Topic: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)  (Read 31825 times)

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #220 on: October 30, 2021, 11:49:32 am »
Blue Origin has announced a new consortium to build a space station called Orbital Reef.   The concept requires a functioning New Glenn as two 2nd stages are to be joined together as a central truss and usable habitat volume with docking ports.  Both conventional modules like the ISS and inflatable modules will be docked off both sides and at 90 degrees to them will be mounted an array of solar panels.  It essentially is an updated ISS design, no rotation for simulated gravity.  It appears most of the money is from BO so even though this seems to be a close variant of a design by one of the other participants it appears that BO is the central company getting the lions share of the credit.  Boeing would apparently be doing the actual operation of the station.

The most novel thing about this is not actually part of the proposed station but a "Pod" designed to allow astronauts to leave the station without a space suit with small "space arms" to manipulate things outside the pod.  Another sci fi proposal that looks to become real. 

New Glenn would deliver cargo and modules to the station.  Dreamchaser would deliver cargo and passengers to and from the station.  Whether non participants in the consortium like SpaceX would be allowed to deliver to the station is not mentioned.

Using Starship as a core to build space stations has already been proposed.  Due to pure size it would be a better core and would make awesome side modules.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2021, 01:04:04 pm by Nemesis »
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #221 on: November 05, 2021, 03:29:24 pm »
Blue Origin having failed to get the GAO (Government Accountability Office) to throw out SpaceX being given the Human Landing System contract is now suing NASA over the contract.

Blue Origin (predictably) lost.  So until BO appeals the loss NASA and SpaceX can carry on.  Looks like a 30 day deadline for the appeal.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #222 on: November 06, 2021, 09:22:03 am »
2022 has 4 (with a possible 5th) launches of Falcon Heavy.  At least one launch will result in the side boosters both landing on drone ships at sea rather than past landings near the launch site on land.

The new SpaceX wider high bay for Starship/Superheavy vehicle assembly has the framework going up.  This is something to watch as it will speed up the rate at which new vehicles can be assembled. 

The new tank farm has had a great deal of liquid nitrogen used for testing the tanks and have begun filling the LOX tanks.  With delivery by tanker trucks getting enough propellants to do a orbital launch will take a LOT of trucks and quite a long time.  They really need on site manufacturing of LOX and either the same for the methane or a pipeline for natural gas.  3600 tons of propellant per launch assuming no wastage. That is a lot of tankers.  They could really use one (or more) of these new portable nuclear power plants that are being promoted recently to be able to power an on site propellant plant.

A non operational prototype for New Glenn has been rolled out finally.  How long for a launch capable unit? 

Looks like the Crew 3 Dragon launch is in process right now.  This will make 18 people put in orbit by SpaceX, 14  for NASA and 4 tourists. 

Edited to correct the total numbers of astronauts SpaceX has sent to orbit.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2021, 04:26:44 pm by Nemesis »
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #223 on: November 14, 2021, 04:35:42 pm »
Blue Origin has announced a new consortium to build a space station called Orbital Reef.   The concept requires a functioning New Glenn as two 2nd stages are to be joined together as a central truss and usable habitat volume with docking ports.  Both conventional modules like the ISS and inflatable modules will be docked off both sides and at 90 degrees to them will be mounted an array of solar panels.  It essentially is an updated ISS design, no rotation for simulated gravity.  It appears most of the money is from BO so even though this seems to be a close variant of a design by one of the other participants it appears that BO is the central company getting the lions share of the credit.  Boeing would apparently be doing the actual operation of the station.

I've suggested elsewhere that Musk should essentially say "Great Idea, we'll do the same and build Musk's Reef with 2 Super Heavy boosters to form the back bone".   This would have the added benefit that Bezos head would explode putting his skull cap into orbit and FINALLY Blue Origin would have achieved an orbital delivery.

One SH would be a lot bigger than 2 New Glenn second stages.  Using 2 would be either a 140 meter (459 feet) long by 9 meter (29.5 feet) diameter or 2 could be docked side by side creating a double back bone.   You could keep adding to it by docking Starships and SH that are on their last launch before scrapping. 

If you started with 3 and launched with full fuel the 3rd could have all remaining fuel drained to the 3rd giving a fuel depot setup for refueling starships OR it could be sent to lunar orbit with that fuel to be a Lunar Gateway station.

SN20 has had a 6 engine test.  It was short because 3 of the engines are of course vacuum Raptors and aren't intended for in atmosphere firing.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #224 on: December 04, 2021, 07:13:55 pm »
First the "bad" news.

There is a apparently authentic SpaceX E-Mail from Musk circulating to the effect that if Starship isn't launching Starlink satellites every 2 weeks in 2022 that SpaceX will be in danger of bankruptcy.  Not that bankruptcy would be certain just a danger.  Musk has stated that Starship is needed to launch the V2.0 Starlink satellites due to increased mass, how much mass increase not revealed.  The problem is with the production of Raptor engines, it is unclear if this is due to the design of the engine or of the manufacturing process.  This is connected with the recent firing of 2 executives in connection with the Raptor production.

Now hopefully pressure will be brought to bear on the FAA to get out of the way and let SpaceX go ahead with their test flights that are needed to get to the point of actually launching satellites. 

Now the normal stuff on progress.

They've done more engine and pressure testing since I last mentioned it and also were just doing more on the last test tank made.  Why retesting the test tank?  Unknown.

Much more interesting is that SpaceX is building launch facilities for Starship at Cape Canaveral Launch Pad 39A.  If I am right this is the one that SpaceX won the lease on against Blue Origin and then fought and won a lawsuit by Blue Origin over that lease.  Since Boca Chica can't maintain a high rate of launch like one every 2 weeks they need at least one more site preferably 2 or 3.  The 2 oil rigs being converted for sea launch platforms will contribute to it when ready and shipping the required tonnage of LOX/Methane is easier by sea than by land.  SpaceX bought a LOX tank at Canaveral (110.000 ton capacity) from the Air Force that was scrapping it ($1).    There are already Methane tanks at Canaveral for other purposes that hopefully SpaceX can use to support Starship launches.

So if they can get the test launches to succeed and make a usable Starship and adequate numbers of Raptors things get really interesting in the space industry.  Pad 39A is not enough (IMO) to sustain a launch every 2 weeks and Boca Chica would be lucky to get the onsite fuel in 30 days for one launch unless they start generating at least their own LOX, LN2 would help to as would a LNG pipeline or use of their onsite well being authorized and processing to make it pure enough to use would eliminate the tankage issues.

Rocket Lab provided more info on the planned Neutron rocket.  8 tons to LEO with a reusable 1st stage, 15 tons if expended.  It is being promoted as a "Falcon killer" but with the low payload it could with a low enough cost eat into the lower mass launches on Falcon but can't compete with it on capacity per launch.  2nd stage is expendable and deorbits to not contribute to space junk.  Looks like 7 Methalox engines.  Carbon fibre structure.  Wider at the base than at the top, stocky compared to Falcon 9.  Fixed landing legs, top guidance fins like New Shepard rather than grid fins like Falcon.  4 way opening top to release the fully enclosed 2nd stage that closes again for reentry with the 1st stage.  No projected launch date or engine testing.  So by the time it is flying Starship should be as well. 

The  Russians shot down one of their own satellites making 1,000s if not 10s of thousands of pieces of junk for everyone to deal with.  Hopefully they will start cleaning up (but I doubt it). 

Various companies have recently announced space junk clearing plans the big thing is who pays?
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #225 on: December 09, 2021, 11:53:08 pm »
Ever since Blue Origin did their spiel on why HLS is a problem due to how many missions it would take to refuel the SpaceX HLS in orbit with super pessimistic assumptions I've been annoyed at the nonsense of those assumptions.  (Their number is at least 12 missions with extra expected due to losses in the time it takes the fueling to be done and a slow launch cadence.  With SpaceX building a Starship launch tower at Kennedy and converting 2 oil rigs for launch sites even without Boca Chica they could launch 3 on one day if they wanted once they are finished.   So slow launch cadence isn't necessarily a issue at all.

I just posted the following elsewhere so if you see it anywhere mine is the original and even this one is just a copy.

So on with debunking those bad assumptions to get to a dozen or more fueling missions for HLS.

1/ That NASA will insist on a 100% fuel load not just the load required for the mission.  Even if this is true SpaceX can still fill to 100% with fewer missions for multiple reasons one of which is creative.

2/ HLS reaches orbit with dry tanks.  Why would it?  It would presumably be launched 100% full.  Not only is it lighter than the standard general purpose Starship but it won't be carrying full cargo meaning left over fuel (maybe lots of it).  Also the GP version carries deorbiting and landing fuel that HLS won't  have to  use until it reaches the moon so this will still be on board.

3/ That the maximum tanker capacity is 100 tons.  Why?  At this point we don't know what the tankers payload will be but the cargo range targeted by the Starship design is from 100 tons MINIMUM to 150+ tons.  A tanker won't have all the features (like huge cargo doors) and it is in any case likely that it will exceed that minimum, the big question is by how much?  With 150 tons 1200 tons of fuel would take 8 trips not the 12 Bezos and co seem to call minimum and that assumes dry tanks as in 2/ above could be one or two less.

Finally the creative one.  It assumes people at SpaceX are willing to go all the way in making the HLS custom while staying a Starship.

3/ If it would only take say 700 tons (just a sample number no claim of accuracy) of methalox to achieve the mission and NASA does require 100% fuel load then make the tankage 700 tons.  Even with dry tanks and 100 ton fuel load it would only be 7 loads.  With 150 it is less than 5 full loads, maybe 4 if enough fuel stays aboard.  And it has a BONUS, the cargo compartment would be larger (though reduced mass capability) so the cargo and elevator would be at the bottom making the elevator lift height less and the elevator lighter so less fuel required to carry it to the Moon and if it is ever converted to a base or space station the cargo compartment is MUCH larger for that purpose even before converting the fuel tanks.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #226 on: December 18, 2021, 08:51:47 am »
Falcon 9 just had a successful 11th flight of a booster

In addition to the plans for super heavy having 33 engines on future models Starship is now planned to have 3 sea level Raptors and 6 vacuum Raptors so the future is 42 engines per flight not the 35 of the 1st flight. 

They also removed from SS20 the hardpoints used to lift it by crane.  Presumably this means they will use the tower catchers to lift it into place.

Starship fuel tanks are apparently to be made longer giving more fuel capacity.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 06:34:07 pm by Nemesis »
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #227 on: December 20, 2021, 10:30:20 am »
BN 5 is being scrapped.  It was built for Raptor V1 engines and all new Raptors are version 2.  Thrust increased from 185 tons to 230+ tons per engine.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #228 on: December 21, 2021, 09:23:43 am »
Falcon 9 just had its 100th successful landing and SpaceX completed 31 launches this year.  Only twice this year did they launch a new rocket.
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Offline d4v1ks

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #229 on: December 21, 2021, 12:48:59 pm »
Falcon 9 just had its 100th successful landing and SpaceX completed 31 launches this year.  Only twice this year did they launch a new rocket.

Yes, i saw it.
Really amazing what they have achieved so far.
Thx for the ongoing updates,

Happy Christmas !  :D
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #230 on: December 23, 2021, 04:09:35 pm »
In addition to "Starbase" where I've heard talk they might build a 2nd launch pad they are building at the Cape Kennedy LC39A site and apparently have leased another site LC49(?) at Kennedy for Starship launching along of course with rebuilding Phobos and Deimos as launch/landing platforms.  So ultimately 6 launch pads based on current sites either being built on or with solid plans to do so in the works. 

Even without quick turn around times or vehicles sharing launch pads for HLS this means that in a matter of days they could launch HLS and 5 refueling missions.  With a 2nd craft at each site and all of them fuel tankers that rises to 11 given enough on site methalox at each location or rapid delivery available. 
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #231 on: December 23, 2021, 04:27:25 pm »
Falcon 9 just had a successful 11th flight of a booster

In addition to the plans for super heavy having 33 engines on future models Starship is now planned to have 3 sea level Raptors and 6 vacuum Raptors so the future is 42 engines per flight not the 35 of the 1st flight. 

They also removed from SS20 the hardpoints used to lift it by crane.  Presumably this means they will use the tower catchers to lift it into place.

Starship fuel tanks are apparently to be made longer giving more fuel capacity.

This does have one problem.  Making Starship or Super heavy taller means the stacked ship may be too tall for the current launch tower.  They may need to decapitate it and build one or more new sections.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #232 on: December 23, 2021, 05:36:19 pm »
They have not only begun building at LC39A but at the nearby location where they began to setup to build Starships before making Boca Chica the site they are now working on making it into second Starship construction site.  So sometime next year they should be able to start building Starships there as well as at Starbase.   By that time they should have a Version 1 ship flying cargo to orbit even if they haven't nailed the landings yet, though hopefully they will have at least the boosters landing even if not reusing them yet. 
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #233 on: December 25, 2021, 08:17:05 am »
As a Christmas Present the James Webb telescope was successfully launched today.  Still have to wait for it to be fully deployed and tested but it is looking good.

So Merry Christmas all.  :)

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Offline d4v1ks

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #234 on: December 25, 2021, 02:43:28 pm »
As a Christmas Present the James Webb telescope was successfully launched today.  Still have to wait for it to be fully deployed and tested but it is looking good.

So Merry Christmas all.  :)

Yes, it is crazy the amount of things that can go wrong in the process. 30 days to reach L2 point, then almost 6 months till being cold and fully operational (if everything goes well. over 370 possible failure points, right ?)
Hope the best for them.
If well succeed, it will be an amazing Christmas present for humanity.  :)

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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #235 on: December 25, 2021, 03:22:12 pm »
I don't know how many failure points but in any long term mission there can be many.

One thing though is it only carries less than 1/2 ton of fuel which limits its time in L2.  Starship however should be able to get there and back to refuel it if NASA could get the mission funded. 

Now assume a successor was build inside a Starship cargo bay and flown there with a detachable nose cone section, if it was refueled first in orbit and used a minimum energy trajectory how long could it stay on station? 

A Hubble replacement could be built the same way 8 meters in diameter.   Of course if it stayed in LEO repair/refurbishment/upgrade missions would be easily practical if Starship works to spec.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #236 on: December 29, 2021, 01:12:29 pm »
In addition to the plans for super heavy having 33 engines on future models Starship is now planned to have 3 sea level Raptors and 6 vacuum Raptors so the future is 42 engines per flight not the 35 of the 1st flight. 

There are now some claims (not official) that this could result in a payload of up to 230 tons.  This doesn't include any potential for the extra 4 engines on the next booster and the improved thrust of Raptor 2 increasing it further.  No one has commented on that potential or any increase in fuel tankage either.

If HLS is kept at the current size a fuel tanker of this capacity could fully refuel it with less than 6 missions.  With the reduced fuel capacity for HLS that I suggested earlier 3 missions would do. 
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #237 on: December 30, 2021, 01:27:43 am »
FAA has now delayed their environmental assessment report till the end of February delaying Starship orbital launch until at least March.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #238 on: December 31, 2021, 02:28:39 am »
As a Christmas Present the James Webb telescope was successfully launched today.  Still have to wait for it to be fully deployed and tested but it is looking good.

So Merry Christmas all.  :)

Yes, it is crazy the amount of things that can go wrong in the process. 30 days to reach L2 point, then almost 6 months till being cold and fully operational (if everything goes well. over 370 possible failure points, right ?)
Hope the best for them.

If well succeed, it will be an amazing Christmas present for humanity.  :)

The Ariane rocket was VERY precise in hitting the transfer orbit.  The result is that instead of hitting its position with fuel for 3-5 years of station keeping it is now projected to be able to stay on station for up to 10 years.  So more time for SpaceX to develop the ability to refuel it AND if it does even longer time that a full fuel load would keep it in position.   Here is hoping that happens.

Some people are concerned that a solar panel deployed early.  According to Scott Manley that panel was to deploy either at a certain time OR when its orientation was stabilized to a certain degree and it reached that stabilization earlier than predicted so deployment early is no an issue. 


The Chinese are complaining about 2 near misses of their space station by Starlink satellites.  Hopefully the U.S. official reaction will be "We will worry about that when you start to worry about where your expended stages land".  At the same time they should go behind the scenes with SpaceX and find out if this is real and how to make sure it stops happening.

Hopefully China will start getting reusable first stages in play so having them land with no concern for location will just stop being an issue. 
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: Interesting stuff about SpaceX Starship (hate the name)
« Reply #239 on: December 31, 2021, 11:55:34 am »
Falcon 9 just had its 100th successful landing and SpaceX completed 31 launches this year.  Only twice this year did they launch a new rocket.

It appears they have 35 scheduled Falcon 9 and 5 Falcon Heavy launches scheduled for next year.  Plus any Starship launches of course.  I can't say for sure if any Falcon 9 launches of the 35 are Starlink so that number could be increased, unless of course Starship takes over those which is a potential that Musk has indicated is in the plans due to increased size/mass of the V 2.0 satellite and could DECREASE the number of launches due to the much higher cargo capacity reducing the number of needed launches if they are already included in the Falcon 9 launch schedules.
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