SpaceX Super Heavy and Starship updates


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Unobscured Vision

Start to finish I'm interested in how they're putting it together and making it work. Complexity level isn't three times what it was -- it's nine on the Booster alone (3^2). Now get the Starship onto it and it rises another order of magnitude to twenty-seven.

 

And that's just for this vehicle.

 

Chances of getting this one back on the first flight? ~30%. Expect bad things to happen, hope for the best. We can bet Elon and the SpaceX brains are simulating this one endlessly to improve the odds. That flight software is gonna be bleeding edge, even by SpaceX standards (which is already bleeding edge but "stable" by comparison). :yes:

 

What I think will happen (if it goes badly) is we'll see the software over-correct on a maneuver and we get out of balance on the way down. Think of the first Falcon 9 attempts in landing on the ASDS. It'll overcorrect and throw the mass out of balance, then the inertia will be on the x-y axis (like those first F9 attempts).

 

~30% that it lands where it's supposed to, another ~10% beyond the 30% that it's off-course and that'll be cause to ditch into the Gulf and/or unzip the tanks and destroy it. I'd like for that to not happen, obviously.

 

My thoughts only and I'm pretty sure it's overblown.

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DocM

I'm giving it even odds because of Lars Blackmore's involvement. That one's a bloody wizard.

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DocM

Getting Mk1's cargo module ready to hit the road. Once it's at the pad for stacking they can start on Mk3.

 

 

Edited by DocM
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DocM

1) 

 

2) cargo module fin installation (time lapse)

 

 

 

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DocM

I'd pay good money to see this ballet...

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Oooooohhh ... :yes: 🚀

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DocM

For those unfamiliar with the McDonnell-Douglas DC-X* this is Flight #8, which is when it performed a "Swan Dive" maneuver much like what Starship will do.

 

DC-X inspired much of the reusability work today at both SpaceX and Blue Origin.

 

* Delta Clipper eXperimental

 

July 7, 1995 at the White Sands Missile Range, NM.

 

 

Black_Day_White_Sands_MAIN_AUG2010.jpg

 

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DocM

Installing fin #2 on the propulsion module (time lapse)

 

 

 

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DocM

As noted in the NASA CLPS program commercial lunar landers thread, Starship was selected.

 

High resolution image of the new Cargo Starship.

 

1574115504515.thumb.jpg.d3ce659cd0eefadf22208b6a1ea6cf06.jpg

 

Crop/zoom

1383788070_CargoStarshipzoom2048.thumb.jpg.47c2d0e39a749140c5b8371162e9c64e.jpg

 

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DocM

Oopsie!!

 

Mk1 popped its top during pressurization tests. Looked like a weld unzipped. Musk says they're moving on to Mk3.

 

When he says "quite different" one example seen on Mk2 is the upper dome was built an entirely different way.

 

 

1702958959_Mk1StarshipNov20pressurefailure2.thumb.jpg.ec26fa374ea39345b50813dd636f5c26.jpg

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Beittil

Bummer. But makes sense to scrap this thing and move on, if the original contruction pops like this you can bet any patch jobs are going to have a hard time doing better. 

 

Hopefully items like the wings and landing gear can be transferred to Mk3. 

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DocM

More - they were moving to Mk3 (single piece rings etc) for flight birds before this.

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Yep ... this happens. It's what testing is about and even Elon and Gwen have said in the past that if they don't break something they aren't doing it right.

 

All is well. :yes: 

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DocM

Clearly, Mk3 and Mk4 get the most attention going forward because their single-piece rings will be more durable & flight worthy. Scavange Mk1.

 

I expect Mk2 will be like the dress-makers dummy.

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DocM

Confirmation the new Boca Chica launch construction is a Starship Superheavy launch pad.

 

 

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DocM

Cocoa FL.

 

Vehicle construction is being transferred to the new SpaceX Operations Area at the Kennedy Space Center. Starship Mk2 should be moved there shortly. Smaller fabrication jobs may remain at Cocoa. 

 

Boca Chica

 

The full Super Heavy / Starship pad is under construction. 

 

SpaceX has already begun ring segment production for Starship Mk3 using a new system; an IMCAR Spa fabrication & welding machine.

 

LabPadre stream

post-10859-0-51417200-1574722906.jpg

 

 

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DocM

SpaceX Operations Area, south of VAB.

 

 

 

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DocM

Moving built parts & jigs to Texas in order to speed up Mk3 could make sense...

 

 

 

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DocM

LC-39A Starship pad...

 

 

IMG_20191201_204446.thumb.jpg.3d94285a45a9a17d716be16c9bd6605e.jpg

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DocM

Sounds like assembly may happen in the Iron Henge (wind break)

 

 

 

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DocM

Fan-art, but a nice size comparison.

 

 

 

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