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SpaceX (general discussion)

Michel Van

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a very good analysis by Scott Manely

eider human error or the umbilical fuel connection failed

I wonder how Musk react on that failure...
 

Michel Van

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Progress report
Next SN5 SN6 get higher, while parts for SN7 are build
while remains of launch pad are scrap

 

TomcatViP

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Fixed that for you... ;-) I instantly flashed on that image when that cam view came up on the livestream.

View attachment 634204

EZSnIxSUEAENExd.jpg
Not my intend to do any politics here but it's amazing that the week of the day 2001 became today (Space Odyssey), the single passenger of that space flight in the movie that draw unmistakable parallel b/w fiction, hope and hard gained achievements and from where the pic above is extracted is named... Floyd.
 
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Flyaway

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fredymac

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Article says build costs for Starship prototypes may be running as low as $10M. I wonder what big aerospace CEO's think when they ponder that. Using traditional processes and practices, what would they cost coming out of a conventional factory and at what build rate.


Starship SN4 may have been violently destroyed as a result, turning a relatively small error into exceptionally painful lesson but SpaceX has already had some success building full-scale prototypes at an almost unbelievably low cost – likely less than $10M apiece
 

Dragon029

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Article says build costs for Starship prototypes may be running as low as $10M. I wonder what big aerospace CEO's think when they ponder that. Using traditional processes and practices, what would they cost coming out of a conventional factory and at what build rate.
Doing some napkin math the other day I had my estimate at <$7m, although that's not including the cost of procuring production equipment:

Boca Chica has 'over 500' employees (let's say 600); let's say they get paid $100,000/yr on average and are all necessary for building and testing Starship - that's $60 million a year, with my conservatism hopefully also covering the cost of any guys at Hawthorne, etc doing manufacturing work for flaps, etc. At the current rate, they're building roughly 1 Starship per month, so let's say labor costs per Starship are $5 million. Then in terms of raw materials, Elon's described steel as being $3/kg, but let's assume it's $5/kg. Starship is probably ~95% stainless steel by mass, and the current prototypes should have a dry mass of at least 100,000kg (technically they could be less than that and use fuel as ballast, but I digress, so let's say $500k worth of steel. Last couple of prototypes have also had 170-200kWh worth of Tesla batteries and a Tesla Model 3 motor as some pump, so let's say <$50k for those. Raptor engines are <$1 million each. Heatshield tiles I have no idea how to price, but they haven't got many tiles fitted at the moment, so it'd be relatively insignificant, like with the Tesla parts. Commercially acquired plumbing, wiring, computers, etc also all probably cost in the range of $100k or less. So basically a Starship prototype like SN4 costs around $7m or less.
 

Michel Van

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$10~7m is realistic
The Stainless Steel 301 use for construction cost on free market around $1.5/kg
For Aluminum 2198 (use in Falcon 9) is around $3/kg
The biggest price tag is workforce payment in building and Maintain the Starships/superHeavy
(what make the Shuttle so expensive was high manpower to maintain it after each flight)

but still a Saturn V size REUSABLE rocket with 150ton metric payload
Even with price-tag of $200 million build and planned launch cost of $1 Million
would be far cheaper as a Saturn V build and launch of $1000 million (2018 dollar)
Or Space Shuttle launch cost of $600 million with building one around $2000 million
Or SLS build and launch of around $2000 million...
 

fredymac

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What is interesting here is that nothing extraordinary is involved in the technology of building Starship. However, the cultural approach is a total rejection of current methodology. A CEO of a large aerospace company probably dismisses any thought of making a similar effort because it would be too alien.

For Musk, this is the gamble of a lifetime. If he fails it will be his legacy. I imagine it takes overwhelming self confidence to do something like this and yet retain sufficient "people skills" to elicit the best technical thinking of your employees. Way beyond my limits.
 

sferrin

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Don't see how they could have maintained this pace if they'd stayed with composites. They damn sure couldn't have started building in a field.
 

Flyaway

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Archived mission video for yesterday’s Starlink mission including the first stage clocking up five landings;

 

Michel Van

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SpaceX parties 10 years of Falcon9

on June 4, 2010 the first Falcon9 was launched
now June 4, 2020, the 86 launch was made and first time a falcon 9 stage made it's 5 fight back safe,

Block 1 - 5 units
Block 2 - 15 units (one flight and one preflight lost)
Block 3&4 - 36 units (Full Thrust )
Block 5 - 30 units (Full Thrust one manned flight)
Falcon Heavy - 3 launches
 

Archibald

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And nine years before, in May 2001, Musk went to a Mars Society gathering which started the whole thing. So that's already 19 years ! SpaceX was created the next year...
 

Michel Van

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And nine years before, in May 2001, Musk went to a Mars Society gathering which started the whole thing. So that's already 19 years ! SpaceX was created the next year...
Why do i have that suspicion, in 2021 a very big candle is lit in Texas to celebrate that ?
 

Michel Van

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Elon Musk
Giant high bay coming soon
That explains arrival of large cranes at Site
for moment they expand the Launch site (second test stand ?)
the new test stand got new modify fueling systems

other news
Next Falcon Heavy flight will be autumn 2020
and will have classified USAF payload and feature two booster landing on Drone Ship while Core is expendable.

Total Offtopic
work on Gigafactory 4 Berlin
 

Richard N

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What is interesting here is that nothing extraordinary is involved in the technology of building Starship. However, the cultural approach is a total rejection of current methodology. A CEO of a large aerospace company probably dismisses any thought of making a similar effort because it would be too alien.

For Musk, this is the gamble of a lifetime. If he fails it will be his legacy. I imagine it takes overwhelming self confidence to do something like this and yet retain sufficient "people skills" to elicit the best technical thinking of your employees. Way beyond my limits.
Elon Musk is the Edison of our time.

He has no reason to be concerned about his legacy. Can you think of anyone else who is the co-founder and founder of several multi-billion dollar companies, the leading manufacturer of electric cars, and the leading commercial rocket launcher? I can't think of anyone else who has achieved nearly as much and he is only middle aged now.
He is driven and focused on achieving his dreams, and having fun while he does it along with the impossible hours he works.

I read somewhere that the main reason he is building a rocket to Mars is to go home. :)
 

fredymac

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Elon Musk is the Edison of our time.

He has no reason to be concerned about his legacy. Can you think of anyone else who is the co-founder and founder of several multi-billion dollar companies, the leading manufacturer of electric cars, and the leading commercial rocket launcher? I can't think of anyone else who has achieved nearly as much and he is only middle aged now.
He is driven and focused on achieving his dreams, and having fun while he does it along with the impossible hours he works.

I read somewhere that the main reason he is building a rocket to Mars is to go home. :)

Every media article on Musk would include a preamble on how his ambition to settle Mars and make humanity multi planetary blinded him to the realities of rocket science. All his prior accomplishments will be cast as luck and timing while the failure of Starship revealed his true limits. Videos would feature endless loops of Starship test failures.

Enough people would want to believe this that it would be declared as "consensus". Musk is aware of the power of the media to contrive and push a narrative. Mention Howard Hughes today and "Spruce Goose" is what people remember. Anytime Tesla or any of Musk's other projects run into problems, reference will always be made back to Starship.
 

Flyaway

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SpaceX is targeting Saturday, June 13 at 5:21 a.m. EDT, 9:21 UTC, for launch of its ninth Starlink mission, which will include 58 Starlink satellites and three of Planet’s SkySats. Falcon 9 will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and a backup opportunity is available on Sunday, June 14 at 4:59 a.m. EDT, 8:59 UTC. This mission marks SpaceX’s first SmallSat Rideshare Program launch.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019, and two separate Starlink missions in May 2019 and in January 2020. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported Dragon’s 19th and 20th resupply missions to the International Space Station. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the JCSAT-18/Kacific1 mission, and the other half previously flew on SpaceX’s third Starlink mission.

Planet’s SkySats will deploy sequentially beginning about 12 minutes after liftoff, and the Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 26 minutes after liftoff.
 
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