SpaceX Starship launches nail-biting Flight 4 test of the world's most powerful rocket (video, photos)

First, I want to say that this flight was an impressive improvement. And, it is good to see that even with an engine shutdown during liftoff/ascent and another during the landing flip, both vehicles performed nominally. That ability to accommodate some failures and still succeed is the hallmark of reliability.

Next, I want to ask a question about the on-line coverage. I had it here on my computer through Space.com's link, and also on a TV in the kitchen through a Firestick, on what I thought was the same feed. But, on the Firestick link, at T-2:00 and counting, the feed suddenly switched to a video of Elon Musk (or a deep fake?) urging people to click on a QR code displayed on the screen to go to a site where they could send crypto coins and have Musk send back 2 coins of the same type. Sounded to me like a scam to get access to crypto wallets, and it was repeated multiple times, instead of showing the launch and flight feeds. By the time I had dried my hands and checked that the Space.com feed in the other room was still showing the flight feed, I had missed the launch and separation.

So, at this point, I am left wondering whether what I saw on the Firestick/YouTube channel was actually done by Musk, or was it actually a scam taking advantage of the launch audience. Either is outrageous. Both are scary.
 
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First, I want to say that this flight was an impressive improvement. And, it is good to see that even with an engine shutdown during liftoff/ascent and another during the landing flip, both vehicles performed nominally. That ability to accommodate some failures and still succeed is the hallmark of reliability.

Next, I want to ask a question about the on-line coverage. I had it here on my computer through Space.com's link, and also on a TV in the kitchen through a Firestick, on what I thought was the same feed. But, on the Firestick link, at T-2:00 and counting, the feed suddenly switched to a video of Elon Musk (or a deep fake?) urging people to click on a QR code displayed on the screen to go to a site where they could send crypto coins and have Musk send back 2 coins of the same type. Sounded to me like a scam to get access to crypto wallets, and it was repeated multiple times, instead of showing the launch and flight feeds. By the time I had dried my hands and checked that the Space.com feed in the other room was still showing the flight feed, I had missed the launch and separation.

So, at this point, I am left wondering whether what I saw on the Firestick/YouTube channel was actually done by Musk, or was it actually a scam taking advantage of the launch audience. Either is outrageous. Both are scary.
Which youtube source did you use on the firestick?
'Cause I had Whataboutit via youtube on my TV and there was no scam, just a non-stop spacex feed plus a commentary window. So no, not a Spacex scam.You just need to pick better feeds. (kidding,okay? Youtube is a free fire zone with lots of chinese scams. Worse than the internet at large, actually, since they censor some serious/honest channels that "offend" china and certain "sensitives" with facts.).

The launch itself was great as well as the extensive video documentation proving they did do what they intended to do. (did you see how they did the virtual landing? Simple but briliant.)

My main thought was we could've had this a year or even two years ago if not for the FAA and the politically connected types determined to see boeing launch something, anything,before Starship. Political contributions at work, I suppose.
 
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I did Google "Musk crypto giveaway" and got all sorts of results about the deep fake scam.

It was not just on one You-Tube channel, because I tried at least 3 and they all had that scam.

I really was not paying much attention to it, because I was looking for the real launch feed. But it seemed realistic enough in picture and sound that I think this deep fake technology could destroy our civilization. Just think what evidence could be faked and how that will undermine our legal system. Security camera footage, body camera footage, telephone call recordings, cell phone videos, everything is now questionable.

We will probably get a large dose of exposure to all the possibilities between now and the U.S. election in November. And, I think that will just be the beginning, not the end.

There will probably be deep fakes of extraterrestrials colluding with world leaders and accusations that everything that SpaceX actually accomplishes is only a deep fake. Even a "trusted source" can be faked, so what good is a reputation, now? We could be presented with 2 apparent images of the same person, each telling us that the other one is the fake.
 
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Of note:

Starship has reached the usability level of Falcon 9: recoverable, refurbishable booster + one-way upper stage. That is all that is needed for space stations, space telescopes, Fuel depots, and most notably HLS.

Needs work: heat shields and Raptor 2 reliability. Now to see if Raptor 3 solves the latter.

Kudos to the SpaceX staffers, the real heroes of the story.
 
I would not say that Starship has reached the same level of development as Falcon. There is still a lot of work to do on recovery and demonstration of reusability. But, they are making good progress. I do hope to see 4 more launches this year.

But, I am also waiting to see if the FAA declares another "mishap", and, if they do, on what basis.
 
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Congratulations SpaceX as I commented on mission yesterday.
Only question on mind is whether orbit achievement criteria are satisfied?
Historic Epic achievement. Kudos to SpaceX vision - leader and team.
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
 
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Which youtube source did you use on the firestick?
'Cause I had Whataboutit via youtube on my TV and there was no scam, just a non-stop spacex feed plus a commentary window. So no, not a Spacex scam.You just need to pick better feeds. (kidding,okay? Youtube is a free fire zone with lots of chinese scams. Worse than the internet at large, actually, since they censor some serious/honest channels that "offend" china and certain "sensitives" with facts.).

The launch itself was great as well as the extensive video documentation proving they did do what they intended to do. (did you see how they did the virtual landing? Simple but briliant.)

My main thought was we could've had this a year or even two years ago if not for the FAA and the politically connected types determined to see boeing launch something, anything,before Starship. Political contributions at work, I suppose.
I was also on wrong Youtube-channel. Still got the links to it, but it has been taken down by Youtube:
View: https://m.youtube.com/live/6BUrRiI_6d4?si=lAyBGh_XOLyUGojD

or
View: https://youtube.com/live/6BUrRiI_6d4?si=CCel-MdgSE427h31


Alternate between a Nasa channel and this one. Something was strange with it.
 
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I would not say that Starship has reached the same level of development as Falcon. There is still a lot of work to do on recovery and demonstration of reusability. But, they are making good progress. I do hope to see 4 more launches this year.

But, I am also waiting to see if the FAA declares another "mishap", and, if they do, on what basis.
The FAA can't because one didn't happen. They accepted 4 categories of incidents as allowable and reentry issues was one of the four.
The launch met all goals and nobody was ever at risk.
No excuses.

As to Starship, it isn't operational yet, but it is functional.
And as the largest orbital lift system it can start generating revenue this year.
It already works like a disposable today. They can fish it out of the water and refurbish it right now. They won't because it's not a finished design and they have bigger goals. And they can meet them fairly easily.

The biggest challenge is the flap hinges. They either need to shield them better or use a different, more heat resistant material. Preferably lighter. And NASA just revealed they developed one: GRX-810.

They'll be " catching" boosters and starships by year's end.
 
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Congratulations SpaceX as I commented on mission yesterday.
Only question on mind is whether orbit achievement criteria are satisfied?
Historic Epic achievement. Kudos to SpaceX vision - leader and team.
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
Answer: yes.
They met all goals and more.

The only reason Starship didn't complete a full orbit was to test the heat tiles and control system. Both performed.
Even the flap hinges taking damage failed to prevent a soft landing.
That was icing on the cake.
 
I missed some of the actual flight coverage, and did not see it in the videos provided, so I am thinking that SpaceX has not yet demonstrated a raptor engine restart in space free-fall conditions. As I understand the flight plan, it was designed specifically to avoid needing to restart a raptor engine while in space. And, a short burn that had been planned for flight #3 was called off while the Ship was in space because of the attitude control problem, and the concern that an engine start without attitude control might take the Ship outside its approved flight corridor.

So, I think there are still some goals left to achieve for the development process.

Landing the SuperHeavy and Starship precisely enough to avoid damaging ground structures is also yet to be demonstrated. It isn't just a matter of coming to zero velocity just above ground level, it is a matter of where that happens on the north/south - east/west grid, too. Even the Falcon drone ships are larger targets than the chopstick reach of the towers for Starship.

The progress is encouraging, but let's not try to call it done, or even almost done, at this point.
 
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I missed the live feed but is there any decent videos online somewhere - i saw some on you tube but they seem to end before starship re-entry.
Anyway happy for SpaceX and the Starship progress. The heat shielding seems to be the real issue at the moment. I imagine flights from the moon and back to earth will have a higher entry speed & therefore more heat stress?
 
Space.com has two separate links to the ascent phase and the reentry phase videos in the article that is the subject of this thread.

Regarding reentry speed, it depends on the design of the mission. In this flight, Starship did not go to full orbital velocity. If it had done so, then it would need to do a "deorbit burn" to reduce its speed so that it would reenter the atmosphere. It is possible to use enough fuel in that reentry burn to reduce its speed to something near the reentry speed of this flight. But, that would probably be considered wasteful of the fuel, so reentry speed from low earth orbit will probably be higher than this mission. Similarly, direct return from the Moon, as with the Artemis capsule, would be a lot faster 35,000 mph instead of 15,000 mph. But, if fuel was used to brake the Starship speed to the velocity for low earth orbit, then it could just go into orbit and not reenter directly or even indirectly. It might be more efficient to have different vehicles to go (1) from Earth's surface to low earth orbit, (2) from low earth orbit to lunar orbit, and (3) from lunar orbit to lunar surface. That is what the Chinese far-side sample return is doing, except they are not reusing the vehicles they are leaving behind. Being able to refuel in space is a big game changer, but I am not sure how the new game really will work out in terms of specialized vehicles for specific purposes.
 
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I missed some of the actual flight coverage, and did not see it in the videos provided, so I am thinking that SpaceX has not yet demonstrated a raptor engine restart in space free-fall conditions. As I understand the flight plan, it was designed specifically to avoid needing to restart a raptor engine while in space. And, a short burn that had been planned for flight #3 was called off while the Ship was in space because of the attitude control problem, and the concern that an engine start without attitude control might take the Ship outside its approved flight corridor.

So, I think there are still some goals left to achieve for the development process.

Landing the SuperHeavy and Starship precisely enough to avoid damaging ground structures is also yet to be demonstrated. It isn't just a matter of coming to zero velocity just above ground level, it is a matter of where that happens on the north/south - east/west grid, too. Even the Falcon drone ships are larger targets than the chopstick reach of the towers for Starship.

The progress is encouraging, but let's not try to call it done, or even almost done, at this point.
They did the raptor restart in flight three: that is how they demonstrated fuel transfer from one tank to another. Thus no need to do it again.

Today's booster "virtual landing" was about demonstrating the precision needed to "dock" on the launch tower. They have yet to report on that.
 
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Space.com has two separate links to the ascent phase and the reentry phase videos in the article that is the subject of this thread.

Regarding reentry speed, it depends on the design of the mission. In this flight, Starship did not go to full orbital velocity. If it had done so, then it would need to do a "deorbit burn" to reduce its speed so that it would reenter the atmosphere. It is possible to use enough fuel in that reentry burn to reduce its speed to something near the reentry speed of this flight. But, that would probably be considered wasteful of the fuel, so reentry speed from low earth orbit will probably be higher than this mission. Similarly, direct return from the Moon, as with the Artemis capsule, would be a lot faster 35,000 mph instead of 15,000 mph. But, if fuel was used to brake the Starship speed to the velocity for low earth orbit, then it could just go into orbit and not reenter directly or even indirectly. It might be more efficient to have different vehicles to go (1) from Earth's surface to low earth orbit, (2) from low earth orbit to lunar orbit, and (3) from lunar orbit to lunar surface. That is what the Chinese far-side sample return is doing, except they are not reusing the vehicles they are leaving behind. Being able to refuel in space is a big game changer, but I am not sure how the new game really will work out in terms of specialized vehicles for specific purposes.
There has been talk of future versions of HLS doing an elliptical orbit from the moon to LEO for reuse. Might be crewless or crewed. Lots of options depending on the choices for space stations and/or fuel depots.

Theoretically they could position fuel depits in LEO, GEO, and lunar orbit to serve different missions, even high speed direct deep space missions to the asteroid belt and beyond. One step at a time, though. Musk isn't kidding when he says the engines on the ships that go to Mars won't be called Raptors.

For all his talk of Starships to Mars, the Starship family of vehicles will operate in cislunar space for at least the rest of this decade. To go beyond you need a robust support space infrastructure and that's where the various Starships will operate, autonomously more often than not.
 
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fj.torres, I remember specifically reading in previous Space.com articles that the raptor restart was not attempted in flight 3. So, where did you see that it was? (There are so many articles that I did not have time to look through 3 months of archives.)

As for the precision of the landing, I don't think the x,y precision is demonstrated until there is a fixed reference point for comparison of sensor readings to actual position. What was demonstrated was the ability to get the Ship's attitude to upright and its vertical velocity to zero at approximately zero altitude above the water. Clearly the capability is there, but the tuning could still need some tweeking. That will probably come with the first attempt to land in the chopsticks.

Edit: Found the cancelation of the flight 3 raptor restart in space here: https://spacenews.com/starship-lifts-off-on-third-test-flight/

It says

"SpaceX had planned to perform a brief relight of a Raptor engine on Starship about 40 minutes after liftoff, but the company said on the webcast that this test was skipped for reasons not immediately known. The company later said the engine test was called off because of the vehicle’s roll rates."

Restarts in space have been performed with several different rocket motors and propellant combinations, including liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. And, they all require the ability to "settle" the contents of tanks at the suction point so that the liquid can be pumped. But, to date, that has not been demonstrated with liquid methane propellant. So, even the transfer test with liquid oxygen still leaves an item on the list unchecked.

Some discussion of the technology development for in-space propellant transfers can be found here; https://spacenews.com/spacex-making-progress-on-starship-in-space-refueling-technologies/ .
 
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I did Google "Musk crypto giveaway" and got all sorts of results about the deep fake scam.

It was not just on one You-Tube channel, because I tried at least 3 and they all had that scam.

I really was not paying much attention to it, because I was looking for the real launch feed. But it seemed realistic enough in picture and sound that I think this deep fake technology could destroy our civilization. Just think what evidence could be faked and how that will undermine our legal system. Security camera footage, body camera footage, telephone call recordings, cell phone videos, everything is now questionable.

We will probably get a large dose of exposure to all the possibilities between now and the U.S. election in November. And, I think that will just be the beginning, not the end.

There will probably be deep fakes of extraterrestrials colluding with world leaders and accusations that everything that SpaceX actually accomplishes is only a deep fake. Even a "trusted source" can be faked, so what good is a reputation, now? We could be presented with 2 apparent images of the same person, each telling us that the other one is the fake.
We are fast becoming unmoored from reality as a species, instead indulging in personalized realities that need not reflect any truth or fact. Hopefully this moon base will become an undeniable reality though, followed by Mars, and we won't be watching them happen using Chinese scam VR portals.

There have always been moon landing denialists, and they've always been easily discreditable when even our former Soviet competitors laughed at their claims. Other realms may be much more susceptible to deep fakery, where physical evidence (e.g., a giant moon base one can easily see with a powerful civilian telescope) is not available or applicable.

Present/future sometimes look bleak, but other than maybe the 1990s alone, when hasn't it?
 

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