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#1676 2023-01-12 20:22:28

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,257

Re: Starship is Go...

GW,

FAA came up with a wish list of 75 different actions they wanted SpaceX to take for launching from Boca Chica.  75 is 6.25 dozen for those who like putting numbers to assertions about assertions.  That sounds like a wish list to me.  They're launching rockets from the middle of nowhere into space.  It's not like SpaceX built a launch pad in the middle of Times Square.

Here's the link to the FAA's launch permit for SpaceX:

SpaceX Starship Super Heavy Project at the Boca Chica Launch Site

There's hundreds of pages of meaningless gibberish with a literal handful of legitimate regulatory actions thrown in for giggles.

Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program at the SpaceX Boca Chica Launch Site in Cameron County, Texas

FAA issued a finding on "Archaeological Resources" for goodness sake.

What does "Archaeological Resources" have to do with flying rockets into space, human health, safety, or even "the environment"?

Not a thing.  You know it.  I know it.

Our government is more worried about disturbing old cannon balls from the Civil War, which are already buried in the ground, than flying our citizens to another planet to create a second branch of human civilization.

I care about substance.  FAA's report doesn't have enough of that to justify its 183 pages.

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#1677 2023-01-13 10:43:52

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

I misremembered how long the FAA's list was.  At my age,  memory failures are expected.  It's just a list SpaceX had to comply with.  Looks they they finally did. 

Boca Chica is not exactly the middle of nowhere the way Bezos is near Van Horn.  The edge of Brownsville is less than 5 miles away from the launch site.  The road feeding the launch site is a public Texas highway leading to a public Texas beach park,  about a mile from the launch site.  And there used to be an unincorporated community adjacent to the launch control site,  also about a mile from the launch site (Musk wanted to buy all of them out,  but I don't know if he succeeded at that yet).

The danger to the public is if one of these Starship/Superheavy vehicles explodes on the pad,  or worse,  within about the first 5 miles of ascent.  This is usually thought to be a danger of thrown debris,  more than anything else,  although the lethal noise of an explosion blast wave should be considered as well.  Those two things are why the pads at Cape Canaveral from which the Saturn-5 flew were 3+ miles from people at risk around them.  That 3 miles was insufficient for anything larger than a Saturn-5,  which is why the Nova designs were never built.  There was no safe place to launch them.

Starship/Superheavy is a lot bigger than a Saturn-5;  it is similar to the smaller Nova designs.  The risk is therefore larger from explosion events.  5 miles may or may not be enough.  It is probably not enough for an explosion in midair.

THAT is what the FAA was supposed to be considering,  among many other things. 

As for voluminous documents full of pointless nonsense,  the feds in all the agencies have long been notorious for that.  The higher they rank,  the more they order it to be so.  (The state is no different,  really.)  Lower-rank feds hate that nonsense.  They loved the proposals I wrote,  because I wrote it in plain English,  concisely,  and without any jargon.  But the higher ranks,  including within my company,  hated me for being so brief and clear.  Too many damn lawyers,  I guess.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2023-01-13 10:44:13)


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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#1678 2023-01-13 12:08:04

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,352

Re: Starship is Go...

I believe there is also an "Ocelot Recovery Plan" included, required for an area which hasn't had an ocelot sighting in YEARS!

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#1679 2023-01-14 09:56:16

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,598

Re: Starship is Go...

A blast above ground is the issue as it acts like a grenade in that the shrapnel goes sideways before it falls at distance. Training says to huge the ground when a ground blast occurs.

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#1680 2023-01-14 14:23:09

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

Hi Oldfart1939:

I dunno about ocelots,  but out on the old plant where I once worked,  a black panther was seen inside an enclosed rampway between two buildings.  That's the adolescent phase of a jaguar.  Really big kitty,  those are!

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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#1681 2023-01-15 17:15:56

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,257

Re: Starship is Go...

GW,

The point is, worrying about "ocelot recovery" is a lot like worrying about "Sir Lancelot recovery".  We're not recovering either because they don't exist to be recovered.  FAA wasted SpaceX's time complying with an obscure government regulation based upon a condition that, by direct observation, doesn't actually exist.  So far as we're aware, there are no ocelots nor Sir Lancelots running around on SpaceX-controlled property.  That said, I've yet to see SpaceX's plan for Sir Mix-a-Lot's recovery.  I have it on good authority that Sir Mix-a-Lot has been sighted riding around on a Bumpasaurus.  There can't be too many of those left in the wild.

Here's what FAA should have focused almost all of their attention on:

1. Is your shiny new rocket a fundamentally sound aerospace vehicle design that flies straight and true?

2. Can the Starship booster and upper stage launch and land reliably, when commanded to do so?

3. Does SpaceX have appropriate and workable mitigation measures in place if your rocket goes off-course?

Those are real and appropriate regulatory issues that should be addressed by a government flight safety agency intended to promote confidence in the general public that flying (to another city, continent, o entirely different planet) is both safe and reliable.  That is what I, as an American citizen, expect the FAA to deliver on.  Whether or not a spotted cat, a fictional knight, or an aging musician / rapper are addressed by FAA regulations is utterly irrelevant and inconsequential to the FAA's mandate and responsibility to the general public.

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#1682 2023-01-16 09:01:16

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

Kbd512:

I quite agree with you.  The stuff about wildlife protection reflects EPA's influence (and both are headquartered in DC,  so there's influence).  These agencies (plural) show that kind of intellectual rot when the scientists and engineers get replaced by lawyers.  Seen it before.

Your list of 3 things is quite correct.  The third one is the issue that resonates most strongly with me.  It's a safety thing.  Remember,  I not only survived a career in an explosives plant,  I trained young engineers to thrive in that environment.  It should include explosions as well as going off course. 

The real issue,  which I hope FAA raised,  and SpaceX addressed,  is distance:  is 5 miles to Brownsville enough?  One has to worry about it because debris from one of the Starship failures (no,  I dunno which one) was found at the city limits of Brownsville 5 miles away.  A Superheavy explosion on the pad,  in the air,  or if it went too far off course and had to be destroyed,  would go a whole lot further.  Plus the blast wave would be a lot louder and more lethal.  Superheavy approximates the old Nova designs that were not flown at Canaveral,  because 3 miles was not enough.

Wildlife seems to do OK around Canaveral,  although I suspect we would find some of those critters are partially deafened,  if we could test them.  I suspect the same was true of the wildlife and the cattle between the firing stands at the old plant where I worked,  a site used today by SpaceX,  but without the cattle.

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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#1683 2023-01-16 17:46:40

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,352

Re: Starship is Go...

The 3 items in the list posted by kbd512 are spot-on. The ocelot issue is one that raised my hackles, as it showed how off course the regulatory agencies have gotten! The agencies all are ready and ANXIOUS to show their power, not their common sense.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2023-01-16 17:47:08)

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#1684 2023-01-16 18:22:09

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: Starship is Go...

The purpose of this post is to try to shed some light on why the Federal Government might be interested in ocelots.

It appears that this is seriously endangered species, and it only remains in parts of Texas...

from Google search: are there any ocelot in Texas

About 1,830,000 results (0.41 seconds)
Image result for are there any ocelot in texas
5 days ago
Widely distributed, the ocelot ranges from south Texas to northern Argentina. In Texas, they primarily inhabit dense chaparral brush, where they prey on small mammals, reptiles and birds, including rodents, rabbits, snakes, lizards and young deer.
Aug 30, 2020

Ocelots in Texas - The Nature Conservancyhttps://www.nature.org › stories-in-texas › mammals-ocelot
About featured snippets

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How many ocelots are in Texas?
Image result for are there any ocelot in texas

Once ranging throughout the Southwest, today the only breeding population of ocelots in the U.S. is in Texas, where fewer than 60 ocelots remain in two small populations near the Mexican border.
Sep 14, 2022

(th)

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#1685 2023-01-16 19:48:16

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,352

Re: Starship is Go...

Thomas-
My post was only illustrative of the ridiculous obstacles being placed in the path of Starship-to-Orbit. There are lots of Ocelots still in the Sonoran desert range of Mexico and other parts of Central America. They are only considered "endangered" in the Continental US. When I was a kid back in the 1960's, a friend of my Dad had one as a pet--in St. Louis! He finally had to get rid of it because his wife didn't like the fact that it stood upright on it's hind legs to pee--on her sofa.

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#1686 2023-01-16 20:15:26

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,598

Re: Starship is Go...

Seems more than reasonable since https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocelot

th?id=OIP.ARIHKqTUphaPhioS5mYK0AHaFY&w=184&h=185&c=8&rs=1&qlt=90&o=6&pid=3.1&rm=2

The ocelot ( Leopardus pardalis ), from the Leopardus genus and the Family Felidae ,is a medium sized wildcat native to mostly Central and South America. Their most characteristic feature is their spotted coat which is similar to that of a Leopard.


As question arise about why the US requires such animals comes back is there a hunting of them. Does it have predators that have taken them out of the country or is something else at foot.

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#1687 2023-01-17 09:35:37

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

The problem for a lot of predator species is habitat destruction,  same as for herbivores.  Too many humans building too much stuff leaves no room for the wild places those creatures require. 

That being said,  in a densely-settled place like Brownsville,  there is little excuse for using as a regulatory club-over-the-head the recovery of such creatures in a region where they cannot possibly come back. 

I saw in the AIAA "Daily Launch" email newsletter for today a quote from Musk saying that both technical "and regulatory issues remain" before they make their first orbital flight attempt.  Reading between the lines,  I must conclude that no,  they don't have their launch license yet for Starship/Superheavy. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2023-01-17 09:36:26)


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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#1688 2023-01-17 10:12:55

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: Starship is Go...

For GW Johnson re #1687

Thanks for additional perspective on the issue of the ocelots.

After doing a bit of poking round on the Internet yesterday, I came to the conclusion the problem seems to be soft hearted Americans who care about animals enough to persuade ** just enough ** congressional representatives to support efforts to preserve what non-human life remains.

The Federal agencies who are attempting to protect various non-human life forms are just implementing requirements laid down by Congress.

Clearly, from sentiments expressed by some folk, there are people who would be perfectly happy to exterminate all non-human life that interferes with their goals.

In the case of Vladimir Putin, I get the impression he is perfectly happy to exterminate Ukrainians and much of his own citizenry, to reach his goals.

I think the best bet for everyone is for the Federal government to simply fund the offshore platforms for Starship.

The payback in taxes from space commerce will be massive, compared to whatever the outlay may be.

(th)

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#1689 2023-01-17 10:55:42

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: Starship is Go...

There may be a political solution to the extermination problem .... just secure a Congressional approval for a dead zone at Boca Chica .

I think I figured out why Congress enacted laws to preserve non-human life ... the US gave women the vote 100 years ago.

I'll bet that there is not ONE female in the US who would vote FOR extermination of life around Boca Chica, but there might be one.

(th)

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#1690 2023-01-18 09:48:46

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

SpaceX already owns a couple of old oil platforms that are about 10 miles offshore.  These are eventually to be Starship/Superheavy launch sites,  far enough away from other folks to be safe. 

The problem is what infrastructure to build upon them.  They cannot figure that out until they start flying the vehicles experimentally.  Those catch arms on that tower are a bet,  not a certainty. 

The only certainty is that what eventually comes into routine use will not look like what they started with experimentally.  History teaches that.

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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#1691 2023-01-18 10:29:03

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: Starship is Go...

For GW Johnson .... Thank you for Post #1690, and for reminder of the oil platforms....

There may be a solution at hand, if someone with negotiation skills can join the discussion....

The launches ** could ** be done from the offshore platforms, and the landings performed back at Boca Chica.

The vehicles returning to land will have very little propellant left, so the risk of damage to native life in the vicinity would be reduced.

In that case, the catch arms on the platforms would be used to lift Starship onto Heavy, which has already been demonstrated.

(th)

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#1692 2023-01-18 16:21:07

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,352

Re: Starship is Go...

In my personal viewpoint--the bureaucrats are flexing their muscles to remain "relevant." It doesn't matter what the excuse is offered, but the outcome is being seriously affected by USFWS as much as by FAA.

I had a personal interaction with the Fish & Wildlife people back around the turn of Century from 20 to 21, around a small RODENT; the Prebles's Jumping Mouse was "determined to be an endangered species," and my ranch was considered to be in the "suitable habitat." Didn't matter that I had never seen one, nor had any of the neighboring ranchers. We were "forbidden" to burn our irrigation ditches for weed and brush removal, as irrigation ditches were supposed to be where they lived. These USFWS regulations were quietly removed after the mouse in question was determined to simply be a color variation of the common Jumping Mouse.  I attended several public meetings on the subject--opening my fat mouth there and made lotsa friends with the neighbors.

P.S. I'd rather have Ocelots, as they'd keep rodents under control, as well as other undesirable predators.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2023-01-18 16:24:06)

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#1693 2023-01-18 17:01:17

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,257

Re: Starship is Go...

tahanson43206,

Nobody here is saying we should kill the ocelots or destroy their habitat.  However, in order for humanity to grow, some other priorities will inevitably take a back seat.  Worrying about the presence of spotted cats happens to be one of them.  The point here is, there are no ocelots on SpaceX's property in Boca Chica.  None.  You cannot "conserve", that which does not exist.  Performative art, the purview of the self-absorbed left, must take a back seat to bigger picture thinking.  No spotted cat would ever think twice about eating a human if it could do it and live, even if it was eating the very last human in existence.  Only humans worry about such nonsense.  No other animal ever has.

If you believe all women in the US are so benevolent, then tell them they can have an infinite supply of money if they're willing to sacrifice someone else's child.  Assuming you were actually serious about your last statement in Post #1689, which strains credulity, be prepared for your belief about the "loving nature of women" to be shattered in an instant.

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#1694 2023-01-18 20:35:12

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,598

Re: Starship is Go...

It's called capture and relocate in other states to keep a species going but be careful not to introduce them such that they become a menace.

NH got there first with I think porcupines and then followed fisher cats to as a mistake in the distant past.

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#1695 2023-01-20 19:05:03

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,598

Re: Starship is Go...

I have been seeing articles indicating that the stacked super rocket is about to do test firings of the vehicle's engines.
While the first stage is the BFR and the second is the Starship what would we call the total ship has not been indicated.

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#1696 2023-01-26 11:19:45

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,352

Re: Starship is Go...

Successful Wet Dress Rehersal complete. Not a bad video but has other stuff included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig2kZ4Jlhzc

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#1697 2023-02-02 10:14:40

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 6,844

Re: Starship is Go...

Some additional thinking on expendable Starship: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starsh … musk-2023/

Expendable could lift 250 tons, but would only have reuse in orbit, (Or Phobos or Deimos, Asteroids) smile

Done


Done.

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#1698 2023-02-04 12:02:07

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,598

Re: Starship is Go...

The making of the booster expendable is also important not only to a cargo stand point but also for the refueling when limiting payloads back to the 100mT value as more fuel would remain in the starship as a result of that configuration.

It is looking like we will have a launch soon with a sub orbital flight that will end short of Hawaii.

Elon Musk lost his claim as having the most powerful space-worthy rocket when NASA blasted its own mega rocket to the moon in November.

During the test flight, the colossal booster will separate about three minutes after liftoff and land in the Gulf of Mexico, according to federal filings. The ship will fly in space around Earth at an altitude of over 150 miles, then splash down off the Hawaiian coast.

The rocket is made of stainless steel, a material Musk is particularly fond of due to its relatively low price. Unlike NASA's mega moon rocket, which flies on super-chilled liquid hydrogen and oxygen, this beast is fueled with 10 million pounds of liquid methane and oxygen. The new fuel can be stored at more manageable temperatures than liquid hydrogen, meaning it doesn't need as much insulation and is less prone to leaks, a problem that often stymies NASA launches.

SpaceX may attempt a Starship rocket system launch in March, its billionaire chief Elon Musk said in a tweet on Saturday.

Musk had in January said that there was a "real shot" at launching Starship in late February, adding that a March launch attempt appears highly likely.

SpaceX, since last year, has been looking to launch its giant Starship into orbit for the first time, a pivotal demonstration flight as it aims to fly NASA astronauts to the moon.

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#1699 2023-02-08 21:33:24

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,751
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

Shotwell says SpaceX ready for Starship static-fire test

WASHINGTON — SpaceX will attempt a static-fire test of all 33 engines in its Starship booster as soon as Feb. 9, a test that could allow the company to attempt an orbital launch a month later.

Speaking at the Federal Aviation Administration Commercial Space Transportation Conference here Feb. 8, Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, announced the impending test, the final major technical milestone before the vehicle’s first orbital launch attempt.

“Tomorrow is a big day for SpaceX. We are going to attempt a 33-engine static fire booster test for Starship,” she said. “It’s really the final ground test that we can do before we light ‘em up and go.”

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#1700 2023-02-09 16:56:26

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,751
Website

Re: Starship is Go...

SpaceX performs Starship static-fire test

SpaceX fired nearly all of the engines in the booster of its Starship launch vehicle in a ground test Feb. 9, one of the last technical milestones before the vehicle’s first orbital launch attempt.

The Super Heavy booster ignited its engines at about 4:14 p.m. Eastern at the company’s Starbase test site in Boca Chica, Texas. The engines fired for nearly 15 seconds, with both the booster and launch infrastructure appearing intact after the test. SpaceX said that the test ran for the full intended duration.

The test was designed to fire all 33 Raptors in the booster. However, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted immediately after the test that controllers turned off one engine just before the test and another stopped itself during the test. “But still enough engines to reach orbit!” he declared.

Company officials had previously said a full 33-engine static-fire test was the final major test for the vehicle before the first orbital launch attempt. “It’s really the final ground test that we can do before we light ’em up and go,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference Feb. 8, when she announced the scheduled test.

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