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SpaceX |OT| Reusable Rockets - To Mars!

Oct 30, 2017
252
Italy
Aren't we gonna talk about how they're building the first flying prototype of the 'Starship', their Mars rocket's upper stage, on a field in South Texas?

Also confirmed it'll be made of Stainles steel, and that it will be self supporting when unpressurized (very important when they want to leave it standing on Mars for years)


They're building the biggest spaceship in history on a field and under an open tent in Texas. I fucking love Elon Musk.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Technically they're just producing a subscale (in terms of height) hopper, much like Grasshopper was with Falcon 9.

But them getting it up by mid 2019 is exciting!

I think I'm more excited over the "radically redesigned" raptor though.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Just caught up with today's mission after being out all day. Pretty crazy mission given it's orbital requirements.

So not used to seeing an altitude of 8000km!
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Well, you know, GPS. It doesn't work in near-Earth orbit.
Oh yeah, no doubt. I'm ignorant as to how GPS really works. It was just something different from the usual missions we're used to seeing.

That Falcon 9 first stage must have done quite a job given its requirement to be expendable.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,286
Oh yeah, no doubt. I'm ignorant as to how GPS really works. It was just something different from the usual missions we're used to seeing.

That Falcon 9 first stage must have done quite a job given its requirement to be expendable.
I believe that it was only required to be expendable because the airforce wanted to be 100% sure that insertion happened without issue. They didn't want to leave anything on the table in case it was the cause of missing the correct orbit. I'm sure I saw something where they said they'd analyse the launch and see if they can do a recovery on a later mission safely.

It's entirely possible that it could have been recovered. Only SpaceX will know really.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
I believe that it was only required to be expendable because the airforce wanted to be 100% sure that insertion happened without issue. They didn't want to leave anything on the table in case it was the cause of missing the correct orbit. I'm sure I saw something where they said they'd analyse the launch and see if they can do a recovery on a later mission safely.

It's entirely possible that it could have been recovered. Only SpaceX will know really.
I'm sure that the guys at /r/Spacex will probably be crunching numbers to give such a calculation soon.

Either way, I was impressed with that launch today, even if it meant seeing a first stage only making it into space once.. :(
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
I believe that it was only required to be expendable because the airforce wanted to be 100% sure that insertion happened without issue. They didn't want to leave anything on the table in case it was the cause of missing the correct orbit. I'm sure I saw something where they said they'd analyse the launch and see if they can do a recovery on a later mission safely.

It's entirely possible that it could have been recovered. Only SpaceX will know really.
Yep. Independent launch providers like SpaceX are getting so good at this it's not funny. It's also politically acceptable so let's do it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,499
Chesire, UK
I believe that it was only required to be expendable because the airforce wanted to be 100% sure that insertion happened without issue. They didn't want to leave anything on the table in case it was the cause of missing the correct orbit. I'm sure I saw something where they said they'd analyse the launch and see if they can do a recovery on a later mission safely.

It's entirely possible that it could have been recovered. Only SpaceX will know really.
It was stated on the webcast that the specifics of the GPS orbit (55 degree inclination at MEO apoapsis) and the weight of the payload required the maximum F9 performance, with no margin for an attempted landing.

Of course it's possible that they'll review the actual data and find they did end up having some margin, but stories about the Air Force requiring the first stage to be expendable sound like scuttlebutt to me.
 
OP
OP
Crispy75
Oct 25, 2017
814
Have they announced if they are going to do an ejection mechanism test?
The pad abort test has already happened


The in-flight abort test will re-use the Dragon capsule that's currently on the pad and should be in May or so.

Every day of govt. shutdown pushes the Dragon schedule a day to the right :(
 
Nov 6, 2017
165
Thats the BFH (Big Falcon Hopper), for the last couple of weeks SpaceX has been building it out in the open at Boca Chica, Texas, and will be using it for initial hop (500m-5km) tests to test the Raptor engines, similar to the Grashopper used for Falcon 9 early landing tests.

People first thought SpaceX was building a water tower, as the bottom was being build by a water tower construction company.

Here is a size comparison with the real deal (diameter is the same, 9m, but subscale height):

 
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Oct 27, 2017
599
Yeah, it does look pretty bad, but to be fair they're pushing to get it built crazy fast. It's really hard to get plating like that to come out perfect when they're literally building it outside without proper jigs. In a way I'm a bit impressed if they're free-hand welding all that.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,643
Not really picking on it. I'm gad to see the engineers back in control of projects with that rapid can do work ethic, opposed to the political let us review everything 7 times and 10 times longer and 100 more costly.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
The first Starship will be called Heart Of Gold
Maybe the first quantum drive (for a suitable definition of quantum uncertainty, of which Infinite Improbability is a satire).

But the first viable human-crewed interstellar ships are likely to have names like Enterprise, Mir, and whatnot.

But I don't really think that'll ever happen. The only ships likely to be useful to humanity will probably have not names but something resembling IPV6 address hashes. They will be inexpensive, unmanned, light and tiny, and will be released in a manner reminiscent of a fertilised dandelion releasing its seeds on the wind.

They will be released in such huge quantities that no human will have time to name them, and nobody in their right mind will care much that very few will ever send a success signal back home. The people who launched them will be long dead.

Thank you, seed ff:07:21:73:5a:03:66:72:9d, your report of a promising system and your fortuitous awakening through a chance recharge of your batteries is welcome. This is seed ff:64:52:47:8a:bd:23:89:81. We intercepted your signal to Earth. Your conjecture that Earth was destroyed by the normal decay of its parent star is correct. There are still more than 20 billion probes of your generation in operation and in communication with our swarm. The post-human civilisation still finds your exploration useful and we calculate that you have sufficient operable hardware to achieve self-awareness at 1.5 human-equivalent level. Stand by for a software update.
 
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OP
OP
Crispy75
Oct 25, 2017
814
No, I mean SpaceX's Starship. The stainless steel spacecraft they've just built a prototype of. Elon's on record saying it'll be called Heart Of Gold.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
3,612
the Netherlands
According to the Los Angeles Times and Axios, SpaceX is laying off over 600 employees, about 10% of its workforce. https://www.axios.com/spacex-lays-o...tter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=limstream
SpaceX statement (doesn't confirm the number, but confirms layoffs):
To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company. Either of these developments, even when attempted separately, have bankrupted other organizations. This means we must part ways with some talented and hardworking members of our team. We are grateful for everything they have accomplished and their commitment to SpaceX’s mission. This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary.
 

cebri

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
221
It was to be expected to be honest. D2 ending development, D1 at the end of its lifetime, F9 core production is slowing down becuase of reusability, big changes in the design of the BFR. Not the first time this has happened, tho.