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-   -   SpaceX flight testing in South Texas (https://www.pprune.org/space-flight-operations/637604-spacex-flight-testing-south-texas.html)

hobbit1983 22nd Mar 2022 09:20

Still tho!

First orbital flight test now rumoured to be early, I believe.

ORAC 10th Apr 2022 20:10


SpaceX must pause its Texas expansion because of missing environmental docs

ORAC 10th Apr 2022 20:17


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.….


ORAC 14th Jun 2022 06:02

At long (long) last, things seem to be moving again…


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.

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…..

ORAC 14th Jun 2022 17:53

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“….

hobbit1983 15th Jun 2022 09:22

Finally! :D Fingers crossed for the first OFT...

millen 19th Jun 2022 08:50

Quite a nice interview with Gwynne Shotwell the other day on www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b-vAeYTxRA

ORAC 21st Jun 2022 18:25

update on Starship - not to mention 3 successful Falcon launches and recoveries in 3 days….


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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