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Thread: SpaceX

  1. #3391
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Ok the vehicle will be around 122 m. What will be the height of each part?
    When Musk says "122 meters" he appears to be talking about the standard full stack vehicle with an 8 x 17.24 meter cargo bay. The Starship Users Guide also mentions an optional 8 x 22 meter cargo bay, and the ability to build custom lengths. See attached image.

    So, the Starship's length is variable. They can add or subtract rings during the nose cone module's build - and it can be removed from the propulsion module for mods or payload processing & integration in a (very large) clean room.

    The Super Heavy booster can also use a variable number of engines according to the mission. Early tests will leverage this so as to risk as few engines as possible. The center cluster can gimbal up to 15°, while the outer rings are fixed but have a higher thrust.

    Swiss Army Spaceship.

    Super Heavy booster: 72 meters (70 meters + 2 meters for the fixed legs)
    Starship (standard): 50 meters (17.24 meter bay)
    Starship (extended): 54.76 meters (22 meter bay) (calculated)

    Starship Users Guide - payload bay-800.jpg
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2020-Aug-14 at 09:27 AM.

  2. #3392
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    When Musk says "122 meters" he appears to be talking about the standard full stack vehicle with an 8 x 17.24 meter cargo bay. The Starship Users Guide also mentions an optional 8 x 22 meter cargo bay, and the ability to build custom lengths. See attached image.

    So, the Starship's length is variable. They can add or subtract rings during the nose cone module's build - and it can be removed from the propulsion module for mods or payload processing & integration in a (very large) clean room.

    The Super Heavy booster can also use a variable number of engines according to the mission. Early tests will leverage this so as to risk as few engines as possible. The center cluster can gimbal up to 15°, while the outer rings are fixed but have a higher thrust.

    Swiss Army Spaceship.

    Super Heavy booster: 72 meters (70 meters + 2 meters for the fixed legs)
    Starship (standard): 50 meters (17.24 meter bay)
    Starship (extended): 54.76 meters (22 meter bay) (calculated)

    Starship Users Guide - payload bay-800.jpg
    I suspect this is also a reason to go with steel rather than composites, much easier to mix, match and modify.

  3. #3393
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    I suspect this is also a reason to go with steel rather than composites, much easier to mix, match and modify.
    Those and its much lower cost and thermal qualities.

  4. #3394
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    When Musk says "122 meters" he appears to be talking about the standard full stack vehicle with an 8 x 17.24 meter cargo bay. The Starship Users Guide also mentions an optional 8 x 22 meter cargo bay, and the ability to build custom lengths. See attached image.

    So, the Starship's length is variable. They can add or subtract rings during the nose cone module's build - and it can be removed from the propulsion module for mods or payload processing & integration in a (very large) clean room.

    The Super Heavy booster can also use a variable number of engines according to the mission. Early tests will leverage this so as to risk as few engines as possible. The center cluster can gimbal up to 15°, while the outer rings are fixed but have a higher thrust.

    Swiss Army Spaceship.

    Super Heavy booster: 72 meters (70 meters + 2 meters for the fixed legs)
    Starship (standard): 50 meters (17.24 meter bay)
    Starship (extended): 54.76 meters (22 meter bay) (calculated)

    Starship Users Guide - payload bay-800.jpg
    Ok I was on my phone when I posted that and I couldn't get a good description via search.

    I did find some images today. https://www.google.com/search?q=dime...4X5CMGcb2ZQcwM

    From one of the images a generic version would be Super heavy 68 x 9 m and Starship 50 x 9 m which gets you to 118 m. You need a little more for lifting/stacking unless they plan to do that one the pad?? Then add some leg lengths and it is what you describe.
    Thank

  5. #3395
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Ok I was on my phone when I posted that and I couldn't get a good description via search.
    >
    You need a little more for lifting/stacking unless they plan to do that one the pad?? Then add some leg lengths and it is what you describe.
    Thank
    Based on construction photos from KSC LC-39A and Boca Chica, there will not be an excavated flame trench. They'll use an elevated launch platform about 30 meters high with a built-in flame deflector & water deluge system. This is the partially built platform at KSC, delayed by CoVid-19 restrictions at the range...

    49967543317_e2c143e19b_o-crop.jpg Starship pad LC-39A 1300.jpg

    Stacking at the pad and crew/late load cargo loading will be done by a gigantic launch tower crane & crew/cargo arm. This is the concept,

    Starship-Super-Heavy-2019.png
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2020-Aug-14 at 04:36 PM.

  6. #3396
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    It really looks like a ship from 50's sci-fi movie universe accidentally wandered into ours.
    I remain cautiously optimistic, but since it is so different I am being careful not to get my hopes up too high.

    It is interesting to think about what would happen if it is highly successful. That is, not just reaching orbit, but is practically and fully reusable, highly economical and provides easy transport. Almost immediately nearly all other space launch rockets in the world would become obsolete. We wouldn’t bother with little gold-plated space stations anymore, because it would be so much cheaper to build bigger and replace stuff. Almost overnight NASA and other space agencies would have to rethink where they were heading. It would be wild.

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  7. #3397
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I remain cautiously optimistic, but since it is so different I am being careful not to get my hopes up too high.

    It is interesting to think about what would happen if it is highly successful. That is, not just reaching orbit, but is practically and fully reusable, highly economical and provides easy transport. Almost immediately nearly all other space launch rockets in the world would become obsolete. We wouldn’t bother with little gold-plated space stations anymore, because it would be so much cheaper to build bigger and replace stuff. Almost overnight NASA and other space agencies would have to rethink where they were heading. It would be wild.
    I wouldn't be surprised if NASA hasn't quietly worked up contingency plans, their funding was invaluable over the years and the new head of human spaceflight was the person in charge of commercial crew. Publicly NASA still has to cheer lead for SLS, what the senior people inside might really prefer is another matter.

  8. #3398
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I remain cautiously optimistic, but since it is so different I am being careful not to get my hopes up too high.

    It is interesting to think about what would happen if it is highly successful. That is, not just reaching orbit, but is practically and fully reusable, highly economical and provides easy transport. Almost immediately nearly all other space launch rockets in the world would become obsolete. We wouldn’t bother with little gold-plated space stations anymore, because it would be so much cheaper to build bigger and replace stuff. Almost overnight NASA and other space agencies would have to rethink where they were heading. It would be wild.
    I highly doubt it'll work out perfectly from the start, but SpaceX isn't going to build a handful of prototypes and then fly them for 30 years no matter how badly they fell short of their goals. They'll keep working at it until they get something that works, even if they have to completely change their approach. You can't even be sure Musk will keep calling it Starship...

    And they don't need the whole thing to work out perfectly from the start for it to be useful. A Starship with an expendable upper stage, or with only 50 t of useful payload, would still be competitive.

  9. #3399
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if NASA hasn't quietly worked up contingency plans, their funding was invaluable over the years and the new head of human spaceflight was the person in charge of commercial crew. Publicly NASA still has to cheer lead for SLS, what the senior people inside might really prefer is another matter.
    Speaking of contingency plans, SLS is being built by Boeing. That doesn't quite mean what it did a few years ago. It's not hard to see the Starship HLS award as being a contingency plan for problems with SLS. If it can perform the HLS duties, expanding its role to fully replace SLS will not be difficult.

  10. #3400
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    I highly doubt it'll work out perfectly from the start, but SpaceX isn't going to build a handful of prototypes and then fly them for 30 years no matter how badly they fell short of their goals. They'll keep working at it until they get something that works, even if they have to completely change their approach.
    That is something that annoyed me to no end with the space shuttle and convinced me that the government directed approach wasn’t going to work, unless it was forced by some national emergency. I remember talk of a Shuttle II to be worked on in the later ‘80s covering the major issues with the original shuttle, like a fly-back first stage instead of the ET and solid fuel boosters, tougher thermal protection, updated main engines that didn’t need to be rebuilt after each flight (I believe they finally got around to that about the time the shuttle was retired and various other less obvious things. Of course there was no political will, never mind it would have made building a space station much less expensive and allow a more robust space program.

    And they don't need the whole thing to work out perfectly from the start for it to be useful. A Starship with an expendable upper stage, or with only 50 t of useful payload, would still be competitive.

    Right, I wouldn’t assume perfection is needed. I expect the refueling for moon flights is one of the things that would take time to get working but isn’t critical for it to outshine existing launch vehicles. Actually in the long run that strikes me as a bit of a kludge, sort of like the moon Shuttle idea (though it had even more useless mass to carry and insufficient thermal protection for reentry). Once traffic makes it economical, I would expect purpose made Earth-Moon and Earth-Mars shuttles.

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  11. #3401
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    Whoa...

    Crew Dragon gets a date

    NET October 23, 2020

    CRS-21 is NET October 30, 2020

    Two Dragon 2's at ISS at the same time

    Now they're just showin' off...

    IMG_20200814_162450.jpg

    https://twitter.com/JimBridenstine/s...38031764279296

  12. #3402
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    Valuation: ~46 billion

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...n?srnd=premium

    SpaceX Is Said to Increase Latest Funding Round to $2 Billion

    * Fidelity is one of the biggest investors in the round

    * Round boosted to $2 billion from $1 billion with strong demand

    Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is close to finalizing $2 billion in new funding after the company increased the size of the round due to strong demand, according to people familiar with the matter.

    When the transaction is finalized, the company will have an equity value of $46 billion, including the fresh $2 billion in capital. This ranks SpaceX as one of the most valuable U.S. venture-backed companies.
    >

  13. #3403
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    I highly doubt it'll work out perfectly from the start, but SpaceX isn't going to build a handful of prototypes and then fly them for 30 years no matter how badly they fell short of their goals. They'll keep working at it until they get something that works, even if they have to completely change their approach. You can't even be sure Musk will keep calling it Starship...

    And they don't need the whole thing to work out perfectly from the start for it to be useful. A Starship with an expendable upper stage, or with only 50 t of useful payload, would still be competitive.
    We'll see how good the skydiver descent & landing system works soon enough. A new fan video of it was tweeted, and Musk replied. Worth a watch.

    Corey @C_Bass3d
    @Erdayastronaut @elonmusk What do you think, SN6 or SN8?
    |
    Elon Musk ✓ @elommusk
    SN8

    https://twitter.com/C_Bass3d/status/1271211383514857473

  14. #3404
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    SN-06 on the pad for proof tests before a static fire and hop.

    Shiny...
    IMG_20200815_175126.jpg

    https://twitter.com/RGVaerialphotos/...66023640223744

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  16. #3406
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    Speaking of contingency plans, SLS is being built by Boeing. That doesn't quite mean what it did a few years ago. It's not hard to see the Starship HLS award as being a contingency plan for problems with SLS. If it can perform the HLS duties, expanding its role to fully replace SLS will not be difficult.
    SLS will end it’s days as an LH2 tanker for NTRs, with outer planet JIMO type super probes—-Starship gets the inner solar system.

    I wonder if rock wool may play a part—like kaowool for roll-out pads?

  17. #3407
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    SLS will end it’s days as an LH2 tanker for NTRs, with outer planet JIMO type super probes—-Starship gets the inner solar system.
    At $2+B/launch, nobody's going to use SLS to launch propellant. A high-cost launch system is only justifiable with payloads that are so high-value that the launch costs are negligible. Bulk materials with low intrinsic value that could easily be spread across multiple launches, like propellant, are the last thing you'd launch on SLS. And if Starship's regularly launching, who would risk such a high-value payload on a low flight-rate, non-flight-proven SLS? Starship's the high-reliability, low-risk option in that scenario.

    You're not trying to find the best or even a good way to launch things, you're trying to find an excuse to use SLS.


    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I wonder if rock wool may play a part—like kaowool for roll-out pads?
    As in launch pad? It'd be obliterated before the engines reached maximum power. You need to seal that stuff or even a propane burner will tear material loose, which is bad because it's an inhalation hazard.

    They're using a water-cooled steel flame deflector for Superheavy. For Starship field pads, maybe something like a water cooled steel mesh to stabilize the ground would be useful.

  18. #3408
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    Another private spaceflight for Crew Dragon

    Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve
    Space Adventures booked a flight aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon to take 4 private citizens into an altitude of around 500 to 850 miles above Earth.

    The Gemini XI astronauts hold the record for orbiting at a 850-mile-high orbit. They experienced an incredible view of Earth in 1966.

    https://twitter.com/JaneidyEve/statu...44915358474241

  19. #3409
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    Another private spaceflight for Crew Dragon

    Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo @JaneidyEve
    Space Adventures booked a flight aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon to take 4 private citizens into an altitude of around 500 to 850 miles above Earth.

    The Gemini XI astronauts hold the record for orbiting at a 850-mile-high orbit. They experienced an incredible view of Earth in 1966.

    https://twitter.com/JaneidyEve/statu...44915358474241
    Kind of makes Virgin and Blue Origin's five minute rides pointless, doesn't it?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #3410
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Kind of makes Virgin and Blue Origin's five minute rides pointless, doesn't it?
    Well, my understanding is that the SpaceX flights cost something like 50 million dollars vs 250,000 or so dollars for the suborbitals, so the SpaceX flyers are probably worth hundreds of millions at least vs. multi millions probably for Virgin and Blue Origin. That’s assuming they are using their own money of course, not being paid for by a company or government.

    Also, I could see a fairly large number of people that may not yet be multimillionaires but have tech jobs like those fairly common in Silicon valley, or certain Wall Street, medical, etc. jobs that have the income to afford a suborbital flight.

    So a lot more people can potentially fly on the suborbital hops. Of course it also depends on what you want and how much you want it. I’ve wanted to go into space since I was a kid, but that for me meant a minimum of an LEO flight. I would consider suborbital but it wouldn’t be important enough to me to part with a significant part of my net worth.

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  21. #3411
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    Of course there is also what SpaceX says it is trying to do with Starship and suborbital flights. I have my doubts about the economics and practicality, but if they could do that, they could probably put the LEO flights in the range of what Blue Origin and Virgin want to charge for suborbital hops. That would force the hop price down into the tens of thousands (which strikes me as much more appropriate and something I would more seriously consider) and in that case, I might also consider an LEO flight as a once in a lifetime achievement.

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  22. #3412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Of course there is also what SpaceX says it is trying to do with Starship and suborbital flights. I have my doubts about the economics and practicality,
    >
    SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said Point-2-Point tickets should cost about the same as business class. Also bear in mind that the first 10,000 km doesn't require the use of Super Heavy booster. Starship self-launches then leverages a skip trajectory.

  23. #3413
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    you're trying to find an excuse to use SLS.
    That is what will carry the most liquid hydrogen. If anything it is Vulcan that should have been nixed in the recent downselect, but folks want old and new space to fly defense loads. Maybe they hold out hope to fund ACES.

    I wonder if that is proprietary—Lynx also wanted an internal combustion engine block as a pump assembly.
    Now, if Starship has that and starts hauling LH2...all bets are off. To digress a bit, I would have the recent downselect be between Falcon and oMega, which can also have LH2, and help forward the cause for a large siloed solid like Athena III to stand at-the-ready (ICBM style) in case another Ouamuamua or sneak asteroid surprises us again.

    One day though, there will be enough Starships to handle that too, I hope. But it will also end Falcon production, since Starship will be even cheaper to fly than that.

    Only time can tell.

  24. #3414
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    That is what will carry the most liquid hydrogen. If anything it is Vulcan that should have been nixed in the recent downselect, but folks want old and new space to fly defense loads. Maybe they hold out hope to fund ACES.
    On a per-dollar basis, there probably isn't a launcher in operation that would carry less liquid hydrogen. Nobody is going to launch hydrogen propellant at $22+M/ton.

    Again, you're looking for an excuse to use SLS. Between its cost and limited flight rate, it's about the worst possible option for propellant launches.


    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I wonder if that is proprietary—Lynx also wanted an internal combustion engine block as a pump assembly.
    Now, if Starship has that and starts hauling LH2...all bets are off. To digress a bit, I would have the recent downselect be between Falcon and oMega, which can also have LH2, and help forward the cause for a large siloed solid like Athena III to stand at-the-ready (ICBM style) in case another Ouamuamua or sneak asteroid surprises us again.
    Oh hey, here's the second worst option. OmegA had no hope of being commercially competitive and there are major supply chain issues that limit its flexibility, the number of launches needing to be determined long in advance. Why are you so eager to spend excessive amounts of money launching hydrogen on severely flight-constrained launch vehicles? We don't even have anything up there that wants it. And likely won't, if we keep wasting money on things like SLS launches.

    And since when do solids have the performance to catch interstellar objects starting from Earth?


    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Only time can tell.
    ...or we could do a few quick calculations to weed out the obviously-bad ideas.

  25. #3415
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    The fourth tier of the new High Bay at Boca Chica is going on. These panels are only about half the height of the previous three tiers so I assume they will be the top.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    And SN6 has passed its first cryo tests. I've yet to see if the pressurization pushed out that impressive dent. It looks like they weren't joking about having lots of flights between SN5 and SN6. One has just left the pad and the other one is already going through the motions.

    By the time they fly an orbital Starship, they'll already have massive real-world experience with launch and landing operations of this beast.

    If Starship would end up making Falcon 9 obsolete, I think everyone including SpaceX could only consider that as a triumph. And meanwhile F9 has given them vast amounts of knowledge and will have flown an awful lot. F9H might not have been the best investment, but I'm sure that at least it convinced Musk about starting to develop Starship.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  27. #3417
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    No other aerospace company would produce something with a dent like that and just go ahead and use it!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    On a per-dollar basis, there probably isn't a launcher in operation that would carry less liquid hydrogen. Nobody is going to launch hydrogen propellant at $22+M/ton.

    Again, you're looking for an excuse to use SLS. Between its cost and limited flight rate, it's about the worst possible option for propellant launches.




    Oh hey, here's the second worst option. OmegA had no hope of being commercially competitive and there are major supply chain issues that limit its flexibility, the number of launches needing to be determined long in advance. Why are you so eager to spend excessive amounts of money launching hydrogen on severely flight-constrained launch vehicles? We don't even have anything up there that wants it. And likely won't, if we keep wasting money on things like SLS launches.
    The SLS is going to be a 21st century Spruce Goose, an achievement of sorts rendered pointless by changing circumstances and technological advances. The only hope for the SLS is if SpaceX can't make Starship work and I wouldn't want to put any money on that happening.

  29. #3419
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    No other aerospace company would produce something with a dent like that and just go ahead and use it!
    Again, General Dynamics did exactly that with the Atlas rockets. Oh, and here's ULA: https://i.redd.it/wmnkpn9cp9k41.jpg

    It's not even a dent, it's a minor deformation from something being welded to the skin internally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    The SLS is going to be a 21st century Spruce Goose, an achievement of sorts rendered pointless by changing circumstances and technological advances. The only hope for the SLS is if SpaceX can't make Starship work and I wouldn't want to put any money on that happening.
    And even in that scenario, you're not going to blow your annual SLS launch on a bunch of propellant.

  30. #3420
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    I think we're getting a bit derailed with discussion of various space systems. Comparisons are inevitable but in a thread about SpaceX, let's keep the focus on SpaceX, please.
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