Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: SpaceX  (Read 50827 times)

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #350 on: October 13, 2019, 09:56:38 PM »
Just a curiosity: my day job as a regulator had me overhear a 'hallway conference' about who was claiming certain petroleum storage tanks - The feds or SpaceX - and the need for paperwork to be submitted to determine who claimed what.  (One of my colleagues had never heard of SpaceX before, not that that was relevant to the discussion.)  I hadn't previously thought to wonder if I would ever be asked to review SpaceX documents.  (If they are properly prepared, I'm unlikely to ever see or hear about them.)

I can’t find the reference at the moment, but there is a huge old (oxygen? fuel?) tank from the Apollo era still sitting on the grounds of LC-39A in Florida (which is now leased to SpaceX).  SpaceX isn’t using it, although they might find a use for it at some point.  I wonder if this is the object of discussion you heard.  8)

Found it!

Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 9/14/19, 11:33 AM
I took a bus ride today. Could it be that construction is about to start on the Starship pad at 39A? It looks like it to me! #SpaceX #Starship @elonmusk
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1172896260241666054
[Photo below; others at the link.]
< That looks like it's in the right location for the Starship pad!
< And the grass are already cleared there
< It makes sense that they begin Starship pad construction soon. I mean, @SpaceX probably wants it ready *before* they move #StarshipMk2 (aka #StarshipEast) from their #CocoaFL facility to Pad 39A.
< What do they use hydrogen for on falcon launches? [the huge round tank]
< For nothing. It is a relic from the Apollo and Shuttle eras. It is being considered for use to store liquid methane per the latest FAA Environmental Report regarding Starship and Super Heavy launch and landings at 39A but nothing solid yet
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5240
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 420
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #351 on: October 14, 2019, 12:10:09 AM »
<snipped>
The first, crewed Starships may well remain on Mars as may well the humans on board - involuntarily.
If their Elon is aboard, all will live well in peace and harmony. :)
Terry

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5240
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 420
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #352 on: October 15, 2019, 02:25:48 PM »
Starship's Fins Fluttering in Boca Breeze

https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928

Terry
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 02:31:23 PM by TerryM »

crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2511
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 94
  • Likes Given: 47
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #353 on: October 15, 2019, 02:31:58 PM »
Spacex Fins Fluttering

https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928

Terry

Starhopper basically retired so does it matter much?
(I was expecting to see Starship Mk1 or Mk2 fins moving not starhopper fin coverings.)

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5240
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 420
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #354 on: October 15, 2019, 02:54:56 PM »
Spacex Fins Fluttering

https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928

Terry

Starhopper basically retired so does it matter much?
(I was expecting to see Mk1 or Mk2 fins moving.)


It might illustrate something re. the quality of the build?

If you've been following the hoppers about, is there an obvious way to visually determine which model is which?

This is purportedly the nose cap being removed from Mk1 earlier this week.

Thanks
Terry

crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2511
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 94
  • Likes Given: 47
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #355 on: October 15, 2019, 03:57:25 PM »
https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928

Above is starhopper - rounded top.

I know that much but had to look up re Starships Mk 1 & 2 so I think:

https://twitter.com/john_winkopp/status/1181211268767797250
This suggest Starship Mk2 at Cocoa is a long way from approaching complete.

So Starship Mk 1 is at Boca Chica and is the one looking closer to completion (even if they are removing parts to do some other internal work).

crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2511
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 94
  • Likes Given: 47
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #356 on: October 15, 2019, 04:09:44 PM »
It might illustrate something re. the quality of the build?

Yes, that is true to some extent, but it survived the tests they wanted to do.

Rocket science 101:
Point 1. You have fuel and oxidant that react explosively so you have to keep them apart until you want them to mix.
Point 2. The kicker is: You have to do this with the lightest possible plumbing and engineering.

So we shouldn't be surprised if things are relatively flimsy and only designed to do what is necessary and avoid being capable of doing things like coping with 50mph winds or excessive wind shear or ....


TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5240
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 420
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #357 on: October 15, 2019, 07:20:10 PM »

Chris
I frankly haven't been following the Starship side of things.


https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-prototype-photos-musk.html


Apparently the Mk1 will be flying 12 miles high this month, followed shortly by an orbital "attempt", so that nose cone will need to be reattached soon.  It's designed to be fully reusable, so hopefully the fins will withstand forces much greater than those exerted by Texas windshear.


The Starhopper as you pointed out has been retired & Mk2 is being built & presumably will be flown from Florida. Spacex is still attempting to purchase the remaining homes & properties in Boca Chica.
Terry


crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2511
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 94
  • Likes Given: 47
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #358 on: October 16, 2019, 12:59:07 AM »
> this month

Sounds a bit optimistic:

Quote
Soon, perhaps within one or two months, it will launch to an altitude of 20km.
from https://arstechnica.com/features/2019/09/after-starship-unveiling-mars-seems-a-little-closer/ from 28 Sept.

Orbital attempt won't come until ~ Mk 4 - maybe mid 2020.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #359 on: October 16, 2019, 01:28:02 AM »
• The Starship design is massively different from Starhopper!  Starship Mk1 has separate moveable “fins” near the nose and tail and 6 legs bolted to the body of the rocket.  Starhopper will never fly again; however it is expected to be used as a Raptor engine test platform.

Starship photo below from:
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1179123464642408458

• Mk1 has been partially disassembled since the presentation, and is being fitted with engines, plumbing, et. in preparation for its first flight.  Boca Chica road closures have been posted for October 23-25 (probably for tank tests).
The FCC communications permit for the 20km flight has also been filed. 

• Mk2 progress continues in Florida.  Gorgeous new rings, made from a single piece of 301 stainless steel, with a single weld, are being built.
Marek Cyzio (@MarekCyzio) 10/12/19, 8:59 AM
https://twitter.com/marekcyzio/status/1183004366799855616
Photo below.

• Lots of construction underway during SpaceX’s current launch hiatus, preparing Launch Complex 39A for Starship:
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 10/12/19, 12:16 PM
Cement trucks were a common theme in space facility builds today. Fresh cement at the #Starship #39A build could be seen. In the 2nd photo it looks like the landing zone area near the camera pad is progressing. I believe the launch base will be closer to todays cement work.
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1183053726526984192
Photos at the link.

• The SpaceX ocean fleet is being upgraded to handle the upcoming increased launch cadence:

SpaceX preparing to catch two Falcon 9 fairings at once with twin net-carrying ships
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-prepared-first-dual-falcon-9-fairing-catch/

Elon Musk says SpaceX is still building a third drone ship – but is it for Falcon or Starship?
https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-says-spacex-building-third-drone-ship/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #360 on: October 16, 2019, 02:10:06 AM »
Boca Chica Launch site preparations:
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/15/19, 2:16 PM
Starship launch pad progress Tuesday Oct 15
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1184171251528622086
30 sec video
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/15/19, 2:18 PM
Boca Chica launch pad Tues Oct 15 update
30 sec video
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/15/19, 2:33 PM
Photo below; more at the link.

SpaceX begins launch pad upgrades for Starship flight tests in Texas and Florida
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-begins-starship-launch-pad-upgrades-texas-florida/

SpaceX is building Starship’s East Coast launch site at a breakneck pace
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-east-coast-launch-site-breakneck-pace/

Elon Musk wants to move fast with SpaceX’s Starship
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/09/29/elon-musk-wants-to-move-fast-with-spacexs-starship/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #361 on: October 16, 2019, 02:46:45 PM »
SpaceX is developing not one but two variants of the Raptor rocket engine: one optimized for use in the atmosphere, and one optimized for the vacuum of space.

Vacuum engines need such large and unwieldy nozzles in order to make them as efficient as possible. In a very simplistic sense, a rocket engine nozzle directs the flow of superheated, ultrafast gases in order to squeeze as much momentum transfer as possible. The lower the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere is, the more those gases will expand immediately after leaving the nozzle – giant vacuum nozzles simply try to harness the additional momentum available from that extra expansion.
This is why rocket exhausts appear to spread and thin out as launch vehicles reach higher and higher altitudes.


SpaceX’s Starship Raptor Vacuum engine plans laid out by CEO Elon Musk
October 16, 2019
Quote
Elon Musk says that SpaceX Starship engine upgrades are on track to begin static fire tests of a Raptor Vacuum variant as few as a “couple months” from now.

Designed to enable more efficient performance in thin atmosphere or vacuum, Musk admitted that the first version(s) of Raptor Vacuum (RVac) will likely be a compromise between efficiency and speed of development. Nevertheless, the faster SpaceX can prepare Raptor Vacuum for flight, the easier it will be for Starship to begin serious (sub)orbital flight tests.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-raptor-vacuum-engine-upgrade-elon-musk/

—-
SpaceX’s Raptor is the first Full Flow, Staged Combustion Cycle rocket engine to have ever flown.  Learn more about it here:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2582.msg201113/topicseen.html#msg201113
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #362 on: October 17, 2019, 03:04:27 PM »
Several other companies are working toward big LEO satellite constellations.  The question is who has the money, technology and launch capability to get there first.

SpaceX could upgrade Starlink constellation with tens of thousands of satellites
Quote
Filings and an official statement confirm that SpaceX could eventually build a Starlink internet constellation with tens of thousands of satellites, several times more than the company’s already ambitious plans.

“As demand escalates for fast, reliable internet around the world, especially for those where connectivity is non-existent, too expensive or unreliable, SpaceX is taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink’s total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users’ anticipated needs.” 
SpaceX – October 15th, 2019

Uncovered through regulatory filings published on the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) eSubmission portal, the FCC filed documents hinting at plans for tens of thousands of new communications satellites. It was eventually confirmed by the ITU and eventually the company itself that SpaceX was behind the new filings, altogether accounting for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites.

Prior to this new filing, the ceiling for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellation was set around 11,900 spacecraft – 4400 in several low Earth orbits (LEO) and another 7500 in very low orbit (VLEO). Put simply, even the most ardent supporters and potential benefactors of such a colossal satellite constellation have never taken those particular numbers all that seriously – 12,000 satellites is nearly six times as many operational spacecraft currently in orbit.

To build even a fraction as many satellites would take resources on the order of a small country without a revolution in satellite manufacturing and mass production. Assuming a cost as low as $5 million per satellite (more or less unprecedented), launching just the first 4400-satellite segment would cost SpaceX a minimum of $22 billion, while the full 11,900 would be more like $60 billion.

And yet, as improbable as it sounds next to today’s satellite production status quo, CEO Elon Musk indicated that SpaceX’s very first 60 Starlink prototypes – launch in May 2019 – cost less than the launch itself. This implies that the cost of each of those beta spacecraft was probably $1 million at most and likely closer to $500,000 apiece. Around that price point, launching thousands of relatively high-performance satellites becomes far more reasonable, even if the figures are still substantial.

4400 satellites would become ~$2 billion, while ~12,000 satellites would become $6 billion. Combined with SpaceX’s new ITU filings, the current maximum of ~42,000 satellites might cost something like $20 billion – a huge price tag, no doubt, but far from impossible. Important to note is that SpaceX almost certainly plans to begin drawing significant income from its Starlink constellation after as few as several hundred satellites have been launched. SpaceX has already raised more than $1 billion to get Starlink close to that point.


Also critical is the fact that building hundreds (let alone thousands) of satellites annually will allow SpaceX to tap into economies of scale quite literally unprecedented in the history of satellite manufacturing, meaning that it’s hard to accurately judge how low the per-satellite cost might eventually fall. Regardless, at the moment, SpaceX’s filings for an additional 30,000 possible satellites are undoubtedly more of an act of “just in case” than a sign of firm plans.

In the present, SpaceX has plans for as many as four additional Starlink v1.0 launches between now and the end of 2019, although it looks likely that that may shrink to 1-2 missions. The next Starlink mission (deemed Starlink 1) is expected no earlier than late-October or November.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-constellation-upgrade-forty-thousand-satellites/

——
SpaceX sees U.S. Army as possible customer for Starlink and Starship
https://spacenews.com/spacex-sees-u-s-army-as-possible-customer-for-starlink-and-starship/

——
SpaceX’s upcoming Starlink launch will set a record for Falcon 9 booster reuse
Quote
SpaceX has three (B1047 was expended on its third flight) thrice-flown Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters on hand, all of which can thus be assumed to be ready for another mission. In fact, B1046.3 is known to be assigned to SpaceX’s imminent Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort (IFA) test (NET November 23rd). ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-falcon-9-launch-latest-reuse-milestone/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1640
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 652
  • Likes Given: 113
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #363 on: October 17, 2019, 09:15:41 PM »
Tragedy of the Commons: Low-Earth Orbit Unusable in 10-15 years ...

Amazon Reports Collision Risk for Mega-Constellation of Kuiper Internet Satellites
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/satellites/amazon-reports-collision-risk-for-its-megaconstellation-of-kuiper-internet-satellites

Last month, Amazon provided the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with data for its planned fleet of 3,236 Kuiper System broadband Internet satellites.

The filings lay out a plan to put 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit — including 784 satellites at an altitude of 367 miles (590 kilometers); 1,296 satellites at a height of 379 miles (610 kilometers); and 1,156 satellites in 391-mile (630-kilometer) orbits.

If one in 10 satellites fails while on orbit, and loses its ability to dodge other spacecraft or space junk, Amazon’s figures [PDF] show that there is a 12 percent chance that one of those failed satellites will suffer a collision with a piece of space debris measuring 10 centimeters or larger. If one in 20 satellites fails—the same proportion as failed in rival SpaceX’s first tranche of Starlink satellites—there is a six percent chance of a collision.

Those figures are not even the worst case scenario. The FCC also asked Amazon to provide an aggregate collision risk should 15 percent of its satellites lose their ability to maneuver. That resulted in a 17 percent chance of a collision.


More than a third of all the orbital debris being tracked today came from just two collisions that occurred about a decade ago. Researchers are concerned that more explosions or breakups could accelerate the Kessler Syndrome—a runaway chain reaction of orbital collisions that could render low earth orbit (LEO) hostile to almost any spacecraft.



“Six percent is huge,” says John Crassidis, an expert on orbital debris at the University at Buffalo. “At a six percent chance of collision, astronauts would be put into an escape hatch to possibly escape. Even at orders of magnitude less than that, you’d want to do a maneuver to avoid it.”

... When responding to the FCC in 2017, SpaceX only provided a collision risk for the one percent failure scenario - it's already had a 5% failure rate - , writing [PDF]: “SpaceX views satellite failure to deorbit rates of 10 or 5 percent as unacceptable, and even a rate of 1 percent is unlikely.”

... three out of 60, or five percent, of the SpaceX's first batch of Starlink satellites failed following their launch in May

Even higher failure rates than 15 percent are not unheard of. Around 30 percent of Iridium’s first generation of communication satellites died on orbit, and the European Space Agency noted in its latest space environment report [PDF] that only about half of all satellites are properly disposed of at the end of their lifetimes.

If the risk associated with a one percent failure rate that SpaceX quoted is extrapolated to a 15 percent failure rate, Elon Musk’s satellites presented a similar aggregate risk as those belonging to Jeff Bezos, at around 14 percent. However, SpaceX has since altered its planned operational altitude for these satellites, and made design changes, which could reduce the chance of collisions. The company does not seem to have supplied the FCC with updated collision risk figures for its new working altitude of 550 kilometers, which is close to Amazon’s.

... In December, IEEE Spectrum reported that the aggregate chance that SpaceX’s planned Starlink constellation would cause an injury or death on Earth was 45 percent every six years.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #364 on: October 18, 2019, 12:44:13 AM »
Beware of FUD.

Meanwhile, Matt Desch – CEO of Iridium, the owner and operator of one of the largest LEO constellations ever flown – stated that its Iridium NEXT satellites perform similar maneuvers weekly, without the need to “put out a press release to say who [Iridium] maneuvered around”. In simple terms, collision avoidance maneuvers are extremely common and extremelyroutine and are a fundamental part of operating satellites on orbit – be it one, ten, or ten thousand.

Quote
Matt Desch (@IridiumBoss) 9/2/19, 1:51 PM
Hmmm. We move our satellites on average once a week and don't put out a press release to say who we maneuvered around...
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/1168582141128650753

Edit: Starlink satellites are aware of their surroundings and will autonomously adjust their position to avoid collisions.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 01:25:25 AM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Rob Dekker

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2320
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 100
  • Likes Given: 112
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #365 on: October 19, 2019, 10:25:25 AM »
Latest launch of a Delta IV Heavy.
Note that none of the boosters, nor the first stage rocket, is landing. They are all discarded and plunge into the ocean.



Which shows that SpaceX (recovering boosters and first stage) is years, if not decades, ahead of the competition at this time, launching into LEO at a lower cost than any other carrier operational at this time.
This is our planet. This is our time.
Let's not waste either.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #366 on: October 19, 2019, 01:55:04 PM »
The problem of ‘crowded orbits,’ dead satellites and space debris is being addressed today, and is quickly becoming big business.  Expect major improvements in the next few years.

In the meantime, about 97% of the earth’s surface is available for space debris to fall on without hitting any humans.
95% Of The World's Population Lives On 10% Of The Land
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217192745.htm
The earth’s surface is 71% water, 29% land.
So 95% of the world’s population lives on only 2.9% of the earth’s surface.


—- Here’s OneWeb’s satellite safety plan:
Quote
By October 2017, OneWeb had filed documents with the US FCC with their space debris mitigation plan. OneWeb "satellites are designed for mission lives of at least five years, and 'the post-mission disposal operation is anticipated to take less than one year.' OneWeb also said it has designed its satellite network to avoid collisions with space stations and debris, and that OneWeb 'will actively and regularly screen for conjunctions between its own satellites and other objects in the Joint Space Operations Center's ('JSpOC') published catalog."[42]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/OneWeb_satellite_constellation

—- And Starlink’s:
Quote
The 60 Starlink v0.9 satellites, launched May 2019, have the following characteristics:[55]
   •   Hall-effect thrusters using krypton as the reaction mass, for position adjustment on orbit, altitude maintenance and deorbit
   •   Star tracker navigation system for precision pointing
   •   Able to use Department of Defense provided debris data to autonomously avoid collision.[90]
   •   95 percent of "all components of this design will quickly burn in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of each satellite’s lifecycle"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellation)


Servicing satellites is now a business:

Refuelling On-Orbital Satellites | SES
https://www.ses.com/blog/refuelling-orbital-satellites

Quote
SpaceLogistics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, provides cooperative in-orbit satellite servicing to geosynchronous satellite operators using its fleet of commercial servicing vehicles. Our initial servicing vehicle, the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV)™ docks with customers’ existing satellites providing the propulsion and attitude control needed to extend their lives. ...
Our life extension services are compatible with virtually all geosynchronous satellites with minimal interruption to operations. They enable satellite operators to significantly extend satellite mission life, activate new markets, drive asset value and protect their franchises. SpaceLogistics delivers life extension services that are flexible, scalable, capital-efficient and low-risk.
https://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/SpaceLogistics/Pages/default.aspx


Image below:  SpaceX Starship will enable satellite capture, service, and return to earth options.
(FYI, this is informally known as the “chomper” version of Starship. :) )
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #367 on: October 19, 2019, 05:49:51 PM »
The Boca Chica road closures scheduled for October 23-25 have been cancelled.  Stay tuned....

——-

SpaceX’s fourth Starship prototype has begun to take shape in Florida
October 18, 2019
Quote
SpaceX’s Florida Starship team appears to have taken the first step towards assembling Starship Mk4, the fourth full-scale prototype of the next-generation spaceship.

Although SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas Starship campus is undeniably in the lead with their first prototype, Starship Mk1, it appears that the company’s Florida campus is far ahead of Texas with their second Starship prototype.



At the moment, SpaceX has set up two separate Starship build teams in Florida and Texas with the intention of creating a sort of internal competition to see which group’s Starships are first to flight and first to orbit. For the most part, it’s assumed that this “competition” is less a fight to the finish line than it is an A/B test, a common software development practice in which separate teams pursue different methods of achieving the same goals.



In the likely event that SpaceX is performing a radical form of A/B testing with rocket prototypes, both teams are continuously sharing best-practices and lessons-learned as they work to find the best possible methods for fabricating hardware and assembling Starships. Nevertheless, in A/B testing, fundamentally different approaches also tend to result in development schedules and final products that are unique, even if the end results are similar.

In the context of Starship, this is exactly what can be observed at SpaceX’s Florida and Texas facilities. Similarities abound in the radical method of en plein air manufacturing being implemented, while the Starship Mk1 and Mk2 hardware being built and assembled are also relatively similar, even if they have some distinct characteristics. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-fourth-starship-prototype-florida-progress/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #368 on: October 22, 2019, 01:10:34 AM »
Boca Chica Starship survived 100-knot winds and a tornado that caused destruction on nearby South Padre island last night.

Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 10/21/19, 10:53 AM
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1186294464211488770
Brief video at the link, with Starship.

Quote
Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 10/21/19, 11:07 AM
2019-10-21
Survived the most powerful electrical storm I've ever been in, heavy rains, hurricane force winds, and passing tornado right overhead. This was very unique from my logging of storms both land and sea. Temp didn't drop? Thank you guys for staying with me.
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1186298049229971456
Brief video at the link, with SpaceX antennas.

Quote
Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 10/21/19, 2:53 PM
SpaceX workers are back to normal already. Pre dawn hammering and sawing was mixed into normal early rocket work routine.
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1186354891184320522
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Rob Dekker

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2320
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 100
  • Likes Given: 112
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #369 on: October 22, 2019, 08:13:18 AM »
This is our planet. This is our time.
Let's not waste either.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #370 on: October 22, 2019, 01:46:45 PM »
Historic day.

People are renaming their wifi networks in tribute. :)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #371 on: October 23, 2019, 02:56:11 AM »
Musk's satellite project testing encrypted internet with military planes
Quote
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Air Force is using SpaceX's fledgling satellite network to test encrypted internet services for a number of military planes, the space company's president said on Tuesday, detailing results for the first customer of Elon Musk's planned constellation of thousands of broadband-beaming satellites.

"We are delivering high bandwidth into the cockpit of Air Force planes," SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said on Tuesday. "Right now we're just testing the capability and figuring out how to make it work."
...
The Air Force program, known as Global Lightning, started testing with SpaceX in early 2018 and used Starlink's first two test satellites to beam to terminals fixed to a C-12 military transport plane in flight, demonstrating internet speeds of 610 megabits per-second, SpaceX Senior Vice President Tim Hughes said. That's fast enough to download a movie in under a minute.
...
Shotwell said the program, part of a $28 million Pentagon contract awarded to SpaceX in late 2018, is ongoing and expects to test Starlink with "a number" of additional military aircraft types. That contract also includes testing communications between satellites in orbit.

The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guiding munitions with space-based lasers and satellites as well as securing such assets from satellite-jamming technology from Russia and China. ...
https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1X12KM
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #372 on: October 23, 2019, 03:30:38 AM »
SpaceX plans to start offering Starlink broadband services in 2020
Quote
WASHINGTON — SpaceX is confident it can start offering broadband service in the United States via its Starlink constellation in mid-2020, the company’s president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said Oct. 22.

“We’ll continue to upgrade the network until mid to late next year,” said Shotwell. “We’re hoping for 24 launches by the end of next year.”

SpaceX wants to offer the service to the U.S. government but is now focused on how it will serve the consumer market. Many of the details of how the service will be rolled out remain to be worked out, she said. When possible it will be offered directly to consumers following Musk’s Tesla model for selling cars. In many countries the company will be required to partner with local telecom firms to offer the service.

Shotwell recognized a lot of this is uncharted territory for SpaceX. “This is very different business for SpaceX,” she said. “It’s leveraging space technology but it’s a consumer business.”

When consumers sign up, “they are going to receive a box from SpaceX” with a user terminal and a cord, said Shotwell. How that gets connected and where the terminals should be placed in someone’s home are still issues to be ironed out. “We still have a lot to do to get that right,” said Shotwell. “Knowing Elon, he wants everything to be beautiful. So the user terminal will be beautiful.”

Outside the United States, SpaceX is working nation by nation to get authorization to offer the service. “Every country has its own process,” said Shotwell.

SpaceX is racing to get Starlink in operation as several other companies continue to build competing broadband constellations. Shotwell said there is probably room in the market for at least two competitors. “If we do well and make money, there will be competitors.”
https://spacenews.com/spacex-plans-to-start-offering-starlink-broadband-services-in-2020/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #373 on: October 24, 2019, 04:49:48 PM »
SpaceX says Starship Mk1 will test 'skydiver' landing before the end of 2019
Quote
According to CEO Elon Musk and other SpaceX engineers, that 20 km flight debut is designed to prove that Starship’s radical new approach to flight and landing is viable. Musk has repeatedly described that Starship will in no way be an actual space plane and has stated that its ‘wings’ and ‘canards’ are not intended to be airfoils or wings. Instead, Starship will reenter Earth’s atmosphere, slow its horizontal velocity to near-zero, and proceed to free-fall straight down, using its fore and aft flaps to control its trajectory in the same way that skydivers use their body and limbs.

This bizarre approach will be capped off with an aggressive landing maneuver in which Starship will ignite its engines, wildly thrust-vector and swerve to cancel out the horizontal velocity imparted by that sideways ignition, and land vertically on Earth (or Mars). In theory, this strategy will radically reduce the amount of fuel Starship needs to land in atmospheres, but it’s far removed from anything SpaceX has attempted with Falcon 9 and Starship Mk1’s first flight will hopefully prove it to be a viable solution.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-mk1-skydiver-landing-test-2019/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #374 on: October 25, 2019, 09:33:37 PM »
SpaceX details new timeline for sending humans to the moon, Mars and beyond
Quote
SpaceX wants to get to the moon, and it wants to get there fast. On Friday, company president Gwynne Shotwell stated that SpaceX’s goal is to send humans and cargo to the moon [starting in] 2022.

Shotwell made the comments during an on-stage appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, speaking with investor Ron Baron. Shotwell, in remarks shared by CNBC reporter Michael Sheetz via Twitter, also reiterated the company’s goal to fly the under-development Starship rocket to orbit by next year.

It’s the latest in a series of bold proclamations from SpaceX officials, which are painting a picture of far-flung space exploration over the coming decades. Plans include landing humans on the moon, building propellant depots to refuel the Starship, and building moon bases and cities on Mars at the same time.
...
Quote
“Aspirationally, we want to get Starship to orbit within a year. We definitely want to land it on the moon before 2022, we want to basically stage cargo there to make sure that there’s resources for the folks that ultimately land on the moon by 2024 if things go well. So that’s an aspirational timeframe. [Yusaku Maezawa booked] a trip around the moon in the 2023 timeframe, in Starship.”
https://www.inverse.com/article/60446-spacex-timeline-for-sending-humans-to-the-moon-mars-and-beyond
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #375 on: October 26, 2019, 12:40:41 AM »
Article in post #374 doesn’t specify, but a quote from this Tweetstorm compiled on Reddit says “We want Starship to fly to orbit next year, we want to land on the Moon with cargo and people by 2022."

Quote
Shotwell: SpaceX achieved what it has largely because of private funding. You can go as fast as you want & you can tolerate failure." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187741649302179845?s=20
"Baron: Why hasn't Bezos been doing this? He's spending lots of money. Shotwell: They're two years older than us and they've yet to reach orbit. They get $1 billion of "free money" each year but I think engineers work better when they're pushed." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187742052446097414?s=20
"Baron: Why is returning an orbital rocket so hard? Shotwell: You have tons of heat as it goes through the atmosphere at high speed and you need to have the engine refire successfully and then "you have to land on a dime, although our dime is a big circle shaped like an X." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187742692882731012?s=20
"Shotwell, on SpaceX's competitors and why other companies haven't built and landed orbital rockets: "Boeing and Lockheed like their cushy situation." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187743467885211651?s=20
"Baron: Is point-to-point space travel happening any time soon? Shotwell: Any time I talk about timelines I turn myself into a liar. We want Starship to fly to orbit next year, we want to land on the Moon with cargo and people by 2022."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187744708816261120?s=20
"Shotwell: Point-to-point "is a derivative industry for us." It will be cheaper than a current first class ticket, "but a little more than economy." "
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187745011754000384?s=20
"Shotwell: "I think we will have a propulsion breakthrough in my lifetime that we can then say we will build a ship and start the journey" to the next potentially habitable solar system." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187745445361180672?s=20
"Shotwell on Starlink: Our investors and our board in 2012 said "your customers have much higher margins" from the satellite business."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187745963345092611?s=20
"Shotwell: Next year we're going to be 60 Starlink satellites "every other week." "Once we get to 1200 satellites we will have coverage of the whole globe." "
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187746296842588161?s=20
"Baron: How many satellites do we have right now? Shotwell: About 1500." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187746742449721345?s=20
"Baron: So when you have tens of thousands in orbit, how will you know you're not going to run into other satellites? Shotwell: Think about 30,00 people on Earth spread out fairly evenly ... you could spend your whole life and never see another person."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187746890592538624?s=20
"Shotwell: Starlink satellites will have roughly a 5 year life in orbit before we refresh. Morgan Stanley estimated this week how much it would cost to deploy our satellites "and they were wayyyyyyyy off." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187747359452729346?s=20
"For what it's worth, Morgan Stanley's assumed $1 million cost per Starlink satellite with a $50 million cost per launch. "30,000 broadband satellites could require ~$60b of incremental capital," Morgan Stanley said." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187748482309906432?s=20
"Shotwell: SpaceX's Starlink is way less expensive than OneWeb and "17 times better or cheaper." "Jeff Bezos wants to start a constellation and he's years behind." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187748549313941507?s=20
"Q from audience: What is the Baron investment in SpaceX and the current valuation? Baron: Our investment at market is about $150 million."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187749906661945346?s=20
"Shotwell, on achieving what @ElonMusk asks SpaceX to do: "Elon says 'we're going to do this' and then everyone stops breathing." But then we start making it digestible and possible. Baron: What's an example? Shotwell: He said we were going to land a rocket on a boat." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187751299149893633?s=20

@thesheetztweetz on Twitter: "Full house at the @MetOpera for SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, speaking now with billionaire investor Ron Baron." -Tweetstorm-
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dmzp2q/thesheetztweetz_on_twitter_full_house_at_the/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #376 on: October 26, 2019, 08:17:47 PM »
SpaceX Shotwell calls out Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, OneWeb
Quote
“I think it was because we developed with private money that we could go as fast as we wanted,” Shotwell said. “You can tolerate failure.”
She contrasted Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s approach to the space industry with Europe’s Arianespace, which she said “has been very candid” about its government space programs.

“The European space program is largely a program to keep technologists and engineers employed,” Shotwell said. “If you can reuse your rocket then you don’t have a giant population building new ones.”

SpaceX has steadily reduced its prices, with current SpaceX launch contracts going for as little as $50 million to $60 million, in many cases 40% less than competitor pricing. Moreover, SpaceX has simultaneously increased its launches per year, setting a company record of 21 last year.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/25/spacex-shotwell-calls-out-blue-origin-boeing-lockheed-martin-oneweb.html

Reddit page:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dnbyd9/spacex_shotwell_calls_out_blue_origin_boeing/

Edit: From 2018: SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell On Elon Musk And The Future Of Space Launches | CNBC - YouTube
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 08:33:53 PM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #377 on: October 27, 2019, 02:35:51 AM »
More from SpaceX COO Shotwell:
Quote
What could hold up the Starlink launches -— satellite or rocket production?
“I don't think satellite production is going to be the holdup. It probably will be manufacturing the second stages of the rockets, or the rocket's nose cone, or fairing, which protects the satellites during launch.
We're working to reuse a fairing for the first time. And we'd like to fly Starlink missions exclusively with resued fairings.
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/10/26/tech/spacex-starlink-elon-musk-tweet-gwynne-shotwell/index.html

Note that the SpaceX fleet now has two fairing-catcher ships, to recover both halves of a fairing:
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 10/22/19, 10:07 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, both fairing recovery ships have nets! GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree are displaying their gear for all to see at the north dock this morning. There is still time for a few more DP trials before 4th quarter launches ramp up. #SpaceXFleet @SpaceX
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1186645227274211328
Images below; another at the link.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #378 on: October 28, 2019, 02:52:43 PM »
A single Starship launch would be equivalent to almost 7 Falcon 9 missions.

SpaceX president teases Starship’s game-changing Starlink launch capabilities
Quote
OneWeb plans to launch the vast majority of its Phase 1 constellation on Arianespace’s commercial Soyuz rockets, with the launch contract alone expected to cost more than $1B for ~700 satellites.
Quote
Speaking prior to Starlink’s 60-satellite “v0.9” launch debut, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that each prototype spacecraft ended up costing more to launch than to build, despite the fact that their first launch flew on a twice-flown Falcon 9 booster.

In fewer words, Musk thus implied that each Starlink satellite likely already costs significantly less than $500,000 even before SpaceX has begun to reap the full benefits of economies of scale. In fact, based on official 2016 figures that estimated the cost of each BFR booster/ship at less than $4M and Musk’s estimate that Starship could cut Starlink launch costs by a factor of 5, the cost of Starlink v0.9 production could have actually been as low as ~$350,000 apiece, with launch costs on the order of ~$20M.

Speaking a little over five months after Musk, Shotwell revealed that a single Starship-Super Heavy launch should be able to place at least 400 Starlink satellites in orbit – a combined payload mass of ~120 metric tons (265,000 lb). Even if the cost of a Starship launch remained identical to Starlink v0.9’s flight-proven Falcon 9, packing almost seven times as many Starlink satellites would singlehandedly cut the relative cost of launch per satellite by more than the 5X figure Musk noted.
 …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-president-teases-starship-starlink-capabilities/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1640
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 652
  • Likes Given: 113
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #379 on: October 28, 2019, 04:57:48 PM »
A single Starship launch would be equivalent to almost 7 Falcon 9 missions ...

Conversely, a single Starship crash would be equivalent to almost 7 Falcon 9 missions. Safety first.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

ArcticMelt2

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #380 on: October 29, 2019, 04:52:28 PM »
In SpaceХ, they want to abandon the capricious extra-expensive heat-shielding tiles. They were used on the Space Shuttle, they constantly fell off and burned. In this regard, they had to be constantly re-glued and replaced. By weight, they weighed almost 10% of the ship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_thermal_protection_system



Now in StarShip want to use the usual cheap steel plating, and ordinary water for cooling. Water is still so good that it can be a protection against radiation during interplanetary travel. It was estimated that the water would need about as much as the extra-expensive heat shield on the Space Shuttle weighed (about 10 percent by weight).

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ceo-elon-musk-starship-transpiring-steel-heat-shield-interview/

Quote
Based on research done in the 2010s by German space agency (DLR), a porous thermal protection material called Procelit 170 (P170) – 91% aluminum oxide and 9% silicon oxide – was cooled from a peak heat of ~1750 C (3200 F) to ~25 C (75 F) during wind tunnel testing, demonstrating that an average of 0.065 kg (~2.3 oz) of water per second would be needed to cool a square meter of P170 to the same degree, assuming a heating rate of around 200 kW/m^2. Given that 300-series stainless steels have a comparatively huge capacity for radiating heat at high temperatures, will be dramatically thinner than Procelit in any given Starship use-case, and will not need to be cooled all the way to 25C/75F during hot operations, the DLR-derived number is barely relevant without another round of wind tunnel tests focused on metallic thermal protection systems. Still, it allows for the creation of a sort of worst-case scenario for BFS/Starship’s water-cooled shield.

Assuming that the windward side of Starship’s regeneratively cooled heat shield has roughly the same surface area as half of a cylinder, 800 m^2 (8600 ft^2) will have to be actively cooled with water, translating to a water consumption rate of approximately 52 kg/s (115 lb/s) if the entire surface is being subjected to temperatures around ~1750 C. That is, of course, a grossly inaccurate generalization, as aerodynamic surfaces dramatically shape, dissipate, and concentrate airflows (and thus heat from friction) in complex and highly specific ways. Much like NASA’s Space Shuttle or DLR’s theoretical SpaceLiner, the reality of reentry heating is that that heat typically ends up being focused at leading edges and control surfaces, which thus require uniquely capable versions of thermal protection (TPS). Shuttle used fragile reinforced carbon-carbon tiles at those hotspots, while DLR was exploring water cooling as a viable and safer alternative for SpaceLiner.

Aside from heat flux, it’s also unclear when or how long the cooling system will need to be supplied with water during potential Starship reentries. At worst, the spacecraft would need to supply a constant 50+ kg/s throughout a 5+ minute (600+ second) regime of high-velocity, high-drag reentry conditions. Assuming that Starship will need to rely heavily on aerobraking to maintain efficient interplanetary operations, it might have to perform 2+ active-cooling cycles per reentry, potentially requiring a minimum of 15 tons of water per reentry. Given that SpaceX intends (at least as of September 2018) for Starship to be able to land more than 100 tons on the surface of Mars, 15t of water would cut drastically into payload margins and is thus likely an unfeasibly large mass reserve or any given interplanetary mission.

Musk clearly believes with almost zero doubt that a stainless steel Starship and booster (Super Heavy) is the way forward for the company’s BFR program, and he has now twice indicated that the switch away from advanced carbon composites will actually “accelerate” the rocket’s development schedule. For now, all we can do is watch as the first Starship prototype – meant to perform short hop tests ASAP – gradually comes into being in South Texas.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #381 on: October 29, 2019, 06:22:04 PM »
In SpaceХ, they want to abandon the capricious extra-expensive heat-shielding tiles. They were used on the Space Shuttle, they constantly fell off and burned. In this regard, they had to be constantly re-glued and replaced. By weight, they weighed almost 10% of the ship.
...


More recently, SpaceX turned away from the transpirational cooling idea and will likely be using newly-developed ceramic tiles on the “hot” side of Starship.

Quote
Although particular species of stainless steel do feature exceptionally high melting points and structural characteristics at ultra-high temperatures (> 1400C/2500F), some unofficial analyses of the numbers involved indicated that the density and weight of steel could rapidly hinder any benefits derived from its use as a heat shield. Musk appeared to confirm this in his July 24th comments, indicating that thin ceramic tiles on the windward side and nothing on the leeward side of Starship looked like the “lightest option”.

SpaceX’s first thrice-flown Cargo Dragon returns from orbit with Starship tiles intact
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-thrice-flown-cargo-dragon-recovery-starship-tiles/

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/10/19, 2:26 AM
@Teslarati The hex tiles are actually mechanically attached, which is important to allow for very high temp on back side of tile that would destroy any adhesive. Marshmellow-looking thing is a rope seal.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1171308928476385281

SpaceX tests ceramic Starship heat shield tiles on Starhopper’s final flight test
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-tests-starship-heat-shield-tiles-on-starhopper/

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #382 on: October 29, 2019, 06:25:59 PM »
This Redditor’s attempt to estimate the feasibility of building a solar park on Mars of a size that Musk suggested would be needed early on… was well received.

”I thought it'd be interesting to get an estimate of what kind of challenge would be involved in developing, delivering and deploying a solar park at 45 N on Mars, which would generate the kind of power suggested by Elon Musk in the recent tweet.

I will attempt to stick to real world products or which can be readily engineered (no breakthroughs required) and I will attempt to err on the side of being conservative.”


Estimating what building a 1-10 MW Solar Park on Mars would involve
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dopbfz/estimating_what_building_a_110_mw_solar_park_on/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

ArcticMelt2

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #383 on: October 29, 2019, 06:32:36 PM »
More recently, SpaceX turned away from the transpirational cooling idea and will likely be using newly-developed ceramic tiles on the “hot” side of Starship.

It is very doubtful that ceramic tiles will be used in interplanetary flight. They have low thermal conductivity, which means they will still be damaged.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/aqqba3/known_and_unknown_information_about_dragons_heat/

Quote
Known and unknown information about Dragons heat shield design
While we're all quite interested in the future with Starship's rapid development and drastic redesign, I'd like to discuss something a bit more current: Dragon's heat shield design.

What we know:

Some materials are known with certainty to be used on Dragon.

PICA-X is used for the main shield. Somewhere around 45 roughly-squarish tiles are used (can't find a good picture, but estimating from this). Here is a picture of the tiles being applied. They're 8 centimeters thick and each weigh about a kilogram. On a LEO reentry, approximately 1 centimeter of this is the char layer, a further 1 centimeter is pyrolized, and the remaining 6 centimeters are effectively virgin material. The extra virgin layer is still necessary to insulate the structure and the adhesive used to bond on the tiles from the reentry heat. Strain isolation pads, similar to that used on the Shuttle to connect the TPS tiles to the structure, separate the tiles from their backing structure. The backing structure is composite. The tiles themselves are likely not reusable after water submersion, but the representative I talked to at Fiber Materials Inc said they'd never actually tested for this. Core samples from splashed-down Dragon heat shields show significant (>25% of mass) salt content in the char layer, indicating significant water penetration. The composite structure is reused.

On the contrary, the steel has a high thermal conductivity, and therefore is not damaged as a result of strong heating during water cooling. For example, pipes and turbines of a thermal power plant.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #384 on: October 29, 2019, 06:41:11 PM »
Quote
It is very doubtful that ceramic tiles will be used in interplanetary flight. They have low thermal conductivity, which means they will still be damaged.
...
On the contrary, the steel has a high thermal conductivity, and therefore is not damaged as a result of strong heating during water cooling. For example, pipes and turbines of a thermal power plant.

Dragon is not Starship, and the reentry forces from LEO versus the moon or Mars are quite different.  Also, weight is more of a factor in interplanetary flight, and SpaceX has developed new tiles that will be better overall than double-walled transpirational steel.

The interview you quoted is from last January.  Much has changed since then!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

SteveMDFP

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1437
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 184
  • Likes Given: 15
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #385 on: October 29, 2019, 06:45:17 PM »

On the contrary, the steel has a high thermal conductivity, and therefore is not damaged as a result of strong heating during water cooling. For example, pipes and turbines of a thermal power plant.

It's an interesting engineering challenge.  Water cooling seems like an excellent idea, but the weight of putting the water up in orbit is an economic and engineering challenge in itself.

Over the long run, this is an argument in favor of the economics of mining the cold parts of the moon for water.  The water harvested might be loaded into craft prior to re-entry to earth.  Establishing a water mining operation on the moon would initially be very expensive, but once established, it's far less costly in energy (and dollars) to transfer water from the moon to low earth orbit than haul water up from the earth's surface.  Such an approach would promote reusability in spacecraft, and allow more payload weight to be able to go up without having to bring water on the rocket.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #386 on: October 29, 2019, 06:52:27 PM »
SpaceX Switching to Thin Tile Heat Shield Instead of Active Cooling
Quote
Elon Musk indicated that SpaceX will test thin ceramic tiles to protect the Super Heavy Starship from re-entry heat instead of using active transpirational cooling.

This will only need to be on 10-20% because the steel alloy could handle most of the re-entry temperatures.
...
The first stage super heavy booster does not require a heat shield because it only reaches mach 8 or 9.
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/07/spacex-switching-to-thin-tile-heat-shield-instead-of-active-cooling.html
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #387 on: October 31, 2019, 01:21:51 AM »
Boca Chica, Texas

Starship Mk1 arrives at launch site ahead of flight test
Quote
SpaceX’s Mk1 Starship enjoyed a short road trip to its Boca Chica launch site on Wednesday, a key milestone ahead of its upcoming test flight. Soon to be joined by its fairing, Starship will undergo several weeks of preparations for the test flight to 20 KM that will include an ambitious landing attempt. ...
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/10/starship-mk1-launch-site-flight-test/
Photos and videos at the link, including a brief update on the Florida site.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #388 on: November 03, 2019, 01:38:25 PM »
Watch out, Soyuz.  Starship can seat at least 3!  ;D
Florida:
Quote
Kyle Montgomery (@Kyle_M_Photo) 10/31/19, 8:52 PM
There was three people inside of starship MK2 today. #SpaceX #StarshipMK2
https://twitter.com/kyle_m_photo/status/1190069066544885761
10 sec time lapse: 3 workers climb out of Starship and into the crane work bucket.

=====
Boca Chica, Texas  Starship Mark 1.

Road closures at the end of October were for moving the main section of Starship Mk1 to the launch mount on the launching pad.
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/30/19, 8:50 PM
Starship - The Journey Begins 10-30-2019
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1189706253389488133
Photo below.

New road closures are scheduled, likely for testing of launch pad fuel systems and Starship tanks.
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 11/2/19, 9:27 AM
T-5 days until Starship MK1 comes to life!! Latest road closure notice for Starship testing at Boca Chica, beginning Thursday Nov 7 from 12-8pm, also Friday and the following Tuesday same times. co.cameron.tx.us/wp/space-x/
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1190621504817549313
- No static fires yet, just the initial pressure tests, tank

——
Canard attached to nosecone.  Openings created for… windows?
Photo below from: https://twitter.com/johnrand0061/status/1190646261134827522

Good look at Starship Mk1 Nosecone - YouTube
90-second video.  Close-ups of two (window?) openings show scaffolding inside!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #389 on: November 06, 2019, 12:56:27 AM »
SpaceX:  Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting 11/11 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Pad 40 in Florida

SpaceX Falcon 9’s next Starlink launch will reuse a Falcon Heavy fairing for the first time
Quote
SpaceX has announced that a thrice-flown Falcon 9 booster successfully completed a static fire test ahead of the company’s first launch in three months, set to be Starlink’s ‘v1.0’ launch debut. In a twist, SpaceX says that the mission will be the first to reuse a full payload fairing, recovered after Falcon Heavy Block 5’s April 2019 launch debut.

After a successful wet dress rehearsal and static fire on November 5th, SpaceX says that the 60-satellite Starlink-1 mission – the first flight of the finalized ‘v1.0’ satellite design – is on track to lift off on November 11th, likely around 10 am Eastern Time (15:00 UTC). Starlink-1 will be SpaceX’s second Starlink launch of 2019, following the largely successful May 2019 launch debut of 60 Starlink v0.9 satellites. Although several satellites suffered anomalies (as expected), SpaceX remains in contact with all 60, while 50 successfully reached their final ~550 km (340 mi) orbits and have been operating ever since.

Since that launch, SpaceX has successfully demonstrated a range of capabilities, including streaming high-quality videos, playing video games, and more. CEO Elon Musk recently claimed to have tweeted over internet service provided by Starlink satellites, likely signifying the first public test of SpaceX’s self-built user terminals, ground antennas that customers will use to connect to the Starlink network. Finally, SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell recently revealed that the US Air Force has begun to carefully test Starlink’s capabilities, part of a ~$29M contract it awarded SpaceX last year. The USAF is testing connectivity to high-performance aircraft and has sustained speeds of more than 600 Mbps (75 MBps or 1 GB every ~13 seconds) over air-to-satellite Starlink links, impressive but still only ~3% of a single satellite’s full bandwidth. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-next-launch-first-falcon-fairing-reuse/

Edit:  from last April:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/11/19, 9:31 PM
Both fairing halves recovered. Will be flown on Starlink mission later this year.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116514068393680896
[photos at the link.]
- Recovered from water, but undamaged
< Will these be the first ones to be reused?
- Yes
< That was 3 boosters and 2 fairing halves all autonomously flying back for recovery with the droneship autonomously stationkeeping and the upper stage autonomously putting the robot satellite into orbit. 8 robots. 9 if you count the octograbber.
<< Previous ones were recovered from water but did fly back. They still need gas thrusters for stability on the way back.
- This is true. They each have avionics, several nitrogen thrusters & steerable parachutes.
< How many times can a reused rocket take off?
<< Number of times they can land it + 1.  ;)

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/5/19, 1:08 PM
The fairing supporting this mission previously flew on Falcon Heavy’s Arabsat-6A mission
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1191779329467748353
~20-second video of the Arabsat fairing separation at the link. Earth views!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 02:40:38 AM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #390 on: November 11, 2019, 01:35:33 AM »
SpaceX Starlink launch late tomorrow morning (Florida time) if you want to catch it live.  (Webcast stays up for a while afterwards.)
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/10/19, 6:57 PM
Falcon 9 and Starlink are vertical on Pad 40 ahead of tomorrow’s launch opportunity at 9:56 a.m. EST, 14:56 UTC. Weather is 80% favorable → spacex.com/webcast
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1193679129184362496

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/10/19, 7:31 PM
Team is go for launch of 60 Starlink sats tomorrow—heaviest payload to date, first re-flight of a fairing, and first Falcon 9 to fly a fourth mission. Watching 1 sat that may not orbit raise; if not, 100% of its components will quickly burn up in Earth’s atmosphere
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1193687615528042496
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #391 on: November 11, 2019, 02:23:14 AM »
Just in case commercial crew certification is delayed.

Next three-man Soyuz crew training to have space station to themselves
Quote
The next three-man crew to launch on a Soyuz rocket — comprising two Russian cosmonauts and a veteran NASA astronaut — is training to have the International Space Station to themselves after their arrival at the orbiting research outpost in April, at least until new U.S. commercial crew ships enter service.

The next Soyuz crew is scheduled to launch April 9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to kick off an expedition planned to last around six-and-a-half months. ...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/09/next-three-man-soyuz-crew-training-to-have-space-station-to-themselves/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #392 on: November 11, 2019, 01:29:19 PM »
The new satellites will have Ka antennas for the first time, and will be deployed in a lower orbit so that any non-functioning units will de-orbit quickly, and will burn up 100% in the atmosphere.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink launch eyes two reusability milestones as new satellite details emerge
Quote
SpaceX is also focused on dramatically lowering the albedo (reflectivity) of Starlink satellites and working closely with the astronomy and astrophysics communities to minimize any disruption the spacecraft might cause for scientific observations of the night sky. For any part that will be ground-facing during routine operations, this likely involves replacing shiny surfaces with matte finishes and adding dark or non-reflective coatings/insulation where possible, among other potential tweaks. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-starlink-launch-new-satellite-details/

SpaceX and Cape Canaveral Return to Action with First Operational Starlink Mission - NASASpaceFlight.com
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/11/spacex-cape-return-first-operational-starlink-mission/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #393 on: November 11, 2019, 05:19:05 PM »
Confirmed: 60 Starlink satellites deployed!  Image below.  Watch the mission replay at spacex.com.

—- Best OCISLY landing vid yet!
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/11/19, 10:05 AM
Falcon 9 first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – the fourth launch and landing of this booster
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1193907618575552514
11 second video at the link.

—-
(Cool: 3 seconds of blue liquid oxygen sloshing around the bottom of the LOX tank!)
https://twitter.com/rrosenbl/status/1193909240223547392
Image below, vid clip at the link.

—-
Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 11/11/19, 9:46 AM
SpaceX confirms that Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief will not be attempting to catch the fairing today. They are concerned the strength of the catching structure, following rough seas over the weekend.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1193902769192747008
They will still recover the fairing halves, from out of the ocean.

(Atlantic Ocean wave Ref: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2569.msg236281.html#msg236281)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

ArcticMelt2

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #394 on: November 11, 2019, 05:34:29 PM »
This was the first reuse of the head fairing - worth $ 6 million. And the first use of the same rocket for the 4th time.

Everything is successful. Now new batches of 60 satellites will be launched every two weeks. Soon satellite Internet will replace wired, as now cellular communication has replaced landline phones with wires.

ArcticMelt2

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 458
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 27
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #395 on: November 11, 2019, 08:32:56 PM »

crandles

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2511
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 94
  • Likes Given: 47
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #396 on: November 14, 2019, 01:26:51 PM »
SpaceX conducts static fire of Crew Dragon’s abort system engines
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/11/spacex-static-fire-crew-dragons-abort-engines/

Quote
SpaceX conducted a static fire test of their human-rated Crew Dragon capsule on Wednesday
...
During this week’s static fire test, Crew Dragon fired its SuperDraco engines as if it were to be performing an abort maneuver to get itself away from the launch vehicle in the event of a serious problem. Early indications are that everything went to plan during the test stand firing.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 218
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #397 on: November 14, 2019, 05:52:20 PM »
40-min podcast discussing Commercial Crew with the folks who are managing it — right before the recent/upcoming abort tests.  Separate segments with NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX.
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/audio/episode_17_abort_3220774_rev_4.mp3
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1640
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 652
  • Likes Given: 113
Re: SpaceX
« Reply #398 on: November 15, 2019, 01:23:32 AM »
NASA report finds Boeing seat prices are 60% higher than SpaceX
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/11/nasa-report-finds-boeing-seat-prices-are-60-higher-than-spacex/

On Thursday, NASA's inspector general released a report on the space agency's commercial crew program, which seeks to pay Boeing and SpaceX to develop vehicles to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-20-005.pdf

Although the report cites the usual technical issues that the companies are having with the development of their respective Starliner and Dragon spacecraft, far more illuminating is its discussion of costs. Notably, the report publishes estimated seat prices for the first time, and it also delves into the extent that Boeing has gone to extract more money from NASA above and beyond its fixed-price award.

Boeing's per-seat price already seemed like it would cost more than SpaceX. The company has received a total of $4.82 billion from NASA over the lifetime of the commercial crew program, compared to $3.14 billion for SpaceX. However, for the first time the government has published a per-seat price: $90 million for Starliner and $55 million for Dragon. Each capsule is expected to carry four astronauts to the space station during a nominal mission.



Beyond these seat prices, Inspector General Paul Martin's report also notes that Boeing received additional funding from NASA, above and beyond its fixed-price award.

Quote
... "We found that NASA agreed to pay an additional $287.2 million above Boeing’s fixed prices to mitigate a perceived 18-month gap in ISS flights anticipated in 2019 and to ensure the contractor continued as a second commercial crew provider, without offering similar opportunities to SpaceX,"

... Perhaps the most striking rationale for approving the additional funds was that Boeing may have discussed backing out of the commercial crew program (CCP). Martin writes, "According to several NASA officials, a significant consideration for paying Boeing such a premium was to ensure the contractor continued as a second crew transportation provider. CCP officials cited NASA’s guidance to maintain two US commercial crew providers to ensure redundancy in crew transportation as part of the rationale for approving the purchase of all four missions at higher prices." ...
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late