Space Flight Updates - Holy Shyt

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ThreatMatrix, May 23, 2020.

  1. ThreatMatrix

    ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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    Launch next week at the earliest I'd say.

    Previously on Texas Tank Watchers:
    SN8 - attempted landing via "autogenous pressurization" and by lighting two engines then landing on one. But it went boom because the pressurization failed.
    SN9 - They switched to helium pressurization but rocket went boom when one of the engines failed to light on descent.
    SN10 - They decided to light all three engines for redundancy and then turn off the other two. However the single engine did not provide as much thrust as was needed thus a hard touchdown.
    SN11 - they once again will light all three but this time keep two running all the way to the ground.

    The raptor engines can not easily be throttled down low so they run the risk of having too much thrust resulting in the rocket going back up. So Starship lands by doing a suicide slam as opposed to hovering. Hovering uses up a lot of fuel which they try to avoid.
    Interestingly SuperHeavy will hover when landing, it will need to if it is being caught.

    The further along they get the more complicated it is. And probably why no one who knows better has tried it.
     
    • deuce

      deuce Mentally Challenged
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      Good Static Fire today...... Might do a Flight tomorrow... SN11 might go all the way!

      First Booster is fully stacked in High Bay... it's massive, don't see how they are going to transport that Beast.
       
      • deuce

        deuce Mentally Challenged
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        Artist idea of Booster and Star Ship

        booster.png
         
        • ThreatMatrix

          ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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          I think they are shooting for tomorrow. Gonna be last flight for a bit. After that they will roll out the first booster BN1 and do pressure and maybe static fire tests- no launch.
          Then SN15?
           
          • Back Alley Gator

            Back Alley Gator Well-Known Member
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            Any indications of when SN11 may fly? Really wanna see if they can nail the landing this time.
             
          • ThreatMatrix

            ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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            Looks like they are giving it a go today.
            They had a static fire this morning at they are going to attempt a flight this afternoon.
             
            #246 ThreatMatrix, Mar 26, 2021
            Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
            • ThreatMatrix

              ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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              They launched SN11 in the fog this AM. And it went boom in the worst way - the way that we can't see.
              Elon tweeted that "something" happened after engine relight while landing. Speculation is that they activated the FTS system just before TD. There appeared to be a much larger than usual debris field.
               
              • Gatordiddy

                Gatordiddy Engorged Member
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                that's not good... ouch
                 
              • ThreatMatrix

                ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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                They previously stated that they would start booster testing after SN11. However Elon tweeted that SN15 will be rolled out in a few days.

                Interesting side note. Firstly Elon said they were going to try for suborbital in July. He must have meant July 2022. LOL

                Also the down select for HLS happens next month. If you don't know NASA selected three vendors last year to do preliminary work. And then that was suppose to be pruned down to two in Feb but they extended it to April. Of the three vendors (SpaceX, BO, Dynetics) the SpaceX proposal has always been considered by NASA the most risky. SpaceX would have been well served to demonstrate a landing prior to that down select. There is some concern that due to budget constraints they will only down select to one.
                In review:

                1) Blue Origin National Team: By far the worst option. BO uses an Apollo style Lunar Lander.
                It has three parts;
                a) The Transfer Element - The TE just gets the HLS in the proper orbit to land and then it is thrown away.
                b) The Descent Element - Exactly like Apollo the DE has the engines and landing gear. It is also thrown away.
                c) The Ascent Element - Again exactly like Apollo it is the living quarters and ride back to lunar orbit.

                The BO HLS is a six decade old concept. It's the least reusable. It provides no new capabilities. Also the ladder to get in and out is three times as tall as the Apollo Lunar Lander making for troublesome ingress/egress. However it is led by the team with the most powerful lobbyists. It's a shoe-in to be selected. Undoubtedly it will be the most expensive solution.​

                2) Dynetics: Hands down the best solution. Their HLS system "The Alpaca" is innovative, reusable and versatile.
                • The crew compartment is slung under the landing bed. Among other things that makes ingress/egress very easy. Also because of the configuration they can land different modules and leave them on the surface. They can sling whatever they want under the lander; habitats, labs, ISRU's supply containers, rovers, etc. (up to 15 tons).
                • The lander only discards fuel tanks and the rest is reusable.
                • Unlike Apollo ( and BO?) it will have an airlock.
                • Reusability: Because it only loses it's drop tanks it can be refitted for landing with only one additional launch. BO would require at least two much heavier payloads.

                3) SpaceX: SpaceX plans to modify a Starship for Lunar operation. Many hurdles to overcome.
                • Of course they are still in rocket development.
                • They have to master orbital refueling which has never been done before.
                • They have to demonstrate landing on unprepared ground and as such can't use the Raptor engines under the skirt.
                • They have to use an elevator to get astronauts and cargo to the surface.
                Lots of challenges. It does have the ability to deliver 100 tons to the surface though which is 7x what anyone else can do. Even if NASA does not select SpaceX it would behoove them to continue development. If they are able to deliver 100 tons to the Lunar Surface they will not lack for customers.​

                All options have a similar problem and that is refueling. Long term it is hoped that they can make hydrogen from Lunar ice. However Starship uses methane so they have a problem right there. Hydrogen is a difficult fuel to use for space travel. It boils off fast and has to be kept at cryogenic temperatures. Plus being a very small atom it leaks through everything. SpaceX has been given a contract by NASA to demonstrate hydrogen fuel transfer for use by anybody.
                 
                #249 ThreatMatrix, Mar 30, 2021
                Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
              • ThreatMatrix

                ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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                BTW. "Hoppy" the first Starship prototype to fly has taken up permanent residence at the Launch pad. It has been used as shade for workers during lunch. It has been lit up with multicolor LED's. And it generally just sits around and watches the launches and landings. It holds a special place in the hearts of the "Texas Tank Watchers". It even has it's own twitter where it comments on the coming and goings of it's brethrens. Good for a laugh.
                 
              • Turk182

                Turk182 Go to guy!

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                On a bright note, the FTS seemed to work really well!
                 
                • ThreatMatrix

                  ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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                  For what it's worth SN15 is sitting on the launch stand. Supposedly it has 100's of upgrades including redesigned Raptors. It looks like they did an ambient air pressure test today. They will need to do a cryo test with LN and test the thrust puck.
                  Then remove the trust puck ram.
                  Install Raptors.
                  Static Fire (maybe a couple of different static fires).
                  Launch
                  Land?

                  No clue if the new raptors solve any of the problems they've been having though Elon seems to think so. The Raptors appear to be more stream lined and missing equipment they may have needed for initial testing. Also there is the whole autogenous pressurization thing. No clue if they've gone back to that. We do know that most (all) of it is constructed from the new 4mm alloy. However in the next lot they should be going to 3mm.
                  They tend not to do any explosive tests over the weekend. So figure a day for cryo (Monday). A day to install (Tuesday). I think the fastest they've performed SF after Raptor install is 3 days (Friday). Then the following week they will probably start teasing with road closures for launch but they always lose a couple of days due to weather. So check back in two weeks.

                  Elon must smoke a ton of dope. Lately he's been tweeting about catching the Starship in a net.
                   
                • deuce

                  deuce Mentally Challenged
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                  Elon is pushing too hard.......

                  It will wear him down..... if Bernie doesn't get him first...

                  I like the vertical landing but unloading a vertical ship is slow and hazardous.
                   
                • ThreatMatrix

                  ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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                  #254 ThreatMatrix, Apr 16, 2021 at 6:41 PM
                  Last edited: Apr 16, 2021 at 7:47 PM
                  • deuce

                    deuce Mentally Challenged
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                    I'm shocked by the display of common sense!
                     
                    • ThreatMatrix

                      ThreatMatrix I use to be annoyed, now I'm just amused
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                      Bottom line: NASA couldn't afford any of the bids due to budget cuts. But SpaceX said "no prob, fam, pays us whenever" so SpaceX was NASAs only choice.
                       

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