1. Is it just me or has the pace of testing at Boca dramatically slowed, with significantly more aborts and retests going on? Seems like that has been the general trend over the past several weeks since the spin prime explosion. I fully appreciate the awesomeness and complexity of what they are undertaking - just feels like there are a lot of unintentional test aborts lately. Maybe they're not unintentional? Maybe they're discovering sensitivities or problems they didn't see before? Maybe they're optimizing the pressurization / launch-prep sequence and that's causing a lot of starts/stops? All of the above? Curious if others are noticing the same thing and whether there is any "official" explanation...

  2. When they're doing tests on the suborbital pads, are they still using the old suborbital tank farm, or are they now only using the main orbital farm?

  3. Another spin prime (not sure if it was the same engine or different one but in the same area) at 9:26:41 CDT time.

  4. Is this just a temporary blast barrier they built to protect the tank farm after the unexpected boom from a month ago? What material is it?

  5. Very cool! Nice to see a managed and careful approach this time around instead, this will pay off with less "surprises".

  6. In addition to what the others said, gotta remember this is the first time they're working with Raptor 2s, unless I'm forgetting something.

  7. On the previous Starship suborbital launches, if an engine issue was found at startup, then the launch would be aborted. On the upcoming orbital launch, if an issue is discovered on S24 engines at startup (takes place after stage separation), a launch abort is not possible and would result in a launch failure. It only makes sense that more attention would be given to engine startup sequences on the S24 due to this being the case.

  8. Data, Data, and more Data. Characterizing an extremely complex system requires huge amounts of data across all operational modes. Not only does this flush out points of failure it helps the team learn how systems react to input.

  9. It really is. Starship is pretty sexy now too. I think we're getting ready to get to a pretty exciting period.

  10. As NSF have just discovered on their stream, there is GSE activity at both the orbital and the suborbital sites, so they might run through testing on both booster and ship in (relatively) quick succession!

  11. How would they arm FTS on the ship before an Orbital Launch? They don't have manlifts to do that, do they?

  12. Today is the first time in ages that I've taken a look at the various Boca Chica cameras. Both ends of Boca Chica boulevard

  13. Just an idea: So they if there's debris after the test they know it came from the rocket.

  14. To answer your question directly, to prevent shrapnel from being flung into something causing an ignition source.

  15. Road closure for today has been changed from "Possible" to "Scheduled" for the road and "Closed" for the beach on the official web site:

  16. Is it technically possible to stamp for example the dome parts and maybe other very large Starship/Booster parts? If so, would it be economically viable considering scale?

  17. I think your asking about forming sheet steel, not stamping. Hydro-forming: pushing a male die into a rubber box (5,000 psi on a 18 inch ram?) is a huge problem with large sheets. A steel male and female die is standard for auto parts, and stretch-forming is now being used on the Starship nose gores... After the design was finalized; stretch-forming set up is Very expensive. An "English wheel" would give you labor intensive compound shapes, and cones and curves are not formed but tacked onto ribs and stringers

  18. Seeing as there is no alert notice for tomorrow i wouldn't expect any preburner/statics yet but there could be some cryos or even spin prime tests for ship or booster.

  19. Over the past 24 hours S25's stacked LOX tank has, at times, been seen slowly rotating inside High Bay 1 (it's on the welding turntable) so that's perhaps fully welded onto the aft section now.

  20. If there's gonna be some sort of static fire/preburner tomorrow an alert notice could come at any time. Does anyone know if there is a NOTMAR tho?

  21. Both chopsticks have been recently tied together with rope and strapped down (3:30 - 4:20 PM CDT), I would guess it's just so they don't move freely. I wonder how fast they will get repaired

  22. Interesting that the B7 quick disconnect has a top cover plate that was partially held open - it could be that was where manual GSE connections were made prior to the lift - presumably with no GSE connections during the actual lift - but connections then being made asap after B7 was placed on the OLM.

  23. Is it possible Booster 7 is used as a ground test article to reduce risks for Booster 8? It seems like them not going full steam ahead with launch preparations for B7 - unlike its rollout in June - are incomplete.

  24. You won't be able to learn as an outsider that the launch license has been approved until maybe a few days before the launch as far as I understand. It is supposed to be a stealthy operation

  25. NSF daily updates are reaally boring so glad there's something like this which has everything in a single page! Thanks a lot!

  26. SpaceX are taking a more cautious approach from now on. As previously mentioned, center, inner ring and outer ring to be tested separately. What surprises me is the outer ring goes first for testing. Complete change around.

  27. I guess if they are planning an outer ring static fire they don’t want to risk raptors that don’t need to be there?

  28. Due to the attention on B7 (and the hydraulic failure on the tower) it's worth noting that overnight S25's partial LOX tank was stacked onto its aft/thrust section meaning it's now 12 rings tall (welding not yet done).

  29. Just a minor separation of a coupling. The clang was the coupling and hose falling away from the accumulator rack and hitting the CHS beam below. Don't want to breathe hydraulic fluid vapor though. Pretty nasty stuff.

  30. We can be glad it didn't blow with the booster on the arms. But how does a hydraulic overpressure incident occur with no load?

  31. The booster load spreader is now hooked up to Marvin (SpaceX's Liebherr LR 11000 crane). You can just see it on Rover 2 cam at around 02:45 CDT:

  32. I would think it should be pretty easily fixable, but I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Real question is why that occurred.

  33. I wondered that too, but I can't think of a good reason they'd do that instead of the chopsticks. Maybe they're still being worked on? I don't recall, is the crane near the OLM?

  34. Wonder why they don't have the engine shield on....guess they're not worried about it just want to get testing done.

  35. It's interesting that they are building the tank before they build the pedestal that supports the tank. Right now the whole tank is resting on temporary supports.

  36. can't imagine road shipment. Most/all large launch vehicle components are barged to Kennedy. There have long been manufacturing facilities along the Tennessee and Mississipi rivers for that reason, such as ULA's tank facility in Decatur, AL. I recall the Shuttle's main tanks were made in Pascagoula, MS. Aerojet began a facility in MS to make Shuttle solid rockets, perhaps to avoid the multi-segments of the ones from Utah, partly compromised by the need to ship by rail thru tunnels (forget).

  37. How does this relate to Starship? SpaceX is building a massive production site at the Cape. No mayor road/barge shipments needed.

  38. Looked like about 20-25 seconds duration on Rover 2.0 cam. Makes sense to eject the water with quite some velocity from the main GSE portion at ground level so that it pushes out to the open 3/4 perimeter of the stand.

  39. I'm curious what the need is for this if we've already seen 6 engine ship statics without it? Would the intent be maybe longer duration firings? That doesn't seem to make sense but I'm not understanding the purpose of water deluge on the suborbital pads

  40. I like the rumor that it will be used for the first WDR and booster static fire testing to ensure the entire launch sequence operates end-to-end and work out final kinks. However, once completed it will be retired and a more accelerated testing regime will be performed on B8 with the intent of orbital launch.

  41. Do you think SpaceX underestimated the development of the Super Heavy compared to Starship? today this wild beast does not want to leave the ground. I know that all the problems encountered are part of the process to achieve success, but Elon filled us with hope with too many fanciful dates.

  42. People more than often overlook the fact that in a relative short period of time they not only built the booster, but also the entire infrastructure (storages), launch table, tower and landing system to support a launch.

  43. They didn't really estimate the whole development. They set a goal, charted a rough path, and set out. Elons 'date guestimates' are just hopes and dreams and motivation for the team. The process is working as intended. Being a fan is tough, but try not to put any stock in the mentioned dates or timelines.

  44. This information comes second hand. It comes from an internal Space X employee. I cannot guarantee the veracity of this information. Just posting for those interested due to the secrecy surrounding Space X's flight schedules.

  45. For starters, it's been reported a few times that a 33-engine static fire without a fully fueled stack is not possible.

  46. Wuuut. A guy broke into the launch site with his car, was stopped by the security at 2:29:54 on NSF live stream, and was just arrested and handcuffed by the police…

  47. Some more possible road+beach closures have appeared for next week, Monday 8th (Primary) to Wednesday 10th, 10AM until 10PM:

  48. S25's aft section has finally been rolled out of the tent it's been in and over towards High Bay 1 to join S25's partially stacked LOX tank. See Rover Cam at around 12:22 CDT (it entered HB1 at about 12:30 CDT):

  49. Regarding the nature of having a multitude of engines, how does the inner cluster’s engine plumes interact with the ones around them? In single engine testing, the atmosphere pushes the plume inwards to underexpand. But if it’s surrounded by a curtain of other plumes, does the atmosphere have a chance to reach it to have the same effect or will it overexpand?

  50. Your explanation is a bit off. The plume from each engine is slightly over-expanded at the nozzle exit plane at sea-level. That creates a vacuum which counter-acts thrust. With a single engine, atmospheric air flows in laterally (sucked in), which collapses the plume a bit, plus going thru tangential shock waves increases downstream pressure to match the atmosphere.

  51. Falcon 9 has one centre engine with 8 around it. The plumes at low altitude don't appear to affect each other much at all. At high altitude it looks to me like the expansion of the centre plume pushes the others outward. Or they all act to push each other outwards. But once the gas has left the nozzle I'm pretty sure it doesn't make much difference what happens to it. It's all action/reaction so just throwing it out of the nozzle really fast does the work.

  52. It was implied during a Tim Dodd interview with Peter Beck that there's some fascinating plume interaction that might behave like a virtual nozzle extension, similar to the main draw of Aerospike engines. The ambient atmosphere won't be present for very long anyway, but the other plumes should act to restrict overexpansion slightly (as the "atmosphere" around the inner plumes is overexpanding rocket exhaust from the outer plumes). Not being a hot-high-velocity-gasologist, best I can figure is that the overall difference is at best a couple extra effective ISP from the inner engines as the virtual "nozzle length" of the inner engines has been gained without adding any hardware mass, but I don't know if the backpressure from the slightly restricted overexpansion of the inner plumes is good or bad. I'd be surprised if it registered as much of an impact on performance as the difference between 32 and 33 Raptors, especially given that ISP isn't really super important on the first stage compared to, say, TWR.

  53. In order to maximize efficiency, the plan is to use atmospheric drag as much as possible. So, I think the plan is to use the atmosphere for orbital insertion and orbit lowering, and then use the atmosphere for further slowing down when landing, and then to turn on the engines at the very end for a hoverslam.

  54. The Mars Starship will use aerobraking in the Mars atmosphere until the speed drops to about 0.5 km/sec and then one or more Raptor 2 engines will start and reduce the speed to zero at landing.

  55. Not sure exactly what this question is asking. The general plan is to do a variant of the skydive maneuver they demonstrated in the suborbital hops, then decelerate with the main engines. Header tanks will hold fuel for the mars landing through the journey from earth.

  56. If that new tank is located on the line between the 39A Falcon 9 tower and the 39A Starship tower, then it would provide a level of protection for the Falcon 9 tower if a RUD occurred before the Starship clears its tower. NASA probably likes that feature.

  57. Why would they? Booster 8 is all good for now, and booster 7 is being repaired. If something terrible happens to booster 8, then the next vehicle in line is booster 9

  58. An entire week of closures just after an incident with an spin prime on B7 and a lot of spin primes on S24. I wouldn't be surprised if they found an issue with Raptor 2 and thus all the delays (and the ones to come...).

  59. Boca residents have been asked by SpaceX not to share the over pressure notices, so there is a chance they have been served. Of course theses also a chance they haven’t been.

  60. SN24 static fire prep (maybe today?) and repairs to B7 after the oppsie on the pad ready for more testing.

  61. The booster load spreader was delivered to the launch site late yesterday (I can't link to a photo though as it's on LabPadre's subscribers only Discord).

  62. He could have played this safer and say 'within the next 12 months'. The fact he put a probability on a launch in 1 month doesn't necessary mean that launch will happen but it does mean that we will see balls to the wall testing over the next month.

  63. Seems like a reasonable and pretty all-encompassing statement. I would also draw people's attention to the word "probably" but, as highlighted, the key word is "successful" and that of course means multiple attempts. :)

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