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About zolotiyeruki

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  1. Well, if SuperHeavy/Starship's launch costs get down to $2 million as Elon projects, I could certainly see using that for retrieving parts and pieces of the ISS. It would make for one heck of a museum exhibit!
  2. One thing to keep in mind is that F9 first stages are rather large. Having many just sitting around would take up a LOT of space. And it's not like they're cheap to make, either. Having a large inventory is not efficient, business-wise, especially since launches are scheduled far in advance. Unlike with some commodities, you're not going to see any panic-buying of rocket launches, barring some sort of cataclysmic world-ending event
  3. With full reuse, SpaceX won't need any really big payloads. As stated repeatedly in the recent discussion, they'll be able to use SH/SS for just about any payload heavier than a few tons, and still make a profit. Beyond Starlink, they'll be able to service the entire existing launch market with SS/SH.
  4. On the topic of filming in space, the stated $2m launch cost for SS puts zero-g filming into the budget of bigger films. SpaceX could build a SS with a sealed, pressurized cargo bay with life support and electricity, and not much else. Basically a zero-g sound stage. You could put a crew up in space to film for a week! Coming soon in The Expanse Season 10!
  5. Yup, this challenge is still active! And your entry is certainly interesting--that looks like a lot of work! However, it also violates a number of rules, and so it unfortunately can't be included in the leaderboard. The rules disallow command seats and require LF+Air propulsion only, and your craft must stay intact for the duration of the mission ( you lost the command seat on your final landing).
  6. Maybe vacuum bag the concrete to prevent the water from evaporating into space while the concrete sets up and cures? Except that doesn't make sense, since vacuum bagging only works if you have an atmosphere present...
  7. And yet, for 60 years, those people who are smarter than Musk and his engineers failed to try, let alone succeed, at booster recovery (STS's SRBs don't count). And here SpaceX is, with the lowest launch cost on the market, gobbling up marketshare from the legacy launch providers, who are now even more dependent on fat government contracts to keep them afloat. Several people have pointed this out, but it sounds like you keep missing it: full reuse changes everything, and it *does* matter how cheap the tollway is. You're right that there's nothing *currently* that would require SS's capabilities, but that's not because there's no possible use for them. It's because for the last 60 years, we've been constrained by the very high price of expendable launches provided by government-funded companies who have little incentive for efficiency or innovation. Because of this, lots of ideas have been dismissed as simply too costly. So are there customers lining up right now to use the expanded capabilitie of SS? No. But I can imagine a few far-closer-future uses. Larger spy satellites. Competing satellite communications networks. Satellite TV companies who will be able to launch a dozen satellites for a fraction of the cost they currently pay to launch just one. Rods From The Gods. LOP-G in a single launch. Heck, SS could be used to service satellites the way STS did. Heck, with the low cost of launch, SS could recover satellites, bring them back to earth for servicing, and then stick them back in orbit again for less than it cost to put them there in the first place. How about expanding the ISS? But set that all aside for a moment. Let's assume that nobody comes up with a payload to match SS's capabilities. The fact is, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, because SS will be able to service the existing market, and be competitive at it, assuming the stated expected costs ($5m cost to SpaceX, 2-3x that to the customer?) are within an order of magnitude of actual costs. SS doesn't need to be used for 100T payloads in order to be an economic success. I think you're on the right track by comparing it to a tollway, but I think you're drawing the wrong conclusions. Look at what the Interstate System has done for the US.
  8. You make a good point about abort modes, but I have two counter arguments for the points above: 1) There are no missions right now that require the full capabilities of Starship. However, that doesn't mean Starship woould be useless. It could be used for basically every mission that every current launch platform services, at a lower cost. Sure, smaller payloads won't use all of SS's capabilities, but it'll still be cheaper than any of the expendable launch platforms. Who cares if the launch vehicle can handle 10x the size of your payload, if they're still cheaper than a competing platform that's sized to match your payload? 2) Boeing isn't exactly covering itself in glory lately when it comes to....well, just about anything they're involved with, and "low cost" doesn't exactly come to mind when it comes to any defense contractors, so I'll remain skeptical of Boeing and Lockmart's ability to produce a price-comipetitive launch platform, to say nothing of their desire.
  9. I just had a thought. I'll bet the NRO would be *very* interested in SS/SH. The resolution of satellite imagery is limited by mirror/lens diameter, and going from the space shuttle's 4.5m payload bay to SS's 9m must have some folks salivating. Forget reading license plates, you'll be reading newspapers from orbit! (ok, I'm exaggerating a little....)
  10. It's a procedural problem that could be solved with a design change, I.e. move the sensor so that the tubing drains naturally when the booster is upright
  11. Actually, I think SS *could* control yaw with just the two flaps. As it belly flops through the atmosphere, it could pull back one flap slightly. Let's pick the right-hand one. This would cause the whole SS to roll to the right a bit before becoming stable again in the roll axis. At that point, the (non-moving) forward flaps would be canted to the right, and would therefore try to push (yaw) the nose to the right. At the rear, there would be no left/right force. The result would be a yaw to the right.
  12. Going down to two actuating fins might be fine, since there's little need for roll control. Since you always want the same side windward, as long as you're aerodynamically stable, you don't need control in that axis. That means that you only need two degrees of freedom (yaw, pitch), and therefore, you can theoretically get all the maneuverability you need with only two control surfaces. It's analogous to a delta wing airplane with a pair of elevons but no rudder.
  13. Or, just have a bolt that's right-hand threaded on one end and left-hand threaded on the other. Matching nuts on the tiles and the skin.
  14. Have SpaceX said why that landing was so spicy?
  15. What's not clear to me is where/how the canards are hinged. They follow the curve of the nose, but there's no indication of where the hinge axis is. Or is it expected to simply be faired very cleanly?