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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

Old 21st Dec 2020, 20:44
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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

This is intended to be a new thread about the Boca Chica testing and development site in South Texas

I have started this separate SpaceX thread because this activity is a separate program from Falcon 9, and today also marks the 5th anniversary of the first successful Falcon 9 landing.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 20:46
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Starship SN9 rollout is expected in the next few days, today's rollout was the giant "Tankzilla" mobile crane.

Last edited by kit344; 21st Dec 2020 at 21:46.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 20:27
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SN9 rollout live.
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 12:16
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SN9 rollout yesterday, Time Lapse recording.
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 12:25
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https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020...eavy-ramps-up/

Article about the SN9 rollout, and stacking of SN10
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 12:55
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When do they expect to launch SN9?
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 19:34
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Probably mid January, depends how much static testing they do. Don't forget SN9 had a mishap so until they cryo proof check it we will know nothing.
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 23:12
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Salute!

You can see live TV of various locations at the Boca site, and there's a "discord.com" site that LabPadre will reference. The discusion forum is more like a chat than PPRuNe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky5l...ature=youtu.be

The You tube ref had good coverage of latest hop and covered movement of next Starship to the launch pad.

Not sure if the link wil get you to the LabPadre discussions but try it:

https://discord.com/channels/5779092...09263012462596

Gums sends...
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 13:38
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They are finally clearing the landing pad ready for SN9 flight.
Speculation in various spaceflight forums and Facebook groups that the flight could be as early as this week.
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Old 4th Jan 2021, 20:29
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https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...h-launch-tower

SpaceX Plans to ‘Catch’ Super Heavy Rockets With Launch Tower
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 03:39
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https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1073.html

NOTAM for Friday 8th January
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 10:48
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Anyone know where they're planning to land their first orbital flight(s)? The re-entry path for a Texas landing would be straight across Mexico, which doesn't seem the greatest idea for the first orbital re-entry of such a large/radical vehicle.
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 15:14
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Originally Posted by pasta View Post
Anyone know where they're planning to land their first orbital flight(s)? The re-entry path for a Texas landing would be straight across Mexico, which doesn't seem the greatest idea for the first orbital re-entry of such a large/radical vehicle.
Not all orbits are W-E. The path varies with the orbital inclination, and would probably be North of NW for an approach to Boca Chica TX.

Lots of discussion about things like this in the forums at nasaspaceflight.com
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 17:12
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The idea is to land the booster right on the launch pad, ready for a quick (1 hr according to Musk) turnround.
Similarly, the Starship itself needs to land close to the booster to allow a similar refuel and RTS. .
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 17:25
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Originally Posted by TURIN View Post
The idea is to land the booster right on the launch pad, ready for a quick (1 hr according to Musk) turnround.
Similarly, the Starship itself needs to land close to the booster to allow a similar refuel and RTS. .
That all makes sense (and, if the booster's launching over water its return path will be over water).

What I'm getting at is that there appears to be no orbit for which both launch and re-entry trajectories are over water. Launching over water from Texas and then returning from orbit to the same location seems to commit you to a re-entry path over land; that might not be an issue for a proven vehicle, but seems a bit of a risk for the first few orbital flights of a vehicle very different to any that's flown before. Look at what happened to Columbia; that didn't hurt anyone in the ground, but it could have done.
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Old 7th Jan 2021, 22:39
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Some of the musings ive read seem to indicate that the Starship re-entry profile will be substantially different to 'normal' parabolic reentry. I'm not an astrophysist or rocket scientist so ive no idea what that means. Stop dead and drop straight down perhaps?

Anyway, a successful static fire of SN9 took place today and SN10 has received its nose cone. All moving along swiftly. Another launch Saturday maybe?

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Old 8th Jan 2021, 05:33
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NOTAMs updated.

Originally Posted by kit344 View Post
NOTAMs updated.
https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.jsp

Possible dates now not earlier than Sunday 10th, with Monday and Tuesday as alternates.
https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1077.html
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Old 8th Jan 2021, 05:47
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It looks like the Static Firing on Wednesday 6th was not "Norminal"
It was a very short event, and it looked to me as if only 2 out of 3 Raptors actually ignited.
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 07:55
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There will be another Static Firing, no earlier than, NET, Monday 11th
Earliest possible flight date is now 12th January, with backups on 13th and 14th.
There were a couple of road closures for Static Firing in the last couple of days, but no engines were lit.
NOTAMs are here https://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.jsp with an option to filter Texas or Space Operations, but I couldn't see any way to use multiple filters.
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 23:05
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Static fire is still possible up to 0200 UTC on 13th, 20:00 CST 12th.
No firing was done yesterday, due to either SAR helicopter operations, power outage, or very strong winds.
TFRs have been added for one additional day.
Air Force One was also in South Texas earlier, so NOTAMs for that as well.
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