly Starship SN15, following its successful landing.



    • By zikalify
      TWIRL 11: SpaceX to launch 60 Starlink satellites and maybe Starship SN15
      by Paul Hill

      Background image via SpaceX We’ve got a pretty quiet week in terms of rocket launches this week. SpaceX will try to launch its Starlink 25 mission, we may see Virgin Galactic launch its VSS Unity rocketplane, and a Long March rocket will put three satellites into orbit to carry out possible SIGINT work. We may also see SpaceX launch its Starship SN15 this week as a launch was scrubbed on Friday.

      Tuesday, May 4
      On Tuesday, we’ve got just one launch from SpaceX who will be launching its Starlink 25 mission. This mission will send 60 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit where they’ll beam internet connectivity back down to the planet. The satellites will be taken into space atop SpaceX’s trusty Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket which has reliably sent hundreds of Starlink satellites to space. If you’d like to watch the launch, head over to SpaceX’s website at 7:01 p.m. UTC on Tuesday.



      Wednesday, May 5
      May 5 will be the first date that we could see the launch of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo-class VSS Unity. It’s really important to point out that this launch is marked as no earlier than which means the launch could take place after Wednesday. If the flight does go ahead, VSS Unity will launch from a VMS EVE carrier aircraft and fly to the edge of space. It will carry payloads as part of the NASA flight opportunities program that will generate revenue for Virgin Galactic.

      Friday, May 7
      The final flight of the week will launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China. A Long March CZ-2C rocket will launch three satellites that have been designated as Yaogan 30 Group 08. The satellites will perform electromagnetic detection and perform other technical tests but to what ends is unknown. It’s speculated that the satellites could be being used for signals intelligence work. No live stream will show this launch but post-launch videos could appear on YouTube afterwards.

      Starship SN15
      We could see SpaceX launch its Starship SN15 from Monday onwards following its flight last Friday that was scrubbed due to bad weather. SpaceX has still not performed a smooth landing of a Starship vehicle to date but NASA recently selected SpaceX’s Starship to land the next Americans on the Moon; this should motivate the firm to nail the landing process.

    • By zikalify
      TWIRL 9: SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon to take astronauts to ISS, NASA to try Mars Helicopter
      by Paul Hill

      Background image by NASA This week is panning out to be quite dramatic with NASA set to test its Mars Helicopter and SpaceX taking astronauts to the ISS on its Crew Dragon spacecraft. In addition to those events, SpaceX is also expected to launch the Starship SN-15 mission which will see the firm attempt to land the craft following NASA’s decision to pick Starship as the human landing system for its missions to the Moon from 2024.

      Monday, April 19
      There are no rocket launches listed for Monday, however, Elon Musk did put out a tweet explaining that SpaceX is aiming to launch Starship SN-15 this week, therefore, Monday is the earliest time we will see the launch. This is the first Starship launch since NASA chose the vehicle for its human landing system on the Artemis missions so SpaceX should have a bit more motivation to get the landing right this time around.

      While this series is called This Week in Rocket Launches, it’s probably worth mentioning that NASA is looking to fly the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter from Monday at 3:30 a.m. EDT (12:30 a.m. PDT). Data from the autonomous flight will take time to get back to Earth and a live stream is due to start at 6:15 a.m. EDT (3:15 a.m. PDT). If the flight takes place, NASA will hold a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) to apprise us of how the mission went.

      Tuesday, April 20
      There’s only one event set for Tuesday and that is ExPace’s planned launch of the Kuaizhou KZ-1A with the Jilin Gaofen 2D satellite (Jilin 28) aboard. We’ve spoken several times about this launch in older issues of TWIRL but briefly, this satellite will capture high-resolution full-colour images from 535 km and will work within the Jilin 1 constellation that’s already in orbit.

      Thursday, April 22
      Thursday will be one of the most interesting days of the week with SpaceX carrying out the Crew-2 Dragon mission which will carry NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide to the international space station. This Dragon capsule is named Endeavour after the Space Shuttle and was the first of the dragon capsules to carry a crew.

      Interestingly, the ISS only got new arrivals two weeks ago so when the four new astronauts arrive there will 11 people on-board which is the highest number that has ever been on the space station at once, though, it’s not the highest number of people that have been in space at one time. Luckily for those on board, four of the astronauts will be departing on the SpaceX Crew-1 on April 28 bringing the ISS crew size to 7.

      Sunday, April 25
      On Sunday there will be two missions. Roscosmos is looking to launch the Resurs-P 4 satellite from Baikonur atop a Soyuz 2.1b rocket and OneWeb will have 36 of its satellites put into orbit by a Starsem-owned Soyuz 2.1b rocket. The Resurs-P satellite will conduct Earth observation for Russian government agencies while the OneWeb satellites will make up a constellation providing internet for people on Earth and flying in planes.

    • By zikalify
      NASA chooses SpaceX to land next Americans on the Moon
      by Paul Hill



      NASA has awarded a $2.89 billion contract to SpaceX to continue developing a commercial human lander that will deliver the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface. Under current plans, the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft will take astronauts to Lunar orbit where two of the up to four crew members would transfer to SpaceX’s human lander.

      Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate, said:

      You’re probably already familiar with SpaceX’s human landing system, it’s the Starship which the firm has recently been smashing into the ground as it attempts to perfect the landing sequence. The latest Starship test is expected next week where it will hopefully achieve a landing with the newfound financial motivation from NASA.

      For those wondering whether the private sector can meet the rigorous NASA requirements, the space agency has confirmed that SpaceX has been working closely with NASA experts to ensure the lander design meets NASA’s performance requirements and human spaceflight standards. The standards range from engineering, safety, health, and medical technical areas.

      The first mission to the Moon's surface by NASA is its Artemis 3 mission which is expected in 2024 but it could still be delayed. Artemis 3 will be preceded by Artemis 1 expected in November 2021 and Artemis 2 planned for August 2023. Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed lunar orbital test flight while Artemis 2 will send a crewed mission to lunar orbit.

      NASA has big plans for the Moon in this decade. It wants to carry out several lunar surface missions and build a space station in orbit around the Moon for easier access to the lunar surface.