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#401 2019-10-23 13:18:19

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

SpaceXcentric video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZFTPURs5qs

Seems like the Starship had a narrow escape from tornadoes at Boca Chica...also an interesting section on Blue Origin now leading the Artemis lunar landing mission in 2024. Some fairly minor delays in the Starship and Starlink launches but the Starlink network is already working - Musk sent a tweet via the network! smile


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#402 2019-10-25 17:35:54

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Latest from Mic of Orion -

https://twitter.com/MarkFrancois12/stat … 7920422913

Work proceeding on Mk 3 and 4 Starships. Orbital flights still a possibility in April/May 2020.

Starlink crucial to Space X cashflow...and it's looking good. Starlink $30 billion plus ad revenue by late 2020s.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#403 2019-10-26 10:21:53

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,811
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

Just to let y'all know,  I dug out the best data I could find on this new 2019 version of the "Starship" / "Super Heavy" design concept,  and used it to reverse-engineer its performance potential and operating characteristics. 

I started out evaluating performance and characteristics as a transport to LEO.  This is posted at http://exrocketman.blogspot.com,  as the article dated 22 October 2019,  and titled "Reverse-Engineering the 2019 Version of the Spacex "Starship" / "Super Heavy" Design". 

As I get things done like Mars and moon missions,  I keep updating the posting.  So it is evolving,  as I figure out more and more.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#404 2019-10-26 10:51:00

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Latest SpaceXcentric video: Shotwell throwing shade on Blue Origin, Jim Bridenstine of NASA leaving open Space X participation in the Artemis lunar mission, Starlink looking v. good (and has military applications).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okijZQGemYE

Also Marcus House has a video out.  Some interesting thoughts at around 2:50 re the cargo doors on a Starship and the cargo lift system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFlhvXiqzAQ


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#405 2019-10-26 17:43:25

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,805

Re: Starship is Go...

I would love nothing better than SpaceX doing a 2022 cargo landing with Starship on the Moon. It would with one gesture, render Senator Shelby, the SLS, LOP-G, and everything else, obsolete and outdated. Including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, et. al. Thankfully, Moon doesn't have any Hohmann Transfer windows limiting when this could happen! smile

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#406 2019-10-26 19:05:16

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Very true!  The only thing that might prevent it is politics...Space X might feel they need to have NASA on board supporting their Mars Mission with launch sites and coms and so might - to save NASA's blushes - defer a lunar landing or make clear   the landing is related to the Mars Mission perhaps.

Oldfart1939 wrote:

I would love nothing better than SpaceX doing a 2022 cargo landing with Starship on the Moon. It would with one gesture, render Senator Shelby, the SLS, LOP-G, and everything else, obsolete and outdated. Including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, et. al. Thankfully, Moon doesn't have any Hohmann Transfer windows limiting when this could happen! smile


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#407 2019-10-28 15:09:25

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Starship beginning to take shape...

A very helpful video from Felix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTp_m8-O1WQ

Interesting discussion of in-flight power (given Starship renderings no longer display "solar" wings).


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#408 2019-10-28 20:18:18

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,805

Re: Starship is Go...

A recent YouTube shows the Starship landing legs being attached: EXTERNALLY  to the cylindrical body of the Starship. This would give a slightly (but insufficiently large) larger "footprint of the landed vehicle.

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#409 2019-10-29 05:17:47

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

When you say "externally" is that as in what looked like hydraulic chambers (straight up and down) - or are they projecting out at an angle?

I agree it's all a bit counter-intuitive. When it had three lower fins, you could imagine those coming into place as back-up for stability but with only 2 that doesn't apply!  That said, one of the landing requirements (if they are following NASA) is an incline less than 5%. With some hydraulic levelling, might that not be enough...plus we don't have to worry about high winds on Mars - max wind force recorded on Mars was the equivalent of a 16 MPH wind on Earth. Virtually no seismic activity either. So, the chances of the thing toppling over after landing must be zero, leaving aside some disaster like a meteor strike.


Oldfart1939 wrote:

A recent YouTube shows the Starship landing legs being attached: EXTERNALLY  to the cylindrical body of the Starship. This would give a slightly (but insufficiently large) larger "footprint of the landed vehicle.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#410 2019-10-29 11:02:54

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Was this the YT vid OF?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbykqg79MnU

It's just amazing how we can watch it all being put together!

Will those legs be in some kind of hydraulic chamber or are they just fixed?




louis wrote:

When you say "externally" is that as in what looked like hydraulic chambers (straight up and down) - or are they projecting out at an angle?

I agree it's all a bit counter-intuitive. When it had three lower fins, you could imagine those coming into place as back-up for stability but with only 2 that doesn't apply!  That said, one of the landing requirements (if they are following NASA) is an incline less than 5%. With some hydraulic levelling, might that not be enough...plus we don't have to worry about high winds on Mars - max wind force recorded on Mars was the equivalent of a 16 MPH wind on Earth. Virtually no seismic activity either. So, the chances of the thing toppling over after landing must be zero, leaving aside some disaster like a meteor strike.


Oldfart1939 wrote:

A recent YouTube shows the Starship landing legs being attached: EXTERNALLY  to the cylindrical body of the Starship. This would give a slightly (but insufficiently large) larger "footprint of the landed vehicle.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#411 2019-10-29 18:56:30

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,211

Re: Starship is Go...

A search for landing legs yields information of the develping MK1 prototype which would be required for a single stage to orbit flight of starship.

https://spacenews.com/spacex-to-update- … -progress/

https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/30/space … w-website/

https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-p … -musk.html

Articles indicate 6 around the base along the diameter of the craft....

Musk revealed the number of landing legs the Mk1 will have: "Six. Two windward, one under each fin & two leeward. Provides redundancy for landing on unimproved surfaces."

Dropping the 3 wing fin to just 2 that do not act as a landing leg for stability.

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-mu … xas-2019-9

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-m … ss-photos/

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ceo-el … er-design/

mk4-1024x505.jpg

Appears the description if the bfr first stage from this image...

https://www.geekwire.com/2019/elon-musk … ga-rocket/

https://www.sciencealert.com/elon-musk- … mitstart=1

Behind Musk was a shorter rocket called Falcon 1, which – after three catastrophic failures in 2006, 2007, and 2008 – finally delivered a small payload into space for the first time. That mission's success also prevented Musk and SpaceX from going broke.

"Eleven years ago today SpaceX made orbit for the first time," Musk said of that first successful Falcon 1 launch, on September 28, 2008. "If that fourth launch had not succeeded, there would have been curtains. But fate smiled upon us that day."

That was a close call then....

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Space … k_999.html

edit
I think the legs will be 3 placed along the 9 meter shell acting more like a shock obsorber with offset falcon style legs such that 1 is in between the wings fin and 2 will be opposite them on the heat shield side.

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#412 2019-10-30 02:32:40

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

I'm not sure we are any further in understanding how the Starship six legs design is supposed to guarantee a stable landing. However, I think the landing must be predicated on thorough survey of the site so they will know they are landing on a firm flat area of rock with a gradient of less than 5% and no significant rocks or boulders. That in turn will require the landing of transponders and other coms devices (lasers) with the cargo ships, so that landing can be extremely accurate.

I guess if you know you are landing on at that precise point and you know there will be no adverse weather that can tip over your Starship you should be OK.

I have more trust than others here in the ability of Space X/NASA to assess the nature of potential landing sites down to a very fine degree of accuracy including the integrity of the rock and surface debris down to a few cms, plus seismic activity, possibility of flooding and so on.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#413 2019-10-30 06:04:47

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,124

Re: Starship is Go...

For Louis re #412 and topic in general ...

We humans already HAVE a perfectly good ground inspection system on Mars.

The mission planners at JPL are working science objectives they competed with the best people and institutions in the States to achieve funding.  The existing missions are (I suspect) not likely to be willing to depart from their plans to accommodate the needs of SpaceX or anyone else.

However, if it were determined that it would be to the advantage of the United States to assist SpaceX in deciding where a first landing might be best attempted, then the science mission of future probes might be open to adjustment. 

There is still time for consideration of exactly that concept for the 2020 mission.  In that case, science objectives already approved and funded could be met while collected data flows to SpaceX for landing planning.

(th)

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#414 2019-10-30 07:04:18

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

There is a fundamental difference between sending robot rover missions to interesting science destinations and sending human pioneers to Mars. For the former, places like Gale Crater which were once filled with water and had rivers flowing into them are perfect. For human missions by contrast we want flat featurelss rock plains or outcrops. The surveillance is being achieved primarily through satellite observations of various kinds. NASA/JPL is co-operating with Space X on landing location identification, as we know.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#415 2019-10-30 08:06:24

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,811
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

We just had an object lesson in how inaccurate our remote-sensing based estimates of surface mechanical properties really are.  That would be that idiotic self-driving "mole" on Insight that just backed itself out onto the surface while trying to burrow. 

The disparity between what "is" and what the mole's engineers deigned to,  cannot be more stark.  It's meteor-smashed regolith:  unconsolidated sands and dusts,  mixed with broken rocks of all sizes including boulders.  They didn't plan on the boulder:  that wasn't in the surrogate soil they used for a design standard. 

Without water-induced cementation,  this stuff stays quite loose.  If the rock content is low,  it resembles sand dunes here on Earth.  If the rock content is high,  it almost but not quite resembles sand and gravel beds here on Earth.  Rock content varies wildly from place to place over very short distances,  because of where the meteors smashed in,  quite unlike Earth,  but an awful lot like the moon.

All those wildly different textures and strengths are made of exactly the same minerals,  all with exactly the same crystal densities.  They read the same from orbit,  looking at how light or radiation interacts with it.  And THAT is why I DO NOT TRUST inferences from remote sensing about the surface safe bearing pressures.  This is for ships that will carry people,  not robot probes.  Lives are at stake.

And THAT is why those manned ships require landing pads capable safe support on soils no stronger than "fine,  loose sand" here on Earth!  That is 0.1 MPa safe bearing pressure.  PERIOD!  END OF ISSUE! 

So deal with it,  I say.  I have already offered some very practical design concepts for how to deal with it. This is no different than what the old dead or retired NASA guys went through,  deciding to put great big meter-diameter landing pads on the little bitty Apollo lunar modules. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-10-30 08:08:47)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#416 2019-10-30 08:33:24

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,124

Re: Starship is Go...

For GW Johnson re #415

Your argument for large pads is persuasive (to me at least).

There ** is ** an alternative that I have not seen or heard mentioned anywhere, to this point.

The first landing vehicle could be designed to lay itself gently over onto the soil.

The content of that first vehicle could be equipment and supplies to lay a concrete foundation for the next vessel.

The empty structure would then become available for storage or life support for subsequent missions.

This would be similar to the procedure used to confront an undeveloped beach in a wartime amphibious operation.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-10-30 09:45:53)

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#417 2019-10-30 12:33:37

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,811
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

Not sure how you "gently lay down" an object 50 m long and 9 m in diameter,  but OK. 

The latest update to my reverse-engineering article on "Starship" posted at "exrocketman" deals with bearing pressures and total pad area.  For several scenarios. 

The next update will deal with overturn stability.  I should have it ready by late tomorrow.  It has yet another very practical concept for getting a bigger footprint and bigger pad area,  all in one design.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#418 2019-10-30 14:57:16

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,124

Re: Starship is Go...

For GW Johnson re #417 ...

Thank you for your (comparatively mild) assessment of my "lay it down" suggestion.

Here's another .... the first lander does NOT have to be designed or built by Elon.  Elon has shown the way forward for anyone with the resources to land significant mass on Mars using retro-propulsion.

It is not my place to ask for an alternative design, but I sure would be interested to see a discussion of an alternative Mars lander that is assembled on orbit in Earth LEO, and delivered to Mars where it would land like a gigantic heat shield, with multiple engines running to gently lower the vehicle onto the sand.

There might be an opportunity for a third party to land, build a pad, and invite incoming vessels to land for a modest fee.

Edit ... Heck ... the vehicle could BE the pad, if sufficiently large in area.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-10-30 14:58:31)

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#419 2019-10-30 15:54:27

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Do you have a link to this "object lesson"?   From your description it sounds more like a robot malfunction than a failure of surface surveillance.

A perfect Mars landing site will be on a large flat rock surface - I expect a volcanic rock that has a lot of integrity.  I see no reason why the various Mars satellites can't survey these potential locations successfully.  It doesn't sound to me like you are describing areas of flat volcanic rock.

GW Johnson wrote:

We just had an object lesson in how inaccurate our remote-sensing based estimates of surface mechanical properties really are.  That would be that idiotic self-driving "mole" on Insight that just backed itself out onto the surface while trying to burrow. 

The disparity between what "is" and what the mole's engineers deigned to,  cannot be more stark.  It's meteor-smashed regolith:  unconsolidated sands and dusts,  mixed with broken rocks of all sizes including boulders.  They didn't plan on the boulder:  that wasn't in the surrogate soil they used for a design standard. 

Without water-induced cementation,  this stuff stays quite loose.  If the rock content is low,  it resembles sand dunes here on Earth.  If the rock content is high,  it almost but not quite resembles sand and gravel beds here on Earth.  Rock content varies wildly from place to place over very short distances,  because of where the meteors smashed in,  quite unlike Earth,  but an awful lot like the moon.

All those wildly different textures and strengths are made of exactly the same minerals,  all with exactly the same crystal densities.  They read the same from orbit,  looking at how light or radiation interacts with it.  And THAT is why I DO NOT TRUST inferences from remote sensing about the surface safe bearing pressures.  This is for ships that will carry people,  not robot probes.  Lives are at stake.

And THAT is why those manned ships require landing pads capable safe support on soils no stronger than "fine,  loose sand" here on Earth!  That is 0.1 MPa safe bearing pressure.  PERIOD!  END OF ISSUE! 

So deal with it,  I say.  I have already offered some very practical design concepts for how to deal with it. This is no different than what the old dead or retired NASA guys went through,  deciding to put great big meter-diameter landing pads on the little bitty Apollo lunar modules. 

GW


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#420 2019-10-30 16:37:41

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,811
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

Louis:

Don't be so ridiculously obtuse.  I'm talking about the self-hammering subsurface heat probe fiasco with the Insight lander.  This has been all over the news.  Such as this from AIAA's "Daily Launch" email newsletter:

NASA JPL Ground Teams Assessing Issue With InSight Lander Probe
Spaceflight Now (10/29) reports that NASA JPL ground teams are studying issues with “the self-hammering mole on NASA’s InSight lander” after the instrument “partially backed out of the ground over the weekend.” In a statement, NASA JPL officials said, “The international mission team is developing the next steps to get it buried again.” NASA JPL InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt said that “it was a big disappointment” to receive images from Mars depicting the mole’s partial retreat. Banerdt added, “Everybody on the Internet saw them the same time we did because they go out to the Web server as soon as we get them down.”

It's the kind of remote sensing and inferred-guesswork you keep talking about that was the genesis of the "standard Mars surrogate soil" JPL used to design this fiasco.  There were no boulders in it.  On Mars,  they hit one,  and cannot get around it.  Except they don't seem to understand what went wrong.  Nobody there seems to question whether the real dirt on Mars might have been greatly different from the "scientifically-ordained surrogate".  Bunch of damned scientists who have no business doing real engineering design.

This is scientists trying unsuccessfully to do engineering work.  That rarely turns out very well.  The usual thing that happens when a scientist gets something wrong,  is that he is embarrassed,  as the JPL Insight team currently is.  Usually,  the engineers get called in to design stuff when lives are involved.  We get it wrong,  people die.  THAT is the difference in the two professions!  So we do our damndest to get it right.  EVERY time.   

Which is why we engineers hate the inference and assumption that scientists are so enamored of.  We want REAL data!  We design to the worst case!  Doing it that way,  things usually turn out pretty well,  unless money-grubbing high-level management gets too involved,  and screws it up like they did at Boeing with the 737 MAX.

Most of the time,  the real engineering screw-ups trace to high-level management prioritizing money over lives.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2019-10-30 16:44:47)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#421 2019-10-30 17:13:15

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,620

Re: Starship is Go...

Starship Mk 1 moving to the launch pad! smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka7tS0mT_mY


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#422 2019-10-30 20:20:49

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,805

Re: Starship is Go...

I will place myself directly in the GW camp re: self-hammering nails designed by science geeks, not engineers. As I've repeatedly stated here, it was a mistake by SpaceX to abandon the Red Dragon Mars landers. They could have provided excellent surface composition/weight bearing data. It's really still not too late to do with a Falcon Heavy for the 2022 Hohmann transfer window. I think it would be $100,000,000 well spent to send a pair of them to investigate landing issues in sites of interest. I also speculated on having a complete self-contained drill rig inside one to do a couple drill holes and check composition of subsurface materials.

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#423 2019-10-30 20:46:45

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,211

Re: Starship is Go...

I think it was cheaper than the canadian drill unit and its surely less complex nailing mars with an over grown spike. Nasa should have gone with the drill...In light that the mission was delayed for repairs it could have been upgaded to do it the right way.

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#424 2019-10-30 22:53:07

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 1,805

Re: Starship is Go...

In response to post #423: Don't tell us how to do anything; we know it all. Signed, NASA.

If SpaceX would use preflown side boosters for Red Dragon missions, and successfully recover them again, the 2 Red Dragons could have an in-house cost of the $100 Million I propose. Just drill straight down and through the entry heat shield with a 3" diameter core drilling unit. All we need to know about is the first 2-3 meters depth. Would get more "real world" information than the techno-geek self hammering nail penetrator.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2019-10-30 22:58:57)

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#425 2019-10-30 23:08:16

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,285

Re: Starship is Go...

Does this mean an engineer might actually get to test all the assumptions about the water on Mars before we arrive there and discover that we didn't bring enough pipe to extract the hundreds of tons of water that Starship requires to send anyone back to Earth?

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