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

ORAC 19th Jul 2021 12:13


SpaceX begins assembling first orbital Starship and Super Heavy booster

ORAC 20th Jul 2021 05:53

First Super Heavy Booster test flying.

TURIN 20th Jul 2021 11:50

Test firing surely. 😁

ORAC 20th Jul 2021 13:31

****** autocorrect…..

Nige321 26th Jul 2021 18:37

From Michael Paul on FB...
The SpaceX Gulstream has been shuttling for the last few days...

The Surge of StarBase:
Sources close to the situation have indicated that Elon has ordered several hundred employees from Hawthorne and Florida locations to relocate temporarily to StarBase in a push to get the following things done enough by August 5 for mounting BS420 on the OLP:
Complete OLP for basic use.
Have BS420 ready and stacked for preflight.
Have enough combined suborbital and orbital GSE capacity for operations to support BS420.
B3 activity to cease and remain where it is.
Employees are to fly or drive to StarBase although employee selection criteria or specific trades requirements for the surge is not known.
Expect lodging and hospitality in the greater Brownsville area to get near capacity so if you are planning a trip from out of the area plan accordingly.
SpaceX is using it's Gulfstream G650er to ferry employees from the Space Coast in Florida to fill the ranks at Boca Chica. Each flight moves 18 workers.
Buckle up, the operational tempo will be 24/7 until this milestone is met.

ORAC 26th Jul 2021 21:03


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reveals Starship factory upgrade plans

ORAC 1st Aug 2021 20:53

Mind blowing….


SpaceX is building Starship’s first orbital-class booster at a breakneck pace

….In that sense, it’s not a huge surprise that SpaceX’s Booster 4 assembly has quickly surpassed the pace set with Booster 3 less than a month earlier. SpaceX began stacking Super Heavy B3 around May 20th, starting with the rocket’s aft liquid oxygen (LOx) tank. Five separate stacks are required to turn the LOx tank’s 23 steel rings into a single structure – a process that took SpaceX about a month with Booster 3.

Booster 3 methane (CH4) tank assembly began a few days after the LOx tank’s completion but proceeded far more quickly, wrapping up just a few days later. Two days after that, those two tank sections were then mated and welded together to complete Booster 3’s full ~65m (~210 ft) tall airframe.

Now, just four weeks after Booster 3 was rolled to the launch pad for proof and static fire testing, Super Heavy Booster 4 is well on its way to reaching its full ~65m height almost twice as quickly. With work beginning around July 16th, B4’s oxygen tank is now just missing an (extremely complex) engine section and the booster’s methane tank was stacked to completion – 13 rings tall – in less than two days. That leaves SpaceX’s first potentially flightworthy, orbital-class Super Heavy booster just two stacks away from completion less than two weeks after its assembly began…..


Elon Musk shows off wild plumbing for 29-engine Super Heavy booster (photo)

ORAC 3rd Aug 2021 04:31

oldpax 4th Aug 2021 01:29

Speedy work
Lots of welding and(I trust) non destructive testing in such a short time!

ORAC 4th Aug 2021 04:28

TURIN 4th Aug 2021 10:22

Some great insight from Musk here and exclusive views of the production facility at Boca Chica.

ORAC 5th Aug 2021 11:22


SpaceX lifts huge Super Heavy rocket onto launch stand (photos)

TURIN 5th Aug 2021 16:43

I watched this live, amazing really, all previous large rockets have always been moved using large gantry and support structures. SpaceX, nah we just use a big crane!

ORAC 5th Aug 2021 18:13

Everyone would be petrified of dropping it.

SpaceX? No problem, we’ve got the engines and fuselage sections rolling off the production line - we’ll whip another together in a couple of weeks….

TURIN 6th Aug 2021 00:45

They fitted all 29 Raptor engines to Super Heavy in one night!

TURIN 6th Aug 2021 01:30

SN20 rolled out to the launch site. Stacking postponed due to high winds. They're not hanging about are they.

ORAC 6th Aug 2021 18:38


SpaceX stacks Starship atop massive booster for 1st time to make the world's tallest rocket

SpaceX's newest Starship prototype was briefly placed atop of its massive booster for the first time on Friday (Aug. 6), setting a new record for the world's tallest rocket ahead of a planned orbital test flight this year.

Engineers performed the stacking test at the SpaceX Starbase facility in South Texas, near the village of Boca Chica, in view of livestreams from NASA Spaceflight andSpadre.com

Starship SN20 ("Serial No. 20") and its Super Heavy booster were mated for about an hour for fit checks, during which time the two vehicles posed a towering site. Super Heavy alone stands 230 feet (70 meters) tall and Starship SN4 added another 165 feet (50 m) of height. Together they stood a whopping 395 feet tall (120 m), taller than NASA's massive Saturn V moon rocket, which was 363 feet tall (110 m).….

On Twitter, Musk wrote that Starship and its Super Heavy booster also still need at least "4 significant items" before they'd be ready to fly. Those include final heat shield tiles for Starship, thermal protection for the Super Heavy's engines, more ground system propellant storage tanks and a quick disconnect arm for Starship, likely attached to the pad's gantry tower.

It's likely that both Starship SN20 and Super Heavy Booster 4 will test-fire their engines in separate static fire tests. SpaceX routinely conducts such tests before its commercial launches and test-fired its Super Heavy Booster 3 prototype last month.….



ETOPS 6th Aug 2021 20:14

That’s some rocket…


ORAC 6th Aug 2021 20:21

I wonder who, eventually, will be the first to “ride the stack”…..

ORAC 7th Aug 2021 17:04

They never sleep.....https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sle...-storage-tank/

SpaceX ‘sleeves’ Starship-derived propellant tank for the first time – here’s why

In a small but important step towards activating a pad capable of launching the largest and most powerful rocket ever built, SpaceX has ‘sleeved’ one of its Starship-derived propellant storage tanks for the first time......

SpaceX wants to be able to launch at least two Starships from Boca Chica in rapid succession. To meet the staggering needs of back-to-back Starship launches, SpaceX has thus had to design and build what will be the world’s largest launch pad tank farm.

Work on that tank farm is already well underway, though progress has been slower than expected. The site’s foundation and a few associated blockhouses were mostly completed by January 2021. By early April, the company had completed the first of at least seven steel propellant storage tanks at its Starship factory and rolled it to the launch pad for installation.

Notably, SpaceX chose to manufacture those storage tanks itself and ended up building structures virtually identical to the tanks that already make up most of flightworthy Starship and Super Heavy airframes. Depending on whether they’re meant to store liquid oxygen or methane, the seven tanks SpaceX is building are either 26 or 30 meters (85 or 100 feet) tall – though the concrete mounts they’re affixed to at the launch site are sized such that all storage tanks will have the same final height.

Of course, being made with the same tools and out of the same steel as Starship and Super Heavy, that means that SpaceX’s custom storage tanks are little more than 4mm (~1/6″) thick steel shells – about as bad as it gets for keeping cryogenic rocket fuel… cryogenic. If SpaceX were to simply use those unmodified tanks, it would be almost impossible to store Starship fuel for more than a few hours – and maybe just a few minutes – without it warming up past the point of usability.

As such, SpaceX’s final Starship tank farm design involves seven Starship-derived storage tanks and seven contractor-built tank sleeves. Measuring around 12m wide and 40m tall, those “cryo shells” will enclose all seven SpaceX-built tanks, allowing the company to fill the 1.5m gap between them with an insulating solid, gas, or some combination of both. With those shells and insulation, SpaceX’s custom-built Starship tank form should be more than capable of storing cryogenic liquid oxygen and methane for days or even weeks.

As of August 5th, SpaceX has installed three of Starship’s custom ground supply equipment (GSE) tanks (with a fourth moved onsite on Thursday), moved two ‘cryo shells’ to temporary storage spots at the pad, and installed one cryo shell that actually turned out to be a million-gallon water tank. On Thursday, SpaceX ‘sleeved’ one of those storage tanks for the first time ever, marking an important milestone towards the activation of a tank farm capable of supporting Starship’s orbital launch debut. Another four sleeves are more or less complete, with the eighth and final sleeve likely just a week or two away from completion.

A fifth GSE tank is also more or less complete, leaving two more to go. However, with some basic math, it’s possible to determine that SpaceX’s orbital launch pad likely only needs five cryogenic tanks (three oxygen, two methane) – and possibly as few as four – to support Starship’s first orbital test flight(s). With SpaceX finally beginning to install tank sleeves, it’s possible that that four or five-tank milestone – and the first tests of SpaceX’s custom, unproven storage solution – are now much closer at hand.

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