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Everything posted by RCgothic

  1. There's a pretty hostile article in TheVerge which suggests part of the holdup for SN9 is SN8 violating the launch licence, requiring a subsequent review. Not sure how much of this to take seriously, as they're also pretty negative about the landing explosion when it wasn't even expected that the rocket would get that far. https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2021/1/29/22256657/spacex-launch-violation-explosive-starship-faa-investigation-elon-musk
  2. Yes, I expect it will look even worse than F9.
  3. Nope, the landing pad is above Starhopper.
  4. Dragon2 is the most advanced human spacecraft of recent times. All the others either aren't recent, aren't as advanced, or aren't fully operational yet. Starship is a strong new contender, as would be a crewed Dynasoar. For most advanced uncrewed spacecraft, I think as 2018's flagship science mission the Parker Solar Probe has a good claim, maybe Perseverance which is a more advanced Curiosity, but Perseverance is arguably not fully operational until it's landed. When James Webb is in position this year or next it will take the most advanced uncrewed spacecraft easily.
  5. And if we're talking about EOR, Falcon Heavy can send 32t if it meets that cargo in orbit. And 32t is conveniently 2x reusable F9 launches. Which might be, say, 1) Dragon with the trunk used as a mission endurance module, and 2) An LLO insertion/return stage based on Dragon XL.
  6. I wasn't meaning to comment on the FAA situation. I meant: "The rocket has to be able to survive a hot fire abort. All engines have to be producing expected thrust before lift off. Therefore I'd be amazed if the rocket doesn't have launch clamps that are only released after ignition."
  7. The standard comeback is that Orion can brake 14t of cargo into NRHO and dock it, so more of that 14t can be payload can be cargo than an equivalent un-comanifested 14t payload. But as FH can throw much more than 14t to TLI and therefore systems to brake and dock, that's a bit irrelevant
  8. A hot abort is basically a static fire. I'd be amazed if the rocket is released before all engines verified.
  9. 1 fixed engine in the middle wouldn't interfere with the gimbaling at all. If it were a 310t version that's another ~3.5% Gross Launch Weight.
  10. That layout is just begging for one in the middle!
  11. The southern dogleg is probably for RTLS missions. In other news B1 gets a new ring and with flight termination system installed #WenHop could be today!
  12. One thing I've just noticed - B1051 has now overtaken B1049 as flight leader!
  13. Sure you can. The first module just has to include a manipulator arm.
  14. Crew Starship can't go to TLI without refuelling, and there's a large obstacle to crew rating it. It's a long pole. Capsule on top of an expendable starship is the easiest and fastest way to put crew on it, and it keeps Orion and the Artemis archeture basically as-is without starting again from scratch.
  15. They wouldn't need header tanks on an expendable starship because it's not landing anywhere. They're pretty easy to leave out. Expendable Starship has already been mooted, and for Orion it'd be even easier because no fairing is required, just a stage to spacecraft adaptor which is not difficult to make from stainless steel.
  16. Successful 2nd stage relight is beginning to look unlikely.
  17. No, I means Superheavy + an expendable Starship 2nd stage without fairings, legs, fins etc, just an adaptor to fit Orion up top. Without refuelling Starship can't send any payload to the moon whilst lugging fins, fairing and reserve fuel for landing, but with those stripped away it's comparable to SLS at minimum. It'd be a really easy conversion - with stainless steel it's not like they'd need to hexgrid a new adaptor. And with a capsule with LAS up top and no attempt to reuse the upper stage it shouldn't be harder to crew-rate than F9.
  18. This was a validation test though, not a development test. It was supposed to be right first time and this programme is not hardware-rich. They can't just swap in the next engine or the next booster stage. At worst, if this needs a redesign of the engine bay the programme may not survive.
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