SpaceX lands FAA license for Starship megarocket launch on June 6

Jun 4, 2024
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I find it exciting that we may have a re-usable, heavy duty spaceship soon. I think one of the two will make the landing. The next flight.. it can be re-used, but will probably sit in a museum.

For only the cost of some fuel, and minor refurbishment, major loads can be launched. This seems so much more interesting than the space shuttle to me. That seemed like an old tech thing, and much of that was expendable and not rapidly reusable.

If SpaceX makes Starship and the Superheavy like the Falcon 9, we will be on the way to truly colonizing space.
 
Apr 17, 2023
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Well the thing that is really exciting is unlike the very limited Apollo program, which the main objective was just to land on the Moon, snap some pics grab some rocks and come back in a few days. before 1970. The tech was a dead end and extremely expensive.

With a system like Starship we looking at the capabilities to actually land 50-100 tons on the surface of the Moon/Mars multiple times. Orbital refueling is the only way to do this. Physics limits you. along with the basic financial limits of reality. You can only throw away so many billion dollar rockets and only use them once. Musk isn't a genius about this, just realistic.

Why anyone is still developing throw away rockets is beyond me. Also orbital refueling is a necessary for anything beyond LEO that isn't a small probe. Not bashing Apollo but it's technical objectives should NOT drive our goals 50+ years later. We should NOT be striving for a reenactment.
 
Really glad to read about the FAA agreeing on a set of mission objective failures that would not be considered "mishaps" and insert unnecessary government bureaucracy into what is supposed to be an engineering development project.

But, I would rather see a strategy where the FAA needs to show that there actually was a public safety aspect of any system failure before they get involved. That is actually the intent of their enabling legislation.

SpaceX does the actual work of investigating and reengineering, not the FAA anyway. So, the added FAA involvement is a redundant review that takes time and money for SpaceX to support. All the FAA should be doing is making sure that the flight plans do not cause unacceptable risk levels to the public (inside and beyond the U.S.) and making sure that the actual performance of the craft did not go outside of the parameters already deemed safe enough. In that sense, I have not seen anything about the 3rd flight test that could logically be designate as a "mishap" that caused unanticipated danger to the public anywhere.
 
Starship should close the gap and reach operational type performance this time, We wish them a success.
Would that mean multiple orbits, successful reuse and what else?
Ravi
(Dr. Ravi Sharma, Ph.D. USA)
NASA Apollo Achievement Award
ISRO Distinguished Service Awards
Former MTS NASA HQ MSEB Apollo
Former Scientific Secretary ISRO HQ
Ontolog Board of Trustees
Particle and Space Physics
Senior Enterprise Architect

SAE Fuel Cell Tech Committee voting member for 20 years.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/drravisharma
 
Well, total success would be the safe landing and quick re-use of both the booster and Starship, plus refueling in space, and all at a cost that is better than the competition. And, it would need demonstration of a failure rate low enough to be crew rated by the government.

I think SpaceX still has a ways to go to get to that level. I think that landing Starship in the chopsticks is going to be the ultimate test of the process, coming back from orbit, not just a "hop". A big goof there causes a very large infrastructure loss, and there are only a few of those in the system. Starship's heat shield is another big question mark at this point.

And, I am not seeing a good reason to have Starships go from the surface of Earth to the surface of the Moon and all the way back, rather than having variants that are optimized for earth's surface to orbit, earth orbit to lunar orbit, and lunar orbit to lunar surface (and back). Why land an airframe and heat shield on the moon and then launch it back to earth's surface on every trip? The only reason would be to avoid the braking propellant costs for settling back into low earth orbit instead of hitting the atmosphere at 35,000 miles per hour. IF refueling works, then I think purpose-designed variants of Starship will be forthcoming for both cost and reliability issues.
 
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Mar 5, 2021
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Well the thing that is really exciting is unlike the very limited Apollo program, which the main objective was just to land on the Moon, snap some pics grab some rocks and come back in a few days. before 1970. The tech was a dead end and extremely expensive.

With a system like Starship we looking at the capabilities to actually land 50-100 tons on the surface of the Moon/Mars multiple times. Orbital refueling is the only way to do this. Physics limits you. along with the basic financial limits of reality. You can only throw away so many billion dollar rockets and only use them once. Musk isn't a genius about this, just realistic.

Why anyone is still developing throw away rockets is beyond me. Also orbital refueling is a necessary for anything beyond LEO that isn't a small probe. Not bashing Apollo but it's technical objectives should NOT drive our goals 50+ years later. We should NOT be striving for a reenactment.
I don't think the Appollo tech was a dead-end and was expensive only that they invented on the fly, much like today. And still developing throw away rockets is required to invent something new, just like Elon does with Starship now. Do you think everything is made with a snap of the fingers?
 
Mar 5, 2021
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Really glad to read about the FAA agreeing on a set of mission objective failures that would not be considered "mishaps" and insert unnecessary government bureaucracy into what is supposed to be an engineering development project.

But, I would rather see a strategy where the FAA needs to show that there actually was a public safety aspect of any system failure before they get involved. That is actually the intent of their enabling legislation.

SpaceX does the actual work of investigating and reengineering, not the FAA anyway. So, the added FAA involvement is a redundant review that takes time and money for SpaceX to support. All the FAA should be doing is making sure that the flight plans do not cause unacceptable risk levels to the public (inside and beyond the U.S.) and making sure that the actual performance of the craft did not go outside of the parameters already deemed safe enough. In that sense, I have not seen anything about the 3rd flight test that could logically be designate as a "mishap" that caused unanticipated danger to the public anywhere.
I think it is more of a dangerous and FAA necessary thing than you suspect. Just launching this Starship is a danger considering how new and untested it is. But I do realize reducing the lengthy involvement of the FAA is important to get more tests done of Starship and quickly reaching the goal of Mars colonization.
 
Mar 5, 2021
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Starship should close the gap and reach operational type performance this time, We wish them a success.
Would that mean multiple orbits, successful reuse and what else?
Ravi
(Dr. Ravi Sharma, Ph.D. USA)
NASA Apollo Achievement Award
ISRO Distinguished Service Awards
Former MTS NASA HQ MSEB Apollo
Former Scientific Secretary ISRO HQ
Ontolog Board of Trustees
Particle and Space Physics
Senior Enterprise Architect

SAE Fuel Cell Tech Committee voting member for 20 years.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/drravisharma
We can only hope for operational type performance for this test. Falcon 9 went through many more tests before it had a real mission. Also, if you were to say, what would be a good test line for Starship? Something like reaching orbit 10 times with each being reusable? Or more or less?
 
I think FAA was somewhat surprised by the problems with flight #1, and I agree with them that they needed to take another look at the risks. But, once the did that, flights 2 and 3 did not seem to produce any more risk than anticipated.

And, remember, there are explosive charges in both stages that are INTENDED to make them explode wherever they might be if they appear to be headed outside the flight envelope that was approved in advance. So whatever damage that self-destruct signal could cause is already part of the safety assessment. What was particularly troubling about flight #1 is that those charges did not seem to work as designed. So, there was some concern that the vehicles might have gone outside the flight envelope that the FAA approved. But, flight 2 proved that the redesigned self-destructs worked, and flight 3 did not need them and went where planned - it is just that Starship came apart during reentry. apparently due to lack of sufficient roll control. That did not increase the danger to the public. As Musk said, what was launched did not do anything that non-reusable launch vehicles don't do routinely - i.e. get destroyed.
 
We can only hope for operational type performance for this test. Falcon 9 went through many more tests before it had a real mission. Also, if you were to say, what would be a good test line for Starship? Something like reaching orbit 10 times with each being reusable? Or more or less?
I agree, more or less a number of successful cargo delivery or refueling robotic but non-human crewed flights before declaring it operational.
I thought STARSHIP was to be used for Lunar Gateway to Lunar Landing purposes. This would be in addition to only few planned Artemis ULA flights planned. But other uses indicated by Unclear Engineer and others are welcome if they happen to qualify along the way.
Reliable low-cost and repeatable missions will make the rest happen if we do not cause any risks as we did by suppressing Columbia launch anomaly information.
Thanks.
Ravi
(Dr. Ravi Sharma, Ph.D. USA)
NASA Apollo Achievement Award
ISRO Distinguished Service Awards
Former MTS NASA HQ MSEB Apollo
Former Scientific Secretary ISRO HQ
Ontolog Board of Trustees
Particle and Space Physics
Senior Enterprise Architect
SAE Fuel Cell Tech Committee voting member for 20 years.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/drravisharma