Author Topic: Starship!  (Read 9423 times)

Offline jfb

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Starship!
« on: December 10, 2020, 01:18:16 PM »
Moderately surprised to not see a thread on Starship, especially after yesterday's flight.  Despite the kaboom at the end, that was a spectacularly successful flight.  A real-world test of a new engine cycle, a new fuel, a new mode of flight, and they almost pulled it off on the first try. 

And, my God, this shot:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1336849897987796992

That's real time.  That's not slowed down.  It just looks slow because you're looking at a 12-story building falling at you. 

SN9 is already built, there are at least 6 more prototypes in various stages of completion, the first booster is under construction - 2021 is gonna be an interesting year in South Texas. 

Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 04:19:42 PM »
It’s like the rockets that were envisaged in the days of Flash Gordon.
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Offline molesworth

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2020, 05:18:40 PM »
Scott Manley (everyone's favourite manly Scot  ;)) has a nice moment-by-moment analysis of the flight.  Also a new term I've not heard before - "engine-rich exhaust"  ;D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egHxiX40eJY
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Offline raven

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2020, 05:35:45 PM »
I've heard it before, but, yes, it is a good one, up there with 'Unplanned Rapid Disassembly' and 'Lithobraking*'. Still, the fact it went as well as it did is still stunning, and I am sure they will iron out the bugs in the end.
*yes, I know it's an actual term, but it still makes for a dandy euphemism

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2020, 07:01:54 PM »
I love SpaceX's rapid iteration philosophy, they will have a truckload of data from this flight

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Offline Peter B

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2020, 07:53:33 PM »
Moderately surprised to not see a thread on Starship, especially after yesterday's flight.  Despite the kaboom at the end, that was a spectacularly successful flight.  A real-world test of a new engine cycle, a new fuel, a new mode of flight, and they almost pulled it off on the first try. 

And, my God, this shot:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1336849897987796992

That's real time.  That's not slowed down.  It just looks slow because you're looking at a 12-story building falling at you. 

SN9 is already built, there are at least 6 more prototypes in various stages of completion, the first booster is under construction - 2021 is gonna be an interesting year in South Texas.

Yeah, 90 degree rotation in about three seconds. That's going to be interesting for passengers.

Offline raven

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2020, 08:13:29 PM »
I love SpaceX's rapid iteration philosophy, they will have a truckload of data from this flight

"SpaceX - We Crash to Learn"
It's like a real life Kerbal Space Program.
You got to admit, the explosions are even better IRL.

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2020, 12:17:48 AM »
Moderately surprised to not see a thread on Starship, especially after yesterday's flight.  Despite the kaboom at the end, that was a spectacularly successful flight.  A real-world test of a new engine cycle, a new fuel, a new mode of flight, and they almost pulled it off on the first try. 

And, my God, this shot:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1336849897987796992

That's real time.  That's not slowed down.  It just looks slow because you're looking at a 12-story building falling at you. 

SN9 is already built, there are at least 6 more prototypes in various stages of completion, the first booster is under construction - 2021 is gonna be an interesting year in South Texas.

Yeah, 90 degree rotation in about three seconds. That's going to be interesting for passengers.

Yes, but if you look carefully, you will see that the bottom pivots around the nose cone - the flaps at the bottom fold up while the flaps on the nose cone remain extended. The crew/passengers will be at or close to the centre of rotation.

I can think of a half dozen fairground rides I have been on that pitch and rotate more violently that this maneuvre will.
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Offline Peter B

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2020, 01:39:26 AM »
Moderately surprised to not see a thread on Starship, especially after yesterday's flight.  Despite the kaboom at the end, that was a spectacularly successful flight.  A real-world test of a new engine cycle, a new fuel, a new mode of flight, and they almost pulled it off on the first try. 

And, my God, this shot:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1336849897987796992

That's real time.  That's not slowed down.  It just looks slow because you're looking at a 12-story building falling at you. 

SN9 is already built, there are at least 6 more prototypes in various stages of completion, the first booster is under construction - 2021 is gonna be an interesting year in South Texas.

Yeah, 90 degree rotation in about three seconds. That's going to be interesting for passengers.

Yes, but if you look carefully, you will see that the bottom pivots around the nose cone - the flaps at the bottom fold up while the flaps on the nose cone remain extended. The crew/passengers will be at or close to the centre of rotation.

Yeah, I did see that, and fully accept the point you're making.

Still, if I've got my geometry right, the passengers are going to be rotating from sitting up to lying on their backs. Obviously they're going to be fully aware of what's about to happen, but I reckon it would still be a bit unnerving.

Quote
I can think of a half dozen fairground rides I have been on that pitch and rotate more violently that this maneuvre will.

Yeah, but you wouldn't have ridden any of them while wearing a spacesuit with all the attendant problems if you suddenly need to have a spew...  :o

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2020, 03:05:12 AM »
Note that in September 2019 this flight was promised to be in October 2019.

At that time the flight was supposed to be to 18 km.  This has been gradually whittled down, first to 15 km then 12.5 km.

This flight was no higher or faster than a commercial airliner.

While useful data and experience would have been gained, the flight ended with the destruction of a testbed and the loss of three reusable engines.

This is still very early days for "Starship".  There is a long way to go before it is orbital capable.


Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2020, 06:01:15 AM »
Moderately surprised to not see a thread on Starship, especially after yesterday's flight.  Despite the kaboom at the end, that was a spectacularly successful flight.  A real-world test of a new engine cycle, a new fuel, a new mode of flight, and they almost pulled it off on the first try. 

And, my God, this shot:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1336849897987796992

That's real time.  That's not slowed down.  It just looks slow because you're looking at a 12-story building falling at you. 

SN9 is already built, there are at least 6 more prototypes in various stages of completion, the first booster is under construction - 2021 is gonna be an interesting year in South Texas.

Yeah, 90 degree rotation in about three seconds. That's going to be interesting for passengers.

Yes, but if you look carefully, you will see that the bottom pivots around the nose cone - the flaps at the bottom fold up while the flaps on the nose cone remain extended. The crew/passengers will be at or close to the centre of rotation.

Yeah, I did see that, and fully accept the point you're making.

Still, if I've got my geometry right, the passengers are going to be rotating from sitting up to lying on their backs. Obviously they're going to be fully aware of what's about to happen, but I reckon it would still be a bit unnerving.

Quote
I can think of a half dozen fairground rides I have been on that pitch and rotate more violently that this maneuvre will.

Yeah, but you wouldn't have ridden any of them while wearing a spacesuit with all the attendant problems if you suddenly need to have a spew...  :o

We are a fair way away from passenger-rated flights  :D AFAIK, the plans are to develop a methalox RCS system to perform the flip rather than the main engines.




Note that in September 2019 this flight was promised to be in October 2019.

At that time the flight was supposed to be to 18 km.  This has been gradually whittled down, first to 15 km then 12.5 km.

This flight was no higher or faster than a commercial airliner.

While useful data and experience would have been gained, the flight ended with the destruction of a testbed and the loss of three reusable engines.

This is still very early days for "Starship".  There is a long way to go before it is orbital capable.

Musk gave it a 30% chance of full success, so I think that the first flight exceeded his expectations. He expects losses and failures, in fact he positively encourages them. SN9 is almost ready to go and up to SN15 are in various stages of construction.
As for it not going higher or faster than a commercial airliner, I've got to say "so what"? It's flown higher and faster than the SLS boondoggle. It also flew higher and faster than this thing....

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Offline smartcooky

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2020, 06:57:00 AM »
Musk gave it a 30% chance of full success, so I think that the first flight exceeded his expectations. He expects losses and failures, in fact he positively encourages them. SN9 is almost ready to go and up to SN15 are in various stages of construction.

Indeed. To steal part of a post from another poster on a different forum


Launch successfully - tick
Synchronize engine shutdowns and gimbaling to maintain the vehicle attitude during ascent - tick
Translation while maintaining attitude to prepare for the pitch-over maneuver at target altitude - tick
Reach target altitude - tick
Transition to bellyflop position - tick
Controlled descent - tick
Transition to upright position - tick
Relight engines - tick
On target to landing site - tick
Land without exploding - BOOM!

That's 9 out of 10. I'd call that a pass


As for it not going higher or faster than a commercial airliner, I've got to say "so what"? It's flown higher and faster than the SLS boondoggle.

100%. When are we going to see SLS fly? Are we going to see it fly, ever?

In 2017, Nasa set a target to launch SLS rocket in the December 2019-June 2020 window, with a total cost of $7.17 bn. That's gone, and they're not even close yet and that cost has now risen to $9.1 bn. Yep, boondoggle is right!

Some people just hate SpaceX because, well, you know, Elon!

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► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline jfb

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2020, 08:08:54 AM »
Note that in September 2019 this flight was promised to be in October 2019.

At that time the flight was supposed to be to 18 km.  This has been gradually whittled down, first to 15 km then 12.5 km.

This flight was no higher or faster than a commercial airliner.

While useful data and experience would have been gained, the flight ended with the destruction of a testbed and the loss of three reusable engines.

This is still very early days for "Starship".  There is a long way to go before it is orbital capable.

Musk always overpromises on dates.  That’s something that’s been known from early F9 days, to the point where I don’t pay attention to announced dates.  They also had to take some time to figure out how to actually build the thing - the first few iterations were pretty rough.

My understanding is that they reduced altitude to avoid having to deal with high level winds, which seems a reasonable precaution.  And for this test altitude only mattered to the degree they could test the belly flop. 

As for the engines, they’re chunking them out at a decent clip now.  The next prototype is already built and will be rolled to the pad next week, and the next flight could happen by early January.  There are at least six more prototypes in various stages of construction, so they have plenty of hardware to chew through as they start dialing this in.

Yes, they’re not orbit-capable yet and won’t be until the first booster is built, which is happening right now. 

But, damn -
  • New engine cycle, using
  • A new fuel, and
  • A new mode of flight

and came this close to pulling it off on the first try. 

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2020, 10:13:47 AM »
Note that in September 2019 this flight was promised to be in October 2019.

At that time the flight was supposed to be to 18 km.  This has been gradually whittled down, first to 15 km then 12.5 km.

This flight was no higher or faster than a commercial airliner.

While useful data and experience would have been gained, the flight ended with the destruction of a testbed and the loss of three reusable engines.

This is still very early days for "Starship".  There is a long way to go before it is orbital capable.

Musk always overpromises on dates.  That’s something that’s been known from early F9 days, to the point where I don’t pay attention to announced dates.  They also had to take some time to figure out how to actually build the thing - the first few iterations were pretty rough.

My understanding is that they reduced altitude to avoid having to deal with high level winds, which seems a reasonable precaution.  And for this test altitude only mattered to the degree they could test the belly flop. 

As for the engines, they’re chunking them out at a decent clip now.  The next prototype is already built and will be rolled to the pad next week, and the next flight could happen by early January.  There are at least six more prototypes in various stages of construction, so they have plenty of hardware to chew through as they start dialing this in.

Yes, they’re not orbit-capable yet and won’t be until the first booster is built, which is happening right now. 

But, damn -
  • New engine cycle, using
  • A new fuel, and
  • A new mode of flight

and came this close to pulling it off on the first try.

Musk time...  ;D
Joking aside, it's impossible to accurately forecast when you are doing what has never been done before. All you can do is stick a date out there and then crack on with doing the work. If the task has been done before by others, then it's (relatively) easy to make an accurate forecast. After all, you're just repeating an already accomplished task. This is what is so damn annoying about SLS...they are basically doing what has been done before. Hell, even the engines were there as leftovers from the SS.  Even with that and as many tax-payer dollars that they can eat,  there's not been a forecast given for the SLS that they haven't blown through. It's time that they officially called it what it is- a job-creation scheme funded by tax-payer dollars and a Shelby gravy-train.

In comparison, SpaceX are doing what no-one has done before. They developed the Raptor from the ground up in about 7 years. The engine is already a record breaker. Now they have flown a rocket in a configuration never seen before. It looks like they have their aerodynamic calculations nailed.
Also, the flip is pretty amazing. They had quite literally a second for the engines and control systems to capture the state of the craft, to correct the momentum and to get the thrust centred through the centre of mass. That's breath-taking control authority.

Say what you like about Musk, but the dude gets things done.
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Offline molesworth

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Re: Starship!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2020, 12:09:52 PM »
Looks like an accident in the assembly building, and SN9 has tipped over and hit the wall.  No word from SpaceX, but it could mean either a delay for repairs or bringing SN10 forward instead.  Either way it's probably going to hold things up for a while.

https://twitter.com/BocaChicaGal/status/1337424248260993024
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