SpaceX (general discussion)

Michel Van

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Musk tweeted those picture about Dragon 2
Again his sense of humor...



 

fredymac

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Fairing catch practice. I would guess the parachute guidance aims at a fixed GPS location but winds are too strong. I wonder if they can switch to a homing beacon from the ship or update the GPS aim point in realtime so it matches the ship.

Spacex twitter link:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1082469132291923968
 

Flyaway

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sferrin

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fredymac said:
Fairing catch practice. I would guess the parachute guidance aims at a fixed GPS location but winds are too strong. I wonder if they can switch to a homing beacon from the ship or update the GPS aim point in realtime so it matches the ship.

Spacex twitter link:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1082469132291923968
Anybody know why they don't snag them out of the air the way the USAF grabs drones with helicopters?
 

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fredymac

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Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
 

sferrin

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fredymac said:
Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
Replace the giant net with a helicopter landing pad.
 

Orionblamblam

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sferrin said:
fredymac said:
Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
Replace the giant net with a helicopter landing pad.
Meh. You're adding systems. A ship *should* be able to catch the fairings, especially with guided parafoils. It'll just take practice. And if you can do it with ships, then choppers are extraneous.
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
fredymac said:
Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
Replace the giant net with a helicopter landing pad.
Meh. You're adding systems. A ship *should* be able to catch the fairings, especially with guided parafoils. It'll just take practice. And if you can do it with ships, then choppers are extraneous.
Agreed. They just seem to be having difficulty making it work.
 

Grey Havoc

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Maybe they should acquire the plans for this (promptly dives into deep foxhole).
 

Flyaway

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Roger Holt @RogerLewisHolt
The Join is complete , no crane! @John_Gardi @Avron_p @JaneidyEve @DrPhiltill @austinbarnard45
:Tyler Thomas Rasmussen
2:40 AM - Jan 10, 2019
https://twitter.com/RogerLewisHolt/status/1083267259785719810
 

fredymac

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Now all they need to do is attach a pressurized air hose and pop out all those dents.
 

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Moose

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Orionblamblam said:
Were any *innards* ever observed being installed? You know, tanks and lines and pumps and and all the rest?
On NSF they have some close-ups of what looks like a tank bulkhead weld as seen on the outside.
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
fredymac said:
Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
Replace the giant net with a helicopter landing pad.
Meh. You're adding systems. A ship *should* be able to catch the fairings, especially with guided parafoils. It'll just take practice. And if you can do it with ships, then choppers are extraneous.
Looking at that again I wonder if just making the parachute a bit bigger to slow it's decent would help.
 

Dragon029

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As Moose mentioned; it looks like they're going with a steel, full-diameter tank for the 'Starhopper' [see attached pic].

Orionblamblam said:
Were any *innards* ever observed being installed? You know, tanks and lines and pumps and and all the rest?
Unknown, they built the thing with a concrete shell around the base, so we didn't even see the nozzles (regardless of whether they're attached to any engines) get inserted before it was raised and placed elsewhere.

According to Elon however:

Engines currently on Starship hopper are a blend of Raptor development & operational parts. First hopper engine to be fired is almost finished assembly in California. Probably fires next month.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1081572521105707009

It's not clear whether those developmental / operational parts are basically just the nozzles + gimbal mounts or something, or if there's whole engines in there, but they plan for the Starhopper to make its first hop in 3-7 weeks:

Adrian @LPAmdee
How long until the first hopper test. What do you think?

Elon Musk @elonmusk
Replying to @LPAmdee
Aiming for 4 weeks, which probably means 8 weeks, due to unforeseen issues
[Posted on the 6th of Jan]
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1081575156990894082
 

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_Del_

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sferrin said:
Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
fredymac said:
Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
Replace the giant net with a helicopter landing pad.
Meh. You're adding systems. A ship *should* be able to catch the fairings, especially with guided parafoils. It'll just take practice. And if you can do it with ships, then choppers are extraneous.
Looking at that again I wonder if just making the parachute a bit bigger to slow it's decent would help.
Kinda counter -intuitive, but possibly need the opposite.
Bigger actually makes you more susceptible to wind drift. But it'd definitely work if they never launch when it's windy out at sea downrange :)
 

Flyaway

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Hopper is now complete. Orbital test vehicle will be complete by June. Speed of development is amazing compared to something like SLS for example.


Follow this Twitter thread by EM. Picture of complete hopper on first post.

https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1083567087983964160
 

sferrin

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_Del_ said:
sferrin said:
Orionblamblam said:
sferrin said:
fredymac said:
Range? These things are coming down a couple hundred miles out to sea.
Replace the giant net with a helicopter landing pad.
Meh. You're adding systems. A ship *should* be able to catch the fairings, especially with guided parafoils. It'll just take practice. And if you can do it with ships, then choppers are extraneous.
Looking at that again I wonder if just making the parachute a bit bigger to slow it's decent would help.
Kinda counter -intuitive, but possibly need the opposite.
Bigger actually makes you more susceptible to wind drift. But it'd definitely work if they never launch when it's windy out at sea downrange :)
Or make the 'chute steerable.
 

Michel Van

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The Iridium-8 Mission went all well and Falcon 9 brought all 10 Satellite in there orbits
 

Flyaway

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Recap of the Iridium NEXT 8 launch today
launch & landing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F74YCAZl1fA

Iridium-8 satellites deployment
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=274SrK-9nF4
 

Flyaway

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https://twitter.com/austinbarnard45/status/1083828488610725889

So I was able to get a bunch of clear shots of the raptors and the “bulkhead,” there is also an envoy of cement trucks and I counted 12 already on the launch pad tilling the cement in the back of the trucks waiting until their gonna start poring i have to guess.
https://twitter.com/austinbarnard45/status/1083831714152177665

The nice border patrol agents at the check point that I just became friends with ❤have just informed me that this upcoming Monday is when their going to take apart the hopper and insert the fuel tanks.
 

Flyaway

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SpaceX will reduce its workforce by 10 percent. Statement below. Story later tonight.
https://mobile.twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1083873374261125120
 

Grey Havoc

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Fallout from the mess at Telsa, et al., I suspect.
 

Dragon029

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Unlikely, funding of both companies is separated, SpaceX is also a private company, etc. The more likely explanation is that they've had a lot of concurrent R&D projects happening these past couple of years (Falcon 9 Block 5, Falcon Heavy, Dragon 2, the fairing recovery system, BFR, etc) and so they've had to expand, but now Falcon 9 development is pretty much over, Dragon 2 is on the verge of completion and now the focus is just on BFR (Starship + Super Heavy). A 10% workforce cut is small enough to match the closure of those other R&D projects.
 

kitnut617

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The article in Microsoft News says the layoff is partly because of the downturn in companies wanting to launch satellites.
 

sferrin

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kitnut617 said:
The article in Microsoft News says the layoff is partly because of the downturn in companies wanting to launch satellites.

I am skeptical of that. SpaceX is going to be putting up a lot of satellites all by itself.
 

kitnut617

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sferrin said:
kitnut617 said:
The article in Microsoft News says the layoff is partly because of the downturn in companies wanting to launch satellites.

I am skeptical of that. SpaceX is going to be putting up a lot of satellites all by itself.
Should have added that each launch is capable of multiple deployments (the SpaceX launch before the New Year had 60 satellites on board), which means there would be less launches. At least that's what the article insinuated.

EDIT: a bit later: https://a.msn.com/r/2/BBS8whw?m=en-ca&referrerID=InAppShare
 

Flyaway

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https://twitter.com/kimitalvitie/status/1084170058715283457

Ask and you shall receive! Here's an image with the mighty #SaturnV compared to the @SpaceX's upcoming #Starship and #Superheavy stack! Really gives a sense of scale how truly massive the rocket will be!

This and many of my other renders are now also available at my shop!
New drone photos of the hopper.

https://twitter.com/rogerlewisholt/status/1084178936555282432

https://twitter.com/rogerlewisholt/status/1084179354190516227
 

Flyaway

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RGV Aerial Photography has uploaded a drone video of the Launch Site to Youtube. Located via NSF.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evPc3jhFGzI
 

TomcatViP

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A short summary of spotted activities at Boca Chica by NASA Spaceflight.com

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/01/spacex-starship-tests-boca-chica/



I wonder why they don't seem to share the idea that the tank are integral and that then the spotted bulkhead must fit directly inside (it also explains the wrinkles on the outside skin). The hopper doesn't need to get to orbit or carry heavy load on its top. The more modest needs in structural rigidity offer plenty of room to go lightweight. There is also the amplitude offered there by their cryogenic process.

Imagine this thing as a big water rocket.
 

Dragon029

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I personally doubt they'll use any more than the lower portion as a tank:

Doing a very rough estimation of the Starhopper's internal volume there's roughly 1600m^2 potential tank volume, which, if filled with a 4:1 ratio of LOX & Methane, would give a fuel mass of about 1,600 metric tons. A single Raptor engine meanwhile (noting that figures are subject to change) puts out about 203 metric tons (1993kN) of thrust; 3 of them simply could not lift the entire Starhopper if it was filled.

Also, while this is just speculation, some have suggested that the Starhopper may have 3 engines in order to test engine-out landing capability, which would require 2 engines to still achieve a >1 T:W.

And then lastly, you have to keep in mind that the real Starship will have something like 40% of its forward length as empty / dry mass (with the weight of payload, passengers, etc being significantly lighter than fuel). Although this Starhopper isn't meant to test re-entry or be a 1:1 analogue, it would be beneficial to have a ballpark-similar centre of gravity for getting relevant control dynamics data.
 

Michel Van

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Looking later picture and Videos

I starting to have doubts about this Starhopper purpose

1. it's not build by SpaceX it self, but by a company that build Water-towers
2. Starhopper is build right next to Mission control center at Boca Chica, too close for flight test
3. were is the launch-pad, fuel tanks and landing-pad for that thing ?
4. this thing stand dangerous close to town of Boca Chica for start and landing

Personal i think Starhopper is merely a water-tower with capacity of 1600 m^3 at Mission control
and Elon Musk is mess around with fandom...
 

Dragon029

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Having the test platform built by a water company isn't that unorthodox; who else has more experience at performing large diameter, high quality, water-tight, steel, welded tanks designed to hold hundreds of tons of liquid?

As for the location; they're building it next to their in-development mission control centre, which in turn is only about 3km / 2 miles from the actual launch pad where they intend to eventually launch the full scale Starship and Super Heavy booster from. While not the simplest thing in the world, it wouldn't be that hard to put the rocket on a flatbed and truck it down the road to that launch pad either:
 

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galgot

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Is this the real thing ? I want to believe , but the skin look like my kitchen alum foil.
And it seems they are building the rocket before any launching pad, facilities e all, in a fenced field in the bush.
 

TomcatViP

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Dragon029 said:
I personally doubt they'll use any more than the lower portion as a tank:

Doing a very rough estimation of the Starhopper's internal volume there's roughly 1600m^2 potential tank volume, which, if filled with a 4:1 ratio of LOX & Methane, would give a fuel mass of about 1,600 metric tons. A single Raptor engine meanwhile (noting that figures are subject to change) puts out about 203 metric tons (1993kN) of thrust; 3 of them simply could not lift the entire Starhopper if it was filled.

Also, while this is just speculation, some have suggested that the Starhopper may have 3 engines in order to test engine-out landing capability, which would require 2 engines to still achieve a >1 T:W.

And then lastly, you have to keep in mind that the real Starship will have something like 40% of its forward length as empty / dry mass (with the weight of payload, passengers, etc being significantly lighter than fuel). Although this Starhopper isn't meant to test re-entry or be a 1:1 analogue, it would be beneficial to have a ballpark-similar centre of gravity for getting relevant control dynamics data.
I don't think either (tank). But if their intend is to test the specific reentry manoeuvre (horizontal decent + 90deg rotation before starting the boosted recovery), they will need to reach a representative initial speed for the test, hence the high impulse request necessitating the 3 engines. Also, for the Mars mission, a supersonic pitch up + relight would have to be performed, something that could be tested in the higher earth atmosphere. Hence (IMOHO) the design choices.

Regarding the proximity of the Boca chica village, does it sound extravagant to pay the villager to evacuate their home for a couple of hours out during the test?
 

sferrin

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They aren't testing reentry with this thing. Look at the original Grasshopper. That's about what it's going to do. As for having a water tank builder build the structure, as long as they're doing it to specification it's fine. I would not be at all surprised if there were SpaceX engineers onsite looking over their shoulder both to make sure it's done to spec and to learn.
 

TomcatViP

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Not reentry by itself but the dynamic maneoevres that follow it. Sorry if that was not immediately clear.

To be specific, this is what I had in mind:

- Low viscosity Supersonic pitch-up and boosted slowdown (Mars - simulated on the upper atmosphere by gaining speed - horizontal)
- High viscosity slowdown + pitch-up and boosted recovery (earth)
 
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