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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

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SpaceX flight testing in South Texas

Old 29th Nov 2023, 12:21
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FCC comms licence for IFT-3. Note it includes clearance for an orbital flight, not sub-orbital….


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Old 8th Dec 2023, 03:49
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New SpaceX video for IFT-2
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 03:56
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Originally Posted by ORAC
FCC comms licence for IFT-3. Note it includes clearance for an orbital flight, not sub-orbital….

Why orbital now? What's changed since IFT2?
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Old 8th Dec 2023, 07:44
  #544 (permalink)  
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IFT3 incorporates a fuel transfer test in orbit (internal tanks obviously) as an essential precursor to a first flight of a tanker upper stage and fuel transfer to a lunar lander. So it has to achieve orbit for the purpose of the test.

https://gizmodo.com/spacex-test-in-f...asa-1851077135
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Old 15th Dec 2023, 11:15
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https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023...llout-ship-28/

SpaceX Pushes Ahead to Flight 3 with the Rollout of Ship 28

After an exciting and milestone-achieving Flight Test Two, SpaceX is ready to move into Flight Three, with the opening of preflight testing via the rollout of Ship 28 to Suborbital Pad B. This will be the start of what is hoped to be a condensed testing campaign for Ship 28 and Booster 10 ahead of a flight early in 2024.

Ship 28 was rolled to Suborbital Pad B on Dec. 14, 2023, to complete engine testing ahead of a third test flight of the Starship stack. Ship 28 has already completed two cryo proof tests at Masseys before spending 2.5 months on the Ship stand at the Sanchez site receiving its engines and upgrades.

This Ship is expected to have a condensed testing schedule, with possibly a cryo proof, then a six-engine spin prime, and six-engine static fire before being ready for stacking.

Booster 10, the other half of the Flight Three stack, has received its Hot Stage Ring and was placed on the new booster transport stand that SpaceX has been building for the past several months. Booster 10 was then rolled to the Rocket Garden to be staged for rollout to the launch site. Even though the views are limited with the new transport stands, Booster 10 appears to have all of its engines and shielding.

As with ship, Booster 10’s testing is expected to be condensed, possibly only including a cryo proof, a 33 engine spin prime, and then a 33 engine static fire before being ready for flight.

SpaceX is likely aiming for a preflight test campaign that is as short as possible, per future aspirations related to key missions such as NASA HLS (Human Landing System) campaigns. However, there is a chance SpaceX will conduct extra cryo proof testing with Booster 10, and even with a full stack, because of the upgrades they have completed to the Orbital Tank Farm.

These new stands are like a mini OLM (Orbital Launch Mount) where 20 arms and clams can be released simultaneously without manual interaction. The new stands will also make moving and getting boosters ready for stacking onto the OLM much easier…..




Left to Right: S20, S31, S26, B4, and B10 with its HSR
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Old 16th Dec 2023, 23:30
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​​​​​​​Spin prime test of Ship 28
Next up: Static Fire!🚀
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Old 16th Dec 2023, 23:35
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IT’S OFFICIAL — Starship operations to remain in South Texas for the foreseeable future.

On December 12, 2023,
Starbase’s General Manager Kathy Lueders stated “SpaceX’s plan is to *make the company’s Boca Chica Complex* its “premier manufacturing, launching, and operational center for our Starship.”

This clarify’s Elon Musk’s answer to the question I asked at the February 2022 “Starship Update” presentation, where I asked “how much will Starbase be used versus the Cape?”

His response was appropriate when he said “it’s important to have redundancy” and went onto to clarify “SpaceX was planning on duplicating everything built at Starbase — at the Cape”, reiterating “redundancy is key.”

This clears up any speculation people had about SpaceX possibly moving all operations to Florida or any number of other miscellaneous locations people started drumming up for news headlines.

Based on my experience since moving here in July of 2021, Brownsville has become an international “destination” where people travel from all over the world to visit Starship at Starbase.

In the last two years alone, the rise in full-time employees has tremendously impacted the local real estate market as well as pumped millions of dollars into the local economy with the newest “space coast” to become a hub for space tourism.

The city is growing very rapidly. It’s evident SpaceX and LNG leading this expansion.

Austin is definitely the “next boom town,” but I’d say the Rio Grande Valley may be a close second….

During an invite-only meeting for City of Brownsville officials and others, SpaceX said it was expanding its employee housing. I went to see it for myself. These photos don't convey the frenzy of it all in the slightest.…


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Old 22nd Dec 2023, 22:57
  #548 (permalink)  
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Flight 3 Starship completed a full-duration static fire with all six of its Raptor engines

​​​​​​​https://x.com/spacex/status/17376046...HhlFHGKbTPQr_A
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Old 29th Dec 2023, 17:09
  #549 (permalink)  
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Looks like on track for another launch soon.

Booster 10 and Starship 28 have both done full engine static fire test burns within 1.5 hours of each other.

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Old 29th Dec 2023, 22:21
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​​​​​​​Remaining tasks before IFT-3:

1. Booster Inspection
2. Orbital Pad Inspection + repaint OLM
3. S28 TPS tile replacement
4. Possible rollback of S28 to load small number of Starlink sats
5. Full Stack WDR
6. Launch Readiness Review
7. Conclusion of FAA Post Launch Investigation & IFT-3 approval.
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Old 30th Dec 2023, 01:46
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Looks like on track for another launch soon.

Booster 10 and Starship 28 have both done full engine static fire test burns within 1.5 hours of each other.
Not quite, Ship 28 only did a single engine test. It did fire all 6 before Xmas though.
I reckon next launch within two weeks.
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Old 3rd Jan 2024, 17:06
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The Starship upper stage has to do some pretty complex maneuvers, and it needs internal systems that can support them. Our new article is live, providing an in-depth analysis of the propellant distribution and header tank system. Enjoy!

https://ringwatchers.com/article/ship-prop-distribution

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Old 6th Jan 2024, 08:46
  #553 (permalink)  
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​​​​​​​Why is this unused water tank being removed before the active water tank which is severely damaged??

Here is a brief speculative explanation:….
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Old 14th Jan 2024, 08:53
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Cause identified for the Starship xplosion in IFT2 - it was the result of the dumping of excess LOX carried as ballast because of the lack of a payload - ironically, if a payload had been carried, it would have made orbit successfully.

Means no changes ar3 required to the Spaceship for IFT3. Which just leaves the problem of fuel pogoing in the booster to sort out…

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Old 18th Jan 2024, 09:28
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SpaceX in land swap with Texas Parks & Windlife.

SpaceX acquires 43 acres around the launch site to expand, Texas acquires 477 acres around the nearby Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/feed...?item=9#09_exd

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Old 22nd Jan 2024, 09:38
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https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets...p-test-flight/

SpaceX targets February for third Starship test flight

NEW ORLEANS — SpaceX expects to conduct the third integrated test flight of its Starship vehicle in February as it works to demonstrate key technologies needed to land humans on the moon.

During a Jan. 9 media briefing about NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration effort, Jessica Jensen, vice president of customer operations and integration at SpaceX, said securing an updated Federal Aviation Administration launch license was the key factor driving the schedule for that test flight.

“From a hardware readiness perspective, we are targeting to be ready in January,” she said. The company performed static-fire tests of both the Super Heavy booster and Starship upper stage, or ship, intended for that launch in late December.

SpaceX, though, is still working on corrective actions identified from the second Starship test flight Nov. 18. On that flight the Super Heavy booster appeared to perform well, but exploded shortly after stage separation. The Starship upper stage triggered its flight termination system late in its burn.

SpaceX has released few details about what happened to both the booster and ship during that flight, and Jensen did not identify the corrective actions that SpaceX was undertaking. Closing out those actions, she said, was a condition for receiving an updated license. “We’re on track for that,” she said. “We’re expecting that license to come in February. So, it’s looking like Flight 3 will occur in February.”….


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Old 3rd Feb 2024, 04:29
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Super Heavy boosters for the next three flights, with a fourth ready to stack, in the Starbase Megabay





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Old 3rd Feb 2024, 04:41
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https://voyagerspace.com/2024/01/31/...storic-launch/

Starlab Space Selects SpaceX’s Starship for Historic Launch

Washington DC, January 31, 2024 — Starlab Space LLC (Starlab Space), the transatlantic joint venture between Voyager Space and Airbus, today announced the selection of SpaceX to launch the Starlab commercial space station to low-Earth orbit (LEO). Starship, SpaceX’s fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond, will launch Starlab in a single mission prior to the decommissioning of the International Space Station.

“SpaceX’s history of success and reliability led our team to select Starship to orbit Starlab,” said Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Voyager Space. “SpaceX is the unmatched leader for high-cadence launches and we are proud Starlab will be launched to orbit in a single flight by Starship.”

As a continuously crewed, free-flying space station, Starlab will serve a global customer base of space agencies, researchers, and companies, ensuring a continued human presence in LEO and a seamless transition of microgravity research from the International Space Station into the new commercial space station era. Starlab will launch on a single flight, be fully outfitted on the ground, and ready to permanently host four crew members in LEO to conduct microgravity research and advanced scientific discovery.

“Starlab’s single-launch solution continues to demonstrate not only what is possible, but how the future of commercial space is happening now,” said Tom Ochinero, Senior Vice President of Commercial Business at SpaceX. “The SpaceX team is excited for Starship to launch Starlab to support humanity’s continued presence in low-Earth orbit on our way to making life multiplanetary.”

The Starlab team has advanced through multiple program milestones over the past year, including completion of the Systems Requirements Review, System Definition Review, Human in the Loop testing, and more. Starlab Space recently announced a teaming agreement with Northrop Grumman and plans to collaborate with the European Space Agency. Additional Starlab partners include Hilton Hotels and The Ohio State University.…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlab_Space_Station
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Old 3rd Feb 2024, 05:26
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https://aviationweek.com/defense-spa...idual-missions

SpaceX: DOD Has Requested Taking Over Starship For Individual Missions

ORLANDO, Florida—The Pentagon has approached SpaceX about potentially taking over Starship for sensitive and potentially dangerous missions as a government-owned, government-operated asset instead of contracting the company to launch payloads.

The company has been exploring its options in responding, Gary Henry, a senior adviser with SpaceX, told the audience at the Space Mobility Conference here Jan. 30.

SpaceX is already on contract for development of the Department of the Air Force’s Rocket Cargo mission, with the goal of delivering cargo point to point through space. But this is beyond that plan, Henry says.

“We have had conversations … and it really came down to specific missions, where it’s a very specific and sometimes elevated risk or maybe a dangerous use case for the DOD where they’re asking themselves: Do we need to own it as a particular asset … SpaceX, can you accommodate that?” he says.

“We’ve been exploring all kinds of options to kind of deal with those questions,” he says.

The idea is similar to how the Air Force moves cargo. At times, the service contracts with private carriers to deliver cargo, but for certain critical missions it uses service “gray tail” aircraft. In this hypothetical case, the military could take a Starship off the line for a specific mission and return it to SpaceX after it is complete.

Col. Eric Felt, director of space architecture for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, says there are certain concepts of operation that could be relevant for a government-owned, government-operated space vehicle.

“If we can buy the commercial service, that’s what we’re going to do, but there might be some use cases where there needs to be a government-owned, government-operated [vehicle] and that transfer can happen on the fly,” Felt says.
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Old 9th Feb 2024, 13:56
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Goodnight X. Long day here at the SpaceX rocket factory.

Still awaiting Starship launch license 3. Still getting jammed up by the out of control Fish People (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).

We are literally capable of launching 1 Starship test per week, but are being stymied by bureaucracy left and right. This is a huge shame because we could be learning so much with each launch.

This bureaucratic process must be blown apart. It is setting our species back. Have a great night.


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