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Thread: SpaceX

  1. #4861
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    Pad was cleared, but some workers returned and now the flaps go flap.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  2. #4862
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    Either it's some kind of TikTok challenge pose, or SN15 has an issue as one of its lower flaps is not pointing the same direction as the others.

    However, as we speak they are clearing the pad even though SN15 remains in this traffic officer stance.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  3. #4863
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    If one flap is stuck sideways, you solve the problem by making the other three point sideways as well. They appear to continue working towards a launch attempt.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  4. #4864
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    Likely less than 40 minutes till launch.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  5. #4865
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    SpaceX livestream starts in 27 minutes...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9eoubnO-pE
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2021-May-05 at 10:19 PM.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  6. #4866
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    Fuelling

    Git yer popcorn ready

  7. #4867
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  8. #4868
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    What a starlink launch AND test flight (maybe) on the same day?
    Nope, Starlink was yesterday. Unluess they're doing two in a row.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #4869
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    SpaceX feed just went live at about T-6:00
    Also have NSF on!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #4870
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    On her feet!
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  11. #4871
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    It’s alive ... so far!

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  12. #4872
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    Fire at the base though, but very soft vertical landing, feet correctly folded out.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  13. #4873
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    It seems to have landed VERY close to the edge of the concrete landing pad, but still on it.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  14. #4874
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    Hot! Damn!!

  15. #4875
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    Fire’s out, still a little concerned, but it looks like this is probably the first really successful landing. A big, big step.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  16. #4876
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    Fire appears to be out! Hang in there, 15!
    BTW, apparently (according to the SpaceX feed), S/N 15 doesn't mean "Serial Number 15" or "Starship Number 15", but "Suborbital Number 15".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #4877
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    Great achievement.

    Flight and landing was ‘nominal’!

    I won’t be buying the t shirt though...

  18. #4878
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    According to Elon. To me, "nominal" would have included landing in the center of the pad and not being on fire for fifteen minutes.
    A couple of feet further and it would have had a leg off and fallen over. KaBoom!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #4879
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    Congratulations to SpaceX.

  20. #4880
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    According to Elon. To me, "nominal" would have included landing in the center of the pad and not being on fire for fifteen minutes.
    That’s for the next flight. I really was starting to wonder if there was a fundamental problem that would require a serious redesign, so this makes me happy. It looks like the venting has decreased in intensity and I expect it is reasonably safe now.

    BTW, for some reason, I thought of the song “I’m still standing” and when I went back to look at it again, I thought “The Starship was still there.”

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  21. #4881
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    To me it looks like the fire is at the quick disconnect. Now that they have one not-disassembled they can figure it out.

  22. #4882
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    https://www.spacex.com/vehicles/starship/

    On Wednesday, May 5, Starship serial number 15 (SN15) successfully completed SpaceX’s fifth high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype from Starbase in Texas.

    Similar to previous high-altitude flight tests of Starship, SN15 was powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee – approximately 10 km in altitude. SN15 performed a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent.

    The Starship prototype descended under active aerodynamic control, accomplished by independent movement of two forward and two aft flaps on the vehicle. All four flaps were actuated by an onboard flight computer to control Starship’s attitude during flight and enabled precise landing at the intended location. SN15’s Raptor engines reignited as the vehicle performed the landing flip maneuver immediately before touching down for a nominal landing on the pad.

    These test flights of Starship are all about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights, and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.

    Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team on SN15’s successful flight and landing!

  23. #4883
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    According to Elon. To me, "nominal" would have included landing in the center of the pad and not being on fire for fifteen minutes.
    That would be norrrrminal. Anyway, from this point on it's a matter of finetuning the control logic (ref Falcon 9 landing development) and understanding the fire issue. Onwards to orbital!

    By the way, those HLS complaints from the competition, they're now so thin you can see straight through them...
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  24. #4884
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    By the way, those HLS complaints from the competition, they're now so thin you can see straight through them...
    Yes, I thought of that - that had to hurt their arguments. Heh.

    Of course, they have a lot more work to do with Starship and they need to start testing Super Heavy, but they still have done a lot more than the other guys.

    Say, have they come up with a name for the combined rocket? It’s a bit awkward talking about them separately.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  25. #4885
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    The following post from Selvaarchi in another thread reveals some issues about the SpaceX business model (compared to Blue Origin).

    Government cash is king for private spaceflight

    The following quote makes some fairly obvious but still interesting points.

    The intrigue: While they're competing for government contracts, Blue Origin and SpaceX actually have very different ways of supporting their dreams of building a city on Mars (SpaceX) or millions of people living and working in space (Blue Origin).

    SpaceX Starlink satellites may help bring in revenue that could help fund its bigger plans, while Blue Origin has started with consumer-facing suborbital spaceflight.
    The key is to identify drivers of demand for space activity. I wrote a post on drivers of demand to 2030 in The Emerging Space Economy thread recently.

    Basically it seems that Space X are being more successful in winning government contracts and have also chosen wisely by focusing on demand in the established satellite sector. Blue Origin have focused on a more pioneering market for space adventure tourism with short sub-orbital flights. This is an exciting new market with future potential. But it is much less established and so a more risky way of supplementing government contracts.

    It underlines the importance of government agencies like NASA focusing their spending on helping kick start sectors with commercial long-term demand potential.

    In the very long run though, there is huge uncertainty. But I wonder if focusing on space stations in Earth-Moon space with closer linkages to earth based economies will not have more long term commercial potential than focusing on establishing a big, though much less Earth connected, colony on Mars. The obvious SpaceX response to this is to diversify and maintain a long-term interest in both.

    ...I just sense that Elon Musk seems rather fixated on Mars at the moment.

  26. #4886
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    Basically it seems that Space X are being more successful in winning government contracts and have also chosen wisely by focusing on demand in the established satellite sector. Blue Origin have focused on a more pioneering market for space adventure tourism with short sub-orbital flights. This is an exciting new market with future potential. But it is much less established and so a more risky way of supplementing government contracts.
    I don’t see how Karman line hops could bring in big money. I thought New Shepard was mostly built so Blue Origin could get its feet wet designing and building a rocket and capsule, with any profit being a nice bonus. I just don’t see that many people paying to do it since you have to have the money and interest. I see it actually being bigger with government and business that want a few minutes of microgravity for experiments, but that would still be a fairly small market.

    Blue Origin has a better chance of making money with their own space internet network.

    In the very long run though, there is huge uncertainty. But I wonder if focusing on space stations in Earth-Moon space with closer linkages to earth based economies will not have more long term commercial potential than focusing on establishing a big, though much less Earth connected, colony on Mars. The obvious SpaceX response to this is to diversify and maintain a long-term interest in both.

    ...I just sense that Elon Musk seems rather fixated on Mars at the moment.
    Oh, if Starship is successful space stations and many other things will happen. Musk is claiming about $5,000,000 to orbit for the rocket. That’s probably optimistic, but with 100 passengers (a number they have talked about for longer flights) that would be $50,000 per passenger. Add profit, and you’re still talking a lower price than what they will be asking per passenger for New Shepard hops. At that price, serious and big space stations will be built. The real space age will begin. Reusability has always been a necessity to get it going.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  27. #4887
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    Also, the focus on Mars is the whole reason SpaceX was ever founded. That said, SpaceX has launched 13 Falcon 9's already this year already -more than any country!- on a whole range of missions. So I don't think they're overly focusing on Mars. Especially since Starship is not exclusively a Mars rocket, or even a space rocket.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  28. #4888
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    I really don't understand how anyone could seriously argue that SpaceX's business model has issues compared to Blue Origin. SpaceX has actually provided services for paying customers and earned income in addition to their NASA contracts. Not a little, but a lot.

    SpaceX is launching communications satellites (which they've designed and built themselves) 60 at a time, hundreds already up, for a system that is likely to earn them billions of dollars per year once it is complete and fully on line. It's already working in limited test and beta programs and the hardware and concept are pretty well validated already. That communications providers can make a lot of money has long been proven and while it still remains to be seen if SpaceX can get enough market share to pay the bills it is certainly probable that they can make good money.

    Blue Origin has not achieved any of those things. Blue Origin has not yet had a single orbital launch. They've not even revealed a prototype orbital booster, except in renderings. I keep hearing how Blue Origin is doing things smarter than SpaceX, and just you wait and see . . . As if we should expect that one day, out of the blue as it were, Blue Origin rolls a mission capable New Glenn out to the launch pad and immediately starts taking serious market share away from SpaceX. I don't get it.

    I hope for the best for Blue Origin. I want to see them excel. But I have long since become doubtful. They are secretive so nobody has any good idea of the progress they've made. But it seems real simple to me, if you don't fly rockets you don't get any experience, no data, no customers, no money, no success, no progress, and so far Blue Origin has next to nothing to show for orbital class rockets. And let's be serious, suborbital flights that go up and right back down to the same place, as opposed to carrying useful cargo to destinations around the globe at competitive prices, are never going to be a big money maker.

    It's a bit ludicrous to me. On the one hand we have a very transparent company, SpaceX, that has a relatively huge number of accomplishments and lets everyone see all their test flights, failures as well as successes. They are on their way to being the largest launch provider in the world, if they aren't already. They've designed and built all their hardware themselves, done some things no one else has ever done, done some things better than anyone else ever has, have significantly lowered launch costs, have fulfilled government contracts in better time and for much less (if any?) cost increases than anybody else, and they progress at a rate that by comparison to their peers is furious. And they've earned income from paying customers for years and are well on their way to implementing a massive communications system to make lots more money.

    And on the other hand we've got Blue Origin that is the opposite of transparent and has had near zero (or less) paying customers, and as far as anyone knows has no plans for making money except as a launch provider for 6 minute long suborbital flights and, one day, orbital flights. With a rocket that has not been seen by anyone yet. And somehow lots of people can rationalize from this data set that Blue Origin is somehow doing something better, or is a better bet than SpaceX? I guess no data leaves people plenty of room to rationalize.
    Last edited by Darrell; 2021-May-06 at 09:36 PM. Reason: So many errors . . .

  29. #4889
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    I'm just watching video from NSF on the liftoff and landing of SN15. They landed on two engines, not just one. That's a change.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #4890
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon

    Basically it seems that Space X are being more successful in winning government contracts and have also chosen wisely by focusing on demand in the established satellite sector. Blue Origin have focused on a more pioneering market for space adventure tourism with short sub-orbital flights. This is an exciting new market with future potential. But it is much less established and so a more risky way of supplementing government contracts.
    I have several issues with this statement. First the satellite sector SpaceX is investing in is a novel one, arguably only made economic because of the vertical integration SpaceX has achieved and Starlink has the potential to be another multibillion dollar company when its spun off. On the other hand there is nothing pioneering about selling suborbital tourist flights, that's been going practically since SpaceShipOne touched down, and it may finally happen this year. If New Shepard does start carrying paying passengers well, lets say 4paying passengers a flight, at $50000 a head, if they did 10 flights a day 365 days a year, which is wildly generous, equals $730 million a year not allowing for operating expenses. A lot of money to you and me but in terms of the kind of money it takes to develop something like New Glenn not that much and as I said that's generous assessment, I wouldn't be surprised if in reality you could knock a zero off that estimate. Also SpaceX's government contracts supplement its other income, not vice versa. As to Blue Origin it has lost out time and again on government contracts because of its constant failure to produce any orbital launch capable hardware.

    It underlines the importance of government agencies like NASA focusing their spending on helping kick start sectors with commercial long-term demand potential.
    As pointed out above if Blue Origin was counting on NASA money to stay afloat it would go out of business, luckily for them Jeff Bezos is willing to just keep shovelling money in.



    ...I just sense that Elon Musk seems rather fixated on Mars at the moment.
    You mean apart from plans for point to point transport with Starship and the Dragon XL vehicle and the HLS contract? Later this year SpaceX will launch a fully civilian manned mission, Inspiration 4. If Blue Origin doesn't come up with another reason to postpone will be offering a really expensive alternative to a theme park vertical drop ride.

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