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    Mass, Momentum, and Energy Conservation
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    College Station, TX

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  1. I must admit that this whole catching mechanism is making me say something I never thought I'd say... it's got me interested in a structures problem! (No offense to any structures people here .)
  2. Has Bill Gerstenmaier talked about it at all? He's with SpaceX now, but he's the first person that comes to mind linking senior NASA folks and SpaceX.
  3. If nothing else, at least there will be no risk of foam insulation projectiles.
  4. The title of this thread is so close to being accurate...
  5. The chance of a hurricane striking French Guiana is quite low due to the fact that it's almost at the equator. Tropical cyclones need to be some distance from the equator to form because the rotation associated with their structure initially derives from the Coriolis force, and the Coriolis force is zero at the equator. In addition, it would be unlikely for an extant tropical system to move south towards French Guiana due to the beta effect (on slides 11 - 18). Starbase, on the other hand... well, it's only a matter of time, and those tents don't look very windproof.
  6. There is an old legal adage that says, "If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, pound the table." Unfortunately, I think that BO is pounding the table at this point.
  7. This logic seems sound, but it seems that BO was granted an injunction anyway. Any idea as to how?
  8. https://spacenews.com/starliner-investigation-finds-numerous-problems-in-boeing-software-development-process/
  9. You beat me to it! (Though... I must admit I am extremely tempted to drive down there. It would "only" be a ~6.5 hour drive, so doing a daytrip is theoretically possible, and if it happens on Saturday when I don't have classes... well, we'll see.)
  10. This is still a long way off, and odds are likely that nothing comes of it... but how much protection does Starbase have against high winds, surge, and rain?
  11. I suppose the rationale is something along these lines. Seriously though, this means that the booster will need to be caught and locked in place on the pad quickly enough such that mechzilla is free to catch Starship. You also need to put notches for holding SS somewhere that won't get destroyed by reentry heating.
  12. The first objection I can think of is that of joints. How would you make these double-suit joints without the outer layer pinching the pressurized sublayer?
  13. The STS proved that SRMs can be reused, but the refurbishment required was immense. A big part of this was likely due to the fact that the motors were dropped in seawater, but I find myself wondering if a different landing system would have made practical reusability (in the vein of the Falcon 9 first stage) possible. Even assuming that SRMs are able to magically soft land near the launch site, the refueling process involves recasting and installing multiple segments of solid rocket fuel. Even handwaving the issue of landing (say that a winged flyback system with horizontal landing is used) and inspection, the refueling process sounds insurmountably labor intensive. Could practical reusability (on the level of the Falcon 9 first stage, which pushes costs down significantly but isn't a paradigm changer) or rapid reusability (on the level of Starship's aspirations with almost no inspection) be achieved with solids? If so, how?
  14. Tim Dodd's interview with Elon talks about this almost explicitly. Dragon requires extreme conservatism, Falcon is a bit less conservative, and Starship requires rapid testing/failure/iteration.
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