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Thread: SpaceX

  1. #1561
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    As far as I understood, they are still developing the system and up to now often used outdated configs for that, so for the time being the answer is "all of them". Of course, they will ultimately have to have a working system to have the low launch costs, but looking at their success rate at this moment, they're basically there already.

    It's also not like they intend to use a booster hundreds of times, so the loss of a booster "only" has a cost impact of maximum something like the next 10 launches. When the system is declared fully operation, I'm sure they'll have their margin such that the occasional loss is covered.

    As for reputation: the vast majority of the booster landings these days are a success. Their competitors, oh wait, their competitors can't do that landing trick. Yeah, I think their reputation is quite alright. Besides, clients do not really care what happens to the booster on landing, as long as it performs on launch.

  2. #1562
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    Elon Musk hints of some changes in SpaceX's BFR as well as a paying passenger for a trip around the moon.

    https://www.space.com/41825-spacex-g...esign-art.html

    SpaceX's giant Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) has a sleek new look for an audacious private passenger flight around the moon. If an early rendering is anything to go by, the BFR is going to have some wild fins.
    Late last night (Sept. 13), SpaceX announced that it has signed a deal to launch a private passenger flight around the moon with its new BFR megarocket sometime in the future. Details are scant — SpaceX will unveil more on Monday (Sept. 17) during a live webcast — but the private spaceflight company did unveil a new artist's concept of a BFR passenger rocket around the moon.
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  3. #1563
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    Re: the updated BFR Spaceship

    It now has 3 fins with extendable landing legs at their outer ends. The lower two appear to be hinged, capable of assuming a high dihedral position. Presumably this would be during re-entry. Think: Dream Chaser.

    Front canards, also appearing to have hinges for assuming a dihedral position.

    The big panoramic window from IAC 2016 returns.

    7 passenger decks rather than 5.

    The cargo door is now rotated to a more starboard position rather than being on the top.

    Still 7 engines, but now in a Hexaweb (1 center, 6 peripheral). They all seem to be of the same expansion ratio, and they're surrounded by a ring of (movable?) petals which are a source of much speculation. Altitude compensating uni-nozzle? We may know Monday.

    Definitely an upgraded bird.

    2 versions attached: as published and gamma boosted

    BFS_2018_2048-crop.jpg

    BFS_2018_2048-crop_gamma.jpg
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2018-Sep-15 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #1564
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    Scott Manley did a lot of analysis on these renders, but how much can we really read it to artist renderings?

  5. #1565
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Scott Manley did a lot of analysis on these renders, but how much can we really read it to artist renderings?
    A reasonable amount, since like previous images, they're based off of CAD drawings. The dimensions are all consistent with known values for the BFR and Raptor:
    https://i.imgur.com/ZMzfllf.png

  6. #1566
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    Zoom/crop of the nose; panorama window, canard, rotated cargo door (puts it between the fins when landed), 7 habitat decks.

    This thing's a beast.

    BFS_2018-nose+canard-crop-800.jpg
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2018-Sep-16 at 04:16 AM.

  7. #1567
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Zoom/crop of the nose; panorama window, canard, rotated cargo door (puts it between the fins when landed), 7 habitat decks.

    This thing's a beast.
    The window arrangement is similar to that of the original ITS, as is the trilateral fin/leg arrangement. The basic structure and dimensions are not greatly changed though.

    It's actually a downgrade, the engines all appear to be sea-level engines. All else being equal, this would drop payload from 150 t to 125 t. However, this means they only have one engine to develop for both the booster and spaceship, only one engine to integrate into the spaceship, etc. That could plausibly get them to Mars a whole synod sooner, not to mention launching paying payloads to orbit a couple years earlier.

  8. #1568
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    Confirmation of 2 movable fins, tripod landings

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/...600204294?s=19

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Design has been changed so the <ship> lands on legs that extend from the tips of the three fins, two of which actuate (mostly for pitch control)
    8:23 PM - Sep 16, 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    The window arrangement is similar to that of the original ITS, as is the trilateral fin/leg arrangement. The basic structure and dimensions are not greatly changed though.

    It's actually a downgrade, the engines all appear to be sea-level engines. All else being equal, this would drop payload from 150 t to 125 t. However, this means they only have one engine to develop for both the booster and spaceship, only one engine to integrate into the spaceship, etc. That could plausibly get them to Mars a whole synod sooner, not to mention launching paying payloads to orbit a couple years earlier.
    I wonder if those flaps around the base are to improve vacuum performance of the engines?
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  11. #1571
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I wonder if those flaps around the base are to improve vacuum performance of the engines?
    I have heard that speculation. I've also heard (Scott Manley for one) argue against it. I think the answer is we don't know, until SpaceX explains more.
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  12. #1572
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    Those renderings are almost Bonestellesque!

  13. #1573
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Those renderings are almost Bonestellesque!
    Probably the reason I was incredulous at first about treating them as carrying authoritative engineering detail.

    TV Tropes would call it Reality is Unrealistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I wonder if those flaps around the base are to improve vacuum performance of the engines?
    I don't see them being of any use in that position, and if they deploy outward in vacuum...why haven't they deployed in the first image shown?

    They're odd though. There's no obvious reason to have such segmentation for debris protection or thermal management, and they seem to enclose a significant volume. I've been wondering if they might be aft cargo holds, for relatively small amounts of cargo that can easily be deployed onto the surface, perhaps without human intervention.

  15. #1575
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    I've been wondering if they might be aft cargo holds, for relatively small amounts of cargo that can easily be deployed onto the surface, perhaps without human intervention.
    88 m^3 of aft cargo holds. That was just a good guess, couldn't think of what else they'd be sticking there.

    300 bar engines. Previous latest information was that the initial versions would have 250 bar chamber pressure, increasing to 300 bar at some point in the future. Sounds like engine development is going well. Musk mentioned a possible future version 2 with vacuum engines, improving payload mass at the cost of some of the cargo compartments.

    Substantial increase in pressurized volume (1000+ m^3, more than the ISS), and lower payload (100+ t instead of 125 t) than the engines would seem to account for. Perhaps they decided to trade mass for volume.

  16. #1576
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    Those cargo bins were a surprise, but they're also very sensible.

    Press. Volume: 825 m3 --> 1,100 m3

    Stack: 106 m --> 118 m

    BFS: 48 m --> 55 m

    2 landing legs which act as aerosurfaces

    Canards

    2-4 engines out (?!?)

    Tank barrel section made, domes and engine bay coming.

    Shotwell said production Raptor parts are being made.

    They're off to a helluva start.
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2018-Sep-18 at 05:07 AM.

  17. #1577
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    Just watched the Dragon 9 cargo mission launch. Launch seemed to go fine, but for some reason the first stage didn't return to land as planned, but "landed" in the water. Don't know why.
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  18. #1578
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    From Musk's Twitter:

    "Grid fin hydraulic pump stalled, so Falcon landed just out to sea. Appears to be undamaged & is transmitting data. Recovery ship dispatched."

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    At least they know what problem to address. I wonder what caused the pump to stall?

  20. #1580
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    If I recall correctly, the hydraulic system ran out of fluid once before.

    I have no idea if that’s what happened here. I assume they enlarged the reservoir after the last incident.


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  21. #1581
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    If I recall correctly, the hydraulic system ran out of fluid once before.

    I have no idea if that’s what happened here. I assume they enlarged the reservoir after the last incident.
    They added the pump that just failed, turning it into a closed-circuit system.

    Once-through systems are simple and light if the operational period is short, but vulnerable to running out of fluid. Add enough fluid, and it becomes more mass-efficient to just use a pump and return the fluid to the reservoir, but a pump's more failure prone than a helium tank and regulator valve. Sounds like they're considering redundant pumps.

  22. #1582
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    They added the pump that just failed, turning it into a closed-circuit system.

    Once-through systems are simple and light if the operational period is short, but vulnerable to running out of fluid. Add enough fluid, and it becomes more mass-efficient to just use a pump and return the fluid to the reservoir, but a pump's more failure prone than a helium tank and regulator valve. Sounds like they're considering redundant pumps.
    And the rocket having landed intact means that they should be able to get a look at the pump and figure out what went wrong with it which will make fixing the problem a lot easier

  23. #1583
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    I’m very interested to hear more about the condition of this booster and if any of it is salvaged for further use. Rather than a negative I think this mishap is rather impressive. It demonstrates some resiliency in a complex system in circumstances in which graceful, or survivable, failure modes are hard to achieve. Heck, if people had been on board they would have been fine.

  24. #1584
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    spaceflightnow.com

    Interesting article detailing the failure and some of the safety measures that prevent a failed landing from endangering anyone.

    It was SpaceX’s sixth outright landing failure and the first since June 2016, ending a string of 27 successful recoveries. The company’s overall record stands at 32 successful recoveries: 11 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, one at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and 20 on off-shore droneships.

    ...

    But the landing system is designed with the safety of personnel and ground facilities in mind. The rocket’s guidance system initially targets an off-shore “impact point” and only moves the target on shore to the landing pad during a final rocket firing and only after verifying all systems are operating properly.

    During Wednesday’s landing, the flight computer recognized the grid fin problem and never moved the impact point ashore during the final engine firing.

    “The important point here is we have a safety function on board that makes sure the vehicle does not go on land until everything is OK, and that worked perfectly,” Hans Koenisgman, SpacerX vice president of build and flight reliability, told reporters. “The vehicle kept well away from anything where it could pose even the slightest risk to population or property.

    “Public safety was well protected here,” he added. “As much as we are disappointed in this landing, or landing in the water, it shows the system overall knows how to recover from certain malfunctions.”
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  25. #1585
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    Musk looks to be going METAL now--for BFR/Starship, etc.

  26. #1586
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
    I’m very interested to hear more about the condition of this booster and if any of it is salvaged for further use. Rather than a negative I think this mishap is rather impressive. It demonstrates some resiliency in a complex system in circumstances in which graceful, or survivable, failure modes are hard to achieve. Heck, if people had been on board they would have been fine.
    Yeah, when anything of significance goes wrong with a launch vehicle, the typical result is a debris field. Total failure of one component of the maneuvering system in a manner that actively interfered with the others, and it still managed a soft landing. It's surreal seeing such a badly stricken vehicle just set itself down in the water like that. (And then become the first rocket to visit Blue Origin's pads as it drifted around afterward...)

  27. #1587
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrell View Post
    I’m very interested to hear more about the condition of this booster and if any of it is salvaged for further use. Rather than a negative I think this mishap is rather impressive. It demonstrates some resiliency in a complex system in circumstances in which graceful, or survivable, failure modes are hard to achieve. Heck, if people had been on board they would have been fine.
    Some interesting observations from Scott Manley
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH1nyPIvLjI

  28. #1588
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    Thank you bknight, some interesting info in that video clip.

  29. #1589
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    Musk TweetStorms of the last few days, lots of new info....

    First reply out of order for obvious reasons

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    I will do a full technical presentation of Starship after the test vehicle we're building in Texas flies, so hopefully March/April
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    This test hopper is at full body diameter of 9m / 30 ft, just not full height. Super Heavy will be full height & diameter.

    Now, the rest...

    Everyday Astronaut @Erdayastronaut
    Replying to @JeromeJaccard and 3 others
    Stainless steel balloon tanks. Heavy metal. Calling it now. Welcome Atlas back Atlas B.
    |
    Elon Musk✔ @elonmusk
    Stainless steel is correct, but different mixture of alloys & new architecture. Unlike Atlas, Starship is buckling stable on launchpad even when unpressurized.
    4:47 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Everyday Astronaut
    @Erdayastronaut
    Replying to @NASASpaceflight and 4 others
    Heres a direct video for those too lazy to click. This is why the Unlike Atlas, Starship is bucking stabile even when unpressurized is a key element
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yup. Actually, the only significant design element in common with early Atlas is stainless steel & were using a different alloy mix. I super ♥ 300 Series Stainless!
    5:38 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Martin { God of Mars }
    @martinengwich
    Replying to @elonmusk and 5 others
    Who makes that Alloy? SpaceX or supplier?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    For sheet/plate, at supplier made to our spec. For cast, in our Hawthorne foundry.
    5:44 PM - Dec 22, 2018

    SpaceX has their own foundry?!?

    Just A. Tinker
    @John_Gardi
    Replying to @elonmusk and 6 others
    Cast ribbing?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Coldformed at cryo
    5:56 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Tom @_Synders
    Replying to @elonmusk and 7 others
    Launching Starlink from Starship?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Starlink V1 on Falcon, V2+ on Starship. Basically, all future products will contain either the word star or link ��
    6:03 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Chris B - NSF @NASASpaceflight
    Replying to @elonmusk and 7 others
    While we have you, Elon.... How well is Raptor performing during test stand firings at McGregor? On track to support your Super Heavy/Starship schedule?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yes. Radically redesigned Raptor ready to fire next month.
    6:13 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Everyday Astronaut @Erdayastronaut
    Replying to @elonmusk and 7 others
    Still full flow closed cycle? Dont tell me youre going beyond 300 bar ��
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yes, full flow, gas-gas, staged combustion. Will take us time to work up to 300 bar. That is a mad level.
    6:18 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Everyday Astronaut @Erdayastronaut
    Replying to @elonmusk and 7 others
    That is mad level. But can we all agree that the RD-170 has been a little too comfortable at #1 for too long at 265 bar �� heres hoping for 300 ��
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Its embarrassing that Boeing/Lockheed need to use a Russian engine on Atlas, but that engine design is brilliant
    6:24 PM - Dec 22, 2018
    |
    Luca Garbarini
    @ludan27
    · 1h
    Replying to @Erdayastronaut and 4 others
    Will this new structure hold the SSTO ability ? ��
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yes, but single stage to orbit with no payload is pointless. Add Super Heavy rocket booster & orbital payload is gigantic. Only need booster on Earth, due to deep gravity well & thick atmosphere. Starship alone on moons & Mars.
    6:00 PM - Dec 22, 2018

    ======

    @TheMuddySchmuck
    What is being made in San Pedro now? Will you return to manufacturing in San Pedro after the initial prototype or do you think Texas manufacturing is the way to go?
    |
    @elonmusk
    Were building subsections of the Starship Mk I orbital design there

    ======

    John Kraus @johnkrausphotos
    Replying to @elonmusk and 5 others
    Wait... March/April 2019!? This is much sooner than expected, yes!?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yes
    5:42 PM - Dec 22, 2018

    ======

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Replying to @Robotbeat and 9 others
    SpaceX metallurgy team developed SX500 superalloy for 12000 psi, hot oxygen-rich gas. It was hard. Almost any metal turns into a flare in those conditions.
    |
    Our superalloy foundry is now almost fully operational. This allows rapid iteration on Raptor.
    10:49 PM - Dec 22, 2018

    ======

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Usable strength/weight of full hard stainless at cryo is slightly better than carbon fiber, room temp is worse, high temp is vastly better
    2:59 AM - Dec 24, 2018
    |
    Alex Tutt @Sloppy93
    Replying to @elonmusk
    How many raptors will be used on the hopper?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    3
    3:03 AM - Dec 24, 2018
    |
    grafikhure® @grafikhure_de
    Replying to @elonmusk @StevenHardison
    Will starship be painted or do we get this nice Metal Look?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Skin will get too hot for paint. Stainless mirror finish. Maximum relfectivity.
    3:13 AM - Dec 24, 2018
    |
    Sal @rokosslav
    Replying to @elonmusk and 2 others
    Would it require less great shielding because of the stainless steel?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Much less
    3:16 AM - Dec 24, 2018

    ======

    @everydayastronaut
    That was a good article. Based on the past few days, I cant help but think there wont be an ablative coating on Starship, which would be wild! All shine
    |
    @elonmusk
    Leeward side needs nothing, windward side will be activity cooled with residual (cryo) liquid methane, so will appear liquid silver even on hot side

    ======

    Eric Ralph @13ericralph31
    Replying to @elonmusk and 2 others
    How about the chances that Starship reaches orbit in 2020?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Probability at 60% & rising rapidly due to new architecture
    1:46 AM - Dec 27, 2018
    |
    K10 @Kristennetten
    Replying to @elonmusk and 3 others
    Any chance of new superior alloys? (Exciting)
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Yes
    |
    Walter MacVane @EcoHeliGuy
    Replying to @elonmusk and 4 others
    What was the trigger for the latest redesign?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Time. Although it also turned out to be dramatically better.
    2:07 AM - Dec 27, 2018
    |
    Sean Bragg @SeanABragg
    Replying to @elonmusk and 5 others
    How did switching the design so late lead to a quicker production?
    |
    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    I will provide a detailed explanation in March/April
    2:14 AM - Dec 27, 2018

    Whew....

    Very boilerplate Hopper vehicle with rigid legs being assembled in the open near the Boca Chica control center area, which according to FCC filings will fly to 5 km. Starship Mk-1 will fly higher. HUGE cranes moving in, loads of construction going on near the pad.

    IMG_20181223_115956.jpg
    IMG_20181222_161716.jpg
    IMG_20181227_194415.jpg
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2018-Dec-28 at 06:15 PM.

  30. #1590
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    Thanks docmordrid. I don't usually look at Twitter. Interesting stuff.
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