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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

Old 22nd Mar 2022, 09:20
  #241 (permalink)  
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Still tho!

First orbital flight test now rumoured to be early, I believe.
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Old 10th Apr 2022, 20:10
  #242 (permalink)  
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https://www.protocol.com/bulletins/s...ed-environment

SpaceX must pause its Texas expansion because of missing environmental docs
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Old 10th Apr 2022, 20:17
  #243 (permalink)  
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https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sup...ryoproof-test/

SpaceX’s upgraded Super Heavy booster sails through first major test

SpaceX’s first upgraded 33-engine Super Heavy booster appears to have passed a crucial test with surprising ease, boding well for a smooth qualification process.….

If testing goes perfectly, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently stated that Starship and Super Heavy – likely Ship 24 and Booster 7 – could be ready for an inaugural orbital launch attempt as early as May 2022.

SpaceX appears to have leaped headfirst into Super Heavy Booster 7 qualification testing in a move that significantly increases the likelihood of meeting that extremely ambitious schedule.

Normally, with a first-of-its-kind prototype debuting multiple significant design changes, SpaceX would start slow, possibly beginning with a basic pneumatic proof test to verify structural integrity at flight pressures – about 6.5-8.5 bar (95-125 psi) – with benign nitrogen gas before calling it a day.


With Booster 7, SpaceX likely still performed a quick pneumatic proof but then immediately proceeded into a full-scale cryogenic proof test.

With Super Heavy B4, for example, SpaceX performed several increasingly ambitious cryogenic proof tests, filling the booster more and more each attempt but never actually topping it off. On Booster 7’s very first day of testing and first cryogenic proof attempt, SpaceX fully loaded the upgraded Super Heavy with a cryogenic fluid (likely liquid nitrogen) in just two hours – all with no significant unplanned holds (pauses).

In those two hours, SpaceX likely loaded Super Heavy B7’s liquid methane (LCH4) and oxygen (LOx) tanks with roughly 3400 metric tons (~7.5M lb) of liquid nitrogen (LN2) – not far off what Super Heavy would actually weigh at liftoff.

At the peak of the test, Booster 7 was almost entirely covered in a thin layer of ice produced as the cryogenic liquid inside its tanks froze water vapor in the humid South Texas air onto its skin – an effect that effectively turns uninsulated cryogenic rockets into giant fill gauges.

On top of running into no apparent issues, Super Heavy B7’s first cryogenic proof is also the first time any Super Heavy prototype has been fully filled during testing – an important milestone for any rocket prototype, let alone the largest rocket booster ever built.….




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Old 14th Jun 2022, 06:02
  #244 (permalink)  
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At long (long) last, things seem to be moving again…

https://www.faa.gov/space/stakeholde...pacex_starship

Project Updates

Programmatic Environmental Assessment

The FAA published the Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (Final PEA) and Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision (Mitigated FONSI/ROD) for the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program at the SpaceX Boca Chica Launch Site in Cameron County, Texas (PEA) on June 13, 2022. The documentation is available for download below.

English
.
Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision
.
The FAA determined that the Proposed Action would not result in significant environmental consequences and has issued a Mitigated Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision (FONSI/ROD).

The Mitigated FONSI/ROD is available above. Required mitigation measures are listed throughout Chapter 3 of the final PEA.

Should any future license or permit be issued to SpaceX to perform any aspect of the Proposed Action, the FAA will ensure that SpaceX implements these mitigation measures as conditions for licensure…..
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Old 14th Jun 2022, 17:53
  #245 (permalink)  
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Elon has stated that the first Stsrship will launch in July, the second in August and further launches will then continue at monthly intervals.

“Starship will be ready to fly next month. I was in the high bay & mega bay late last night reviewing progress.

We will have a second Starship stack ready to fly in August and then monthly thereafter“….
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Old 15th Jun 2022, 09:22
  #246 (permalink)  
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Finally! Fingers crossed for the first OFT...
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 08:50
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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Quite a nice interview with Gwynne Shotwell the other day on www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b-vAeYTxRA
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 18:25
  #248 (permalink)  
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update on Starship - not to mention 3 successful Falcon launches and recoveries in 3 days….

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sta...-crusher-test/


SpaceX to attempt to crush Starship test tank

A week after rolling a different ‘test tank’ from its South Texas Starship factory to nearby launch and test facilities, SpaceX has moved a second test tank to the pad.

Hearkening back to a period in 2020 where SpaceX built and tested six different Starship test tanks in a period of six months, the company appears to be preparing to test another batch of tanks in the hopes of qualifying Super Heavy booster design changes and clearing the way for a significant upgrade to all Starship tank domes. The sequencing of the latest tank raises some questions, however…..

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Old 7th Jul 2022, 13:28
  #249 (permalink)  
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https://www.space.com/spacex-starshi...nch-pad-photos

SpaceX rolls Starship prototype to launch pad ahead of orbital test flight (photos)
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Old 12th Jul 2022, 06:12
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Booster 7 blew up.
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Old 12th Jul 2022, 07:39
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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In the youtube video with tim dodd where musk explains the raptor 2, musk says that if the start up sequence is not done exactly correct then the preburner will blow up. At a guess this is what has happened.


EDIT: Now saying its ignition of gas build up. Roofies might be added in the future.

Last edited by DeltaT; 13th Jul 2022 at 12:28.
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Old 12th Jul 2022, 09:00
  #252 (permalink)  
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https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sta...ted-explosion/

SpaceX Starship booster test triggers explosion, pad fire

A SpaceX Super Heavy booster was rocked by a substantial explosion and subjected to multiple fires at the launch pad during the rocket’s latest round of testing. As of 9 pm CDT, July 11th, the fate of the upgraded Super Heavy – known as Booster 7 or B7 – is leaning towards survival but and it won’t be certain until the rocket is drained of all cryogenic propellant and potentially flammable gas and safe for SpaceX employees to approach.

The incident began around 4:20 pm CDT, when Super Heavy Booster 7 (or its launch mount) unintentionally ignited a cloud of flammable gas produced during flow test involving most or all of its 33 Raptor engines. In the past, SpaceX has performed “spin prime” tests with Raptors installed on Starship prototypes, flowing high-pressure gas through the engines’ turbines to get them up to operating speeds and pressures. Booster 7’s test ended a bit differently.

When the resulting cloud of well-mixed methane and oxygen gas was accidentally ignited, it functioned like a small fuel-air bomb, rapidly combusting to produce a violent explosion and shockwave. After the initial explosion, the fire also expanded to burn as much of the resulting gas as possible, producing a fireball that briefly reached 80-90 meters (~260-300 ft) in height.

CEO Elon Musk – apparently not directly participating in the test – initially stated that the explosion and fire was planned, implying that it was more or less a nominal outcome. Virtually everyone with experience observing Starship testing felt otherwise, however.


To preserve the safety of the few local residents still living at Boca Chica Village, SpaceX is required to issue printed safety warnings well in advance of Starship tests that could create a shockwave capable of shattering glass and injuring locals. SpaceX has never intentionally performed such a test without distributing those warnings and did not distribute a warning before July 11th, all but guaranteeing that no ignition event was planned.

A few hours later, Musk deleted his original tweet and posted a different one, confirming that the explosion was “actually not good” and that SpaceX is “assessing the damage.”

For the most part, Booster 7 and the Starbase Orbital Launch Site (OLS) exceeded viewers’ expectations of their sturdiness, exhibiting very little off-nominal behavior after being subjected to a unexpected explosion, shockwave, and fire.

Immediately after the event, B7 quickly depressurized its propellant tanks and appeared to leave those vents open, reducing the chances of the booster destroying itself if SpaceX were to lose control. SpaceX also appeared to intentionally avoid using the orbital launch mount’s (OLM) umbilical mechanism to remove propellant from the Super Heavy’s tanks, perhaps concerned that the shockwave might have weakened its connection to B7.

About an hour after the explosion, Booster 7 dumped a large amount of cryogenic liquid out of a new vent located on its aft end, producing a flood that spread around the adjacent pad. It’s unclear if that liquid was nitrogen or oxygen but either way, the emergency propellant dump appeared to cause a fire to start about 100 feet (~30m) from the booster and launch mount. That fire proceeded to burn intermittently for the next two hours, all the while posing a clear and present danger to the rest of the pad and booster if it were to spread in the wrong direction or breach the wrong underground pipe. Instead, SpaceX got lucky and the fire eventually self-extinguished.

In a worst-case scenario, Super Heavy’s engine section and 33 Raptor engines could have been seriously damaged, while the subsequent pad fire(s) could have also significantly damaged crucial pad systems, requiring weeks of repairs. The booster could even be beyond repair. More optimistically, given that SpaceX appears to have gotten lucky enough to avoid a total loss of vehicle, Booster 7 may be fine after some inspections and moderate repairs. The pad damage could also be limited to a single isolated, non-critical piece of equipment catching fire and burning to a crisp

Regardless, SpaceX will need to figure out what exactly caused the explosion and make sure that that failure mode does not appear again.

In the meantime, the company recently finished stacking Super Heavy Booster 8, and Starship S24 – installed on a nearby suborbital test stand – is ready to begin its own static fire test campaign in the near future.

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Old 15th Jul 2022, 21:21
  #253 (permalink)  
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WASHINGTON, July 13 (Reuters) - The Starship rocket booster SpaceX plans to use for an inaugural flight to orbit will "probably" return to its launch mount in Texas next week following a testing explosion on Monday, the company's chief executive, Elon Musk, told Reuters.

"Damage is minor, but booster will be transferred back to the high bay for inspections, returning to the launch stand probably next week," Musk said in an email.…

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees launch and rocket re-entry safety, said it was in "close contact" with SpaceX following the explosion, but that it would not open a formal investigation because the incident did not occur during a formal launch campaign.…
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Old 16th Jul 2022, 20:18
  #254 (permalink)  
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https://gizmodo.com/spacex-super-hea...nch-1849179366

SpaceX could try to grab Starship during its first launch

Documents filed with the US Federal Communications Commission It indicates that SpaceX can use the Mechazilla launch tower and its arms known as “chopsticks” to catch the booster section of the spacecraft on its first orbital flight test.

The original plan of the fully stacked Starship system submitted to the FCC in May 2021, stated that the two stages of the rocket would end in the ocean; The fuel will fall into the Gulf of Mexico about 32 km From the coast, while the upper stage, after completing a partial orbit would splashdown to the northwest coast of Kauai, Hawaii.

This scenario is still possible, but the amended plan submitted to the FCC suggests a different outcome to the boost phase where the Super Heavy booster will detach from the upper stage and then perform a return to launch site burn and either land in the Gulf of Mexico or return to Starbase and be captured by the launch tower.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/repor...ion_seq=116809

https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=301648&x=.

….”FLIGHT PROFILE

The Starship-Super Heavy test flight will originate from Starbase, TX. The booster stage will separate and will then perform a partial return and land in the Gulf of Mexico or return to Starbase and be caught by the launch tower. The orbital Starship spacecraft will continue on its path to an altitude of approximately 250 km before performing a powered, targeted landing in the Pacific Ocean”…..



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Old 30th Jul 2022, 17:11
  #255 (permalink)  
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Update on the planned Starship test program…

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022...-static-fires/

Awaiting Static Fire as SpaceX sets up Starship’s test campaign
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 17:51
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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Possible SpaceX that reentered on 9th July in Australia.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-...ound/101287460




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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 07:08
  #257 (permalink)  
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https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sta...musk-timeline/

Musk sets expectations for SpaceX’s first orbital Starship launches
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 22:46
  #258 (permalink)  
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July 29th…



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Old 10th Aug 2022, 08:12
  #259 (permalink)  
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https://www.space.com/spacex-starshi...st-static-fire

SpaceX fires up Starship and Super Heavy Booster 7 ahead of test flight

SpaceX fired up a Super Heavy booster on the launch pad today (Aug. 9) for the first time ever, notching a big milestone in the development of its Starship deep-space transportation system.

The Super Heavy in question, a prototype known as Booster 7, is scheduled to launch on the Starship program's first orbital test flight in the coming months. SpaceX is gearing up for that mission, as today's engine test shows.

The test, which took place this afternoon at SpaceX's Starbase facility in South Texas, involved just one of Super Heavy's 33 https://www.space.com/elon-musk-raptor-2-engines-daleks engines, company representatives
(opens in new tab). The engine lit up while Booster 7 remained anchored to the orbital launch mount, in a test known as a static fire…..

And Ship 24 got a workout today, too: A few hours after the Booster 7 activity, SpaceX conducted a static fire with two of Ship 24's six Raptors…..

SpaceX likely will perform a lot more testing before clearing Booster 7 and Ship 24 for that landmark launch. But some of those prelaunch trials will be big events in themselves. The first time that Booster 7 fires up all 33 of its Raptors, for example, will be a sight — and a sound — to behold. (For perspective: The Falcon 9 has just nine engines in its first stage, as the rocket's name suggests.)….

Tuesday was a very busy day for SpaceX. On Tuesday night, the company
launched 52 of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit with a Falcon 9, which lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket's first stage came down for a vertical landing at sea on one of SpaceX's autonomous drone ships a little less than nine minutes after launch.…

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Old 10th Aug 2022, 16:17
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Good stuff. Fingers crossed for a September launch.
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