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

atakacs 3rd Mar 2021 23:32

I'm surprised they still had that much fuel in the tanks...
Still one step ahead

TURIN 4th Mar 2021 00:06

Quite incredible images from LabPadre. It definately bounced on touchdown.

Hell of an achievement though. Just need to get some decent undercarriage. Mars won't be flat.

meadowrun 4th Mar 2021 01:27


treadigraph 4th Mar 2021 01:38

"Well, I'm glad they got that out of the way..."

Nige321 4th Mar 2021 08:57

Elon had already stated the legs were rubbish...


iranu 4th Mar 2021 11:47

Trajectory:


Less Hair 4th Mar 2021 12:04

Most fascinating how they can manipulate their rockets. Even with an explosion here and there their progress is breathtaking. Seems to prove what even small companies with some bright minds and a lot of raw computing power can do these days - if they get the funding.
However it is a bit concerning to think about what this might mean for nuclear programs at other places?

lomapaseo 4th Mar 2021 14:52

I don't get why the fixation on the legs. It seems obvious from the views that the fuel leak and fire existed before landing and that it sat percolating until it blew.

Our local news played it as a rounding success as it sat there with fire licking up its side as if it was meant to land that way.

I did wonder how they would go bout fighting such a fire on-the-ground but I had visions that they might be busy calculating how much time they had left before the fuel was exhausted and it cooled down .... good move.

I've been in situations where it seemed a good idea to go out for a beer and come back hours later to see if the building was still standing

wiggy 4th Mar 2021 15:51

By way of context...Little things can have small beginnings..or to paraphrase for rocket science- very successful rocket programs frequently have explosive beginnings...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_(rocket_family)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...7%E2%80%931959)

https://www.vice.com/en/article/gvvm...xploding-glory


A_Van 4th Mar 2021 16:02


Originally Posted by lomapaseo (Post 11001808)
I don't get why the fixation on the legs. It seems obvious from the views that the fuel leak and fire existed before landing and that it sat percolating until it blew.
....

Absolutely agree. The problem with leg(s) seemed to come later.
As a general comment, of course they do progress from one flight to another. But calling it great success appears too optimistic.
Progress is obvious in the area of flight control, i.e. after some failures they put the "tube" on the pad accurately and softly. But at the expense of the whole machine itself. In "good old days" such costs would not be accepted, but as correctly mentioned above - if they have nearly endless funding, the rules of the game differ.

Nevertheless, if this craft is supposed to launch many crew members and even "passengers", all those explosions raise quite some concern. If they transported only cargo and fuel, every second one could be lost if they can produce them so quickly. But the first explosion with humans will bury the programme along with its name.

IFMU 4th Mar 2021 16:56

Hard to accept this as a failure. What is the current mission? I'd say the mission is to develop the technology. At this stage you learn more from a failure than a success. And each flight has had a different failure to learn from, along with some outstanding success.

kit344 4th Mar 2021 17:05

Scott Manley has now done one of his excellent post flight videos.


TURIN 4th Mar 2021 22:37

Good analysis by Scott, as usual.

Another more critical take on it from the Angry Astronaut.....

Bee Rexit 5th Mar 2021 10:47

I haven't looked at the above videos but just seen this one with some excellent slow motion footage of the explosion!


Nige321 5th Mar 2021 11:50


Originally Posted by lomapaseo (Post 11001808)
I don't get why the fixation on the legs. It seems obvious from the views that the fuel leak and fire existed before landing and that it sat percolating until it blew.

Our local news played it as a rounding success as it sat there with fire licking up its side as if it was meant to land that way.

I did wonder how they would go bout fighting such a fire on-the-ground but I had visions that they might be busy calculating how much time they had left before the fuel was exhausted and it cooled down .... good move.

I've been in situations where it seemed a good idea to go out for a beer and come back hours later to see if the building was still standing

That wasn't a 'fuel leak' it was venting methane burning off from the just-shutdown Raptor.
It was normal...

The lack of at least two legs caused the leaks once the engine bay had been disrupted on shutdown...





RVF750 5th Mar 2021 11:59

You can see it has 2 landing legs failed, specifically the one that should have touched first. Plus it was still descending far too fast. So a proper heavy landing. Cracks and damage expected. One more early model prototype to come. It will be interesting how SN15's legs are designed.

Deltasierra010 5th Mar 2021 12:21

I can’t help thinking vertical landing is always going to have a high failure rate. Purely because the craft is descending into the exhaust heat, the rocket nozzles are cooled with liquid hydrogen the stresses must be colossal, controlling it all precisely for a gentle landing is asking a lot, very different to take off control.

ORAC 5th Mar 2021 12:57

The seem to have managed highly successfully for the Falcon 9.....


TURIN 5th Mar 2021 12:59

You beat me to it Orac. :ok:

ORAC 5th Mar 2021 13:06

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sta...s-fan-renders/

SpaceX Starship landing leg upgrades imagined in new fan renders

After new official Starship renders appeared to include the first view of an upgraded landing leg design, a SpaceX fan and digital artist took it upon themselves to sketch out what those new rocket legs might look like.

For almost a full year, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been talking about a need for upgraded Starship landing legs and the challenges posed by that seemingly straightforward goal. Now, after Starship SN10 narrowly became the first prototype to land in one piece, and do so in spite of malfunctioning legs, a new design capable of significantly improving reliability, stability, and toughness has likely become a front-and-center priority.....

Notably, during SN10’s spectacular landing, at least two or three of the Starship’s six flip-out landing legs failed to properly deploy, leaving just a half to two thirds of the legs needed to fully withstand the momentum of a Starship landing. Starship SN10 didn’t make it easy on those remaining legs, either, and was still traveling at least 15-20 mph (6-8 m/s) at touchdown. As a result, Starship crushed those legs into oblivion, leaving the rocket more or less resting on its skirt with no more than a few inches of ground clearance, if anything.

About eight minutes later, the prototype violently depressurized, producing a massive fireball as any remaining propellant flashed into gas and ignited. It’s unclear if that post-landing explosion was caused – in part or full – by SN10’s landing leg failures or if the rocket was more or less doomed before touchdown by some other technical bug. Regardless the flight test was still a spectacular and historic success for SpaceX, while simultaneously shedding light on shortcomings that can be addressed with Starship SN11 and beyond.....

As it turns out, mere hours prior to Starship SN10’s successful launch, landing, and self-destruction, a series of new, official SpaceX renders released as part of an update for a private Starship launch around the Moon may have revealed the latest glimpse of an updated landing leg design.





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