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Thread: SpaceX

  1. #2971
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    This was a rest of the CH4 header tank (landing fuel tank) system, not the mains.

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1258305746082516992

  2. #2972
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    This was a test of the CH4 header tank (landing fuel tank) system, not the mains.

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1258305746082516992

  3. #2973
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    So the previous test was like a few seconds only? I could tell as the viewing angle was obscured by the flare boom, at least for me.

  4. #2974
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    This was a test of the CH4 header tank (landing fuel tank) system, not the mains.

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1258305746082516992
    So basically they are testing the separate components before going for a full up test, which means they get the maximum amount of data out of SN-04 whatever happens with the 'hop'.

  5. #2975
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    So basically they are testing the separate components before going for a full up test, which means they get the maximum amount of data out of SN-04 whatever happens with the 'hop'.
    Exactly. Then they can do edge tests and if it goes "pop!" no problem - SN-05 etc are in the wings with upgraded legs, flatter domes, improved welds etc.

    Hardware-Rich Development.

  6. #2976
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    I have just discovered Elon's girlfriend, who has apparently named their child XA-12. I thought Elon was a tad odd sometimes.

    I've seen one interpretation of the name as "Kyle".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #2977
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I have just discovered Elon's girlfriend, who has apparently named their child XA-12.
    X = K or Z
    = long I
    A = Ah
    - = HYPHEN (or silent)
    12 = TWELVE or XII (ZHI with a long I)
    so the kid is cleared ruined for life. However, Moon Unit and Dweezle did well.
    Do good work. Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  8. #2978
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    His other kids have normal names and this name won't be allowed so they'll have to come up with something symbolless anyway. By the way, it was:

    X = the unknown (as in math)
    AE = A.I. as written in Grimes' elves alphabet
    A12 = their favourite aircraft (SR71 precursor) for being excellent in fights without any weapon or violence, just by sheer speed

    So that makes Xaiatwelve. Twelve in hex is C. Xaiac. Hmm. Jesiah or Zack maybe?
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  9. #2979
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    A response on her Twitter interprets it as Kyle.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #2980
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    The 12 could be standing for L indeed. And in that case you would end up with something like Kyle. Or Seal.

    In any case, I would like it if they have a creative interpretation/announcement of the name while the "processed version" of the name is not too "exotic" because someone will have to lead a life with it.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  11. #2981
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    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    SN4 passed high pressure (7.5 bar) & engine thrust load at cryo

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1259344535991140352

  12. #2982
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    I am interested in the “knuckle welder”

  13. #2983
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I am interested in the “knuckle welder”
    "Knuckles" are curved pressure dome segments, which SpaceX has outsourced to automotive suppliers here in Michigan because they have huge presses. The welders are robotic welders which produce a zipper-like reinforced seam.

  14. #2984
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    A certain company called Tesla also has those presses but I think they're occupied or maybe not upto the thickness required for an interplanetary transport solution.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  15. #2985
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    Notice To AirMen at Boca Chica, ops leading to a static fire using Raptor s/n 20.

    Tuesday May 12 to Thursday May 14

    Window: 1000 to 2200 Eastern

  16. #2986
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    So Raptor s/n 18 did the first firing test, got removed for inspection and now we have s/n20 taking its place. I wonder if there are differences between the two? Given SpaceX's rate of iteration I wouldn't be surprised.

  17. #2987
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    They have 3 engines there, enough for the SS center cluster. Most likely they are getting run time for each before mounting together for a stratospheric hop. The stated plan called for 20km hop ending with a "skydiver" landing.

  18. #2988
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    Meanwhile the core of Starship SN5 is stacked. No fins or nosecones installed yet, but there are three nosecones living on the site. Ready to be popped on before a flight. Maybe not yet for the 150m hop, though I hope they will just for the looks.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  19. #2989
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    The nosecones I see in the videos look pretty rough, but I suppose they don't have to do much.

    Interesting how they've turned the hopper into a junk-of-all-trades, mounting surveillance cameras, loudspeakers, and weather instruments on it.

    Oh, and Elon is being stupid again.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #2990
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Oh, and Elon is being stupid again.
    It has been said that in order to make that sort of capital success, you have to be a bit pathological. Sometimes what people like Musk do seems to bear that out. Ethics tend to be a bit fluid under pressure, even if it's the somewhat artifical pressure of "meeting the numbers".

    That's what we pay in "agreeing" to be part of a pseudo-capitalistic society. Progress with a price.

    CJSF
    Last edited by CJSF; 2020-May-13 at 05:50 PM. Reason: typos again
    "Off went his rocket at the speed of light
    Flying so fast there was no day or night
    Messing around with the fabric of time
    He knows who's guilty 'fore there's even a crime

    Davy, Davy Crockett
    The buckskin astronaut
    Davy, Davy Crockett
    There's more than we were taught"

    -They Might Be Giants, "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)"


    lonelybirder.org

  21. #2991
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Meanwhile the core of Starship SN5 is stacked. No fins or nosecones installed yet, but there are three nosecones living on the site. Ready to be popped on before a flight. Maybe not yet for the 150m hop, though I hope they will just for the looks.
    I understand the labelling of different test designs, what I don't get is to start on a new design before proving the previous design is either proven or disproven.

    They could be using manufacturing procedures prior to be proven successful. It isn't my capital, but I would raise my hand and ask why?

  22. #2992
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I understand the labelling of different test designs, what I don't get is to start on a new design before proving the previous design is either proven or disproven.

    They could be using manufacturing procedures prior to be proven successful. It isn't my capital, but I would raise my hand and ask why?
    It's cheaper and faster, and leads to a better result.

    The manufacturing process refinements are "proven" during the construction of each iteration. They aren't planning every detail ahead and diving in with huge factory buildings full of infrastructure that might need to be rebuilt or discarded completely. Additionally, the design is changing and being refined as different components are developed. SN5 will use thicker metal in places to simplify its design, and they're changing details like the alloys used in different places as they learn what needs more attention from real world testing. That doesn't mean there's nothing to learn from testing SN4.

    They're turning perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars of stainless steel into scrap with each prototype, learning exactly what they need to do to make the next one closer to a working vehicle and what they actually need in order to build it, and avoiding nasty surprises like what SLS ran into with its crooked welding machine or its useless friction welding pins, or like Boeing ran into when their spacecraft got into orbit and didn't work right.

  23. #2993
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    It's cheaper and faster, and leads to a better result.

    The manufacturing process refinements are "proven" during the construction of each iteration. They aren't planning every detail ahead and diving in with huge factory buildings full of infrastructure that might need to be rebuilt or discarded completely. Additionally, the design is changing and being refined as different components are developed. SN5 will use thicker metal in places to simplify its design, and they're changing details like the alloys used in different places as they learn what needs more attention from real world testing. That doesn't mean there's nothing to learn from testing SN4.

    They're turning perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars of stainless steel into scrap with each prototype, learning exactly what they need to do to make the next one closer to a working vehicle and what they actually need in order to build it, and avoiding nasty surprises like what SLS ran into with its crooked welding machine or its useless friction welding pins, or like Boeing ran into when their spacecraft got into orbit and didn't work right.
    I disagree as testing proves the design/process. What fails in one design might have already been initiated into a newer design, forcing to scrap/destroy the newer design? But it isn't my money they are possibly wasting.

    ETA: Now I can see where different processes running concurrently may speed up the overall development as it is a learning process.

  24. #2994
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I disagree as testing proves the design/process. What fails in one design might have already been initiated into a newer design, forcing to scrap/destroy the newer design? But it isn't my money they are possibly wasting.

    ETA: Now I can see where different processes running concurrently may speed up the overall development as it is a learning process.
    Agile development applied to massive hardware.

    This is the same process they used to go from the Electron-sized Falcon 1 launching a payload to orbit to a 9 engine Falcon 9 Full Thrust with the lift capability of a Proton in 7 years, and as a bonus the ability to land & be reused.

    Difference? None, other than a smaller army of camera people at McGregor vs Boca Chica.

  25. #2995
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    Some lessons learned from SN4 will come too late for SN5 or 6. But SN5 will have been made with manufacturing lessons learned from SN4, and design lessons learned too late to incorporate into SN4. The manufacturing part is a big deal here, as they are aiming to mass produce these rockets at a rate of one per week.

    Regarding the cost of it all, when they had to scrap all the composite manufacturing tools already made for Starship, I think they threw out more money than the cost of multiple steel prototypes. And it's not like they threw out money blindly with the steel ones; they recycle what they can between iterations. After SN3 collapsed, its lower part got put on SN4 or SN5. Raptors are reused, obviously. Lots of electronics as well.

    Are they using the fancy steel alloy they want to use in the orbital craft already on these prototypes?
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  26. #2996
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    30X steel was said to arrive for SN-06 or SN-07.

    Tesla will also need it for Cybertruck, which could be the basis of SpaceX's Moon/Mars surface vehicles. That things going to have some crazy entry/departure angles & ground clearance.

  27. #2997
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I disagree as testing proves the design/process. What fails in one design might have already been initiated into a newer design, forcing to scrap/destroy the newer design? But it isn't my money they are possibly wasting.

    ETA: Now I can see where different processes running concurrently may speed up the overall development as it is a learning process.
    It's not just Starship being tested. As long as correcting the issue doesn't require a fundamental change in approach, whether the design fails is largely irrelevant to the manufacturing improvements. And there's no reason every prototype has to have every change planned...if a change goes poorly, that would just interfere with testing of other changes.

    Building and testing prototypes is not a waste of money. Not doing so is costing Boeing hundreds of millions on a Starliner reflight, and the "exhaustively work everything out before building anything" approach is why SLS is burning tens of billions of dollars years past its original planned launch date without having even launched...and the first launch will be a multi-billion-dollar attempt at flying something that has never flown before.

  28. #2998
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    It's not just Starship being tested. As long as correcting the issue doesn't require a fundamental change in approach, whether the design fails is largely irrelevant to the manufacturing improvements. And there's no reason every prototype has to have every change planned...if a change goes poorly, that would just interfere with testing of other changes.

    Building and testing prototypes is not a waste of money. Not doing so is costing Boeing hundreds of millions on a Starliner reflight, and the "exhaustively work everything out before building anything" approach is why SLS is burning tens of billions of dollars years past its original planned launch date without having even launched...and the first launch will be a multi-billion-dollar attempt at flying something that has never flown before.
    How does one know prior to testing? It seems to me that they have tried different techniques along the different builds.

    You keep bringing up Boeing and/or NASA, this thread concerns SpaceX as far as the OP. But I will stipulate that different companies approach the process differently

  29. #2999
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    They have information about the previous fails. If those were strength related, you know that "more steel" will likely solve the issue. If they were welding related, you know that different welding settings will likely solve the issue. If you need a different leg or fin layout, rearranging the jigs and robots will allow for it. It's only when you need a radical change (like stepping away from welded sheets altogether) that the manufacturing process will need a complete makeover. They got good information on those fundamental choices when testing (and yes, blowing the top off) the very first prototypes.

    I'm currently also developing stuff from a "fail fast" approach, and while it does result in a pile of failed prototypes that used to be a pile of my money, it allows me to abandon bad designs before sinking an even larger pile of money into it, going forward faster, and making the tests of consecutive prototypes safer as I know that a lot of basic aspects are tested and proven. This allows me to test the more expensive hardware components that I didn't even put on the earlier prototypes because of risk of failure. Just like SpaceX is not yet testing Starships with a bunch of engines under it and covered in tiles, fully equiped with crew quarters etc.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  30. #3000
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    You keep bringing up Boeing and/or NASA, this thread concerns SpaceX as far as the OP. But I will stipulate that different companies approach the process differently
    I bring them up because they're counterexamples to your claim that SpaceX is wasting money. Building and testing prototypes is not a waste of money. Spending engineering hours avoiding prototyping until you can build a high-fidelity test article that you're 99.9999% sure won't fail messily doesn't save money or time. That's what you do when you're pathologically afraid of failure and willing to spend years and billions of dollars and wind up saddled with an inferior end product that's too expensive to fix if it means avoiding or postponing failure, and it's likely to lead in the end to extremely expensive failures like the Starliner demo flight, or the Shuttle Challenger and Columbia flights, on top of greatly inflated development costs.

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