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MKI

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  1. I think the "10% Starships will fail" concept is another "Elon Engineering philosophy". What SpaceX would like to achieve is "pushing the limits where 10% fail", since there are plenty of limits to push, this means producing 11 crafts for every 10 missions. Its somewhat an extension of the "re-add 10% back into the design, because you un-designed too much". Instead, SpaceX would like to meet current expectations, (whatever the current goals are), except force at least 10% to break/fail to know where the boundaries are with the current system. Iterate, and continue to "push boundaries". Elon's background is in software, where there is a similar concept (at least in its idea) of Chaos Engineering, where you essentially try to break your system so you can test, and thus iterate against its weak points. Essentially you break your system expectantly, so its more prepared for the unexcepted. I'm sure Elon is familiar with the concept, and might be trying to apply it to Starship. This sort of goal is actually a genius way to solve the problem of getting to Mars. The factory should be optimized to keep pumping out Starships, even once they are stable with the current system, they will continue to iterate in the direction they need, along with iterating into failures to continue to push boundaries. Again, this is only possible if you can iterate fast enough, which so far SpaceX seems to be doing just fine. Once you get that scale of production, you can use them to continue to learn more about the current system by essentially throwing them at the problem, and potentially throwing the problem at them to seek out failure points, and margins. When doing something hard, making failure cheap, and being able to continue to iterate solutions can make iterating rather fast. SpaceX seems to be going this exact route, to tackle easily the hardest engineering problem available.
  2. I can go outside and not get blinding because I stared directly at the sun ;D I'd assume they would have a sunshade, if the nosecone isn't designed to be opened/closed all the time. On the I4 mission, are they in constant contact with SpaceX/the ground like a full on mission, or is it more periodic? Like is there a schedule planned before hand to make the most use of their time?
  3. I got the full game without playing the play test. Good fun, gotta tweak my HOTAS (or just wait for someone else to do it ;D) in the mean time... gotta learn how to build planes again haha
  4. Maybe we just have to dig to find the alien ruins, can't make it too easy
  5. Its easier and more feasible, but I would also weigh a lot more and probably end up being much slower. Even if you did get it to the target within a reasonable time-frame, you also have the issue you can only afford to build and send 1, which probably is a bad idea if your traveling at a percentage of lightspeed you might not even make it.
  6. I know some one who worked in aerospace and there was bonuses per pound for whoever could think of ideas to save weight, as the design was too heavy. One idea was to only have "little people" fly the planes, which would save a lot of weight in multiple categories. (Not sure of "little people" is offensive or not, I don't mean to offend, I just don't know what the preferred label is) SH has yet to be tested, the Starship tests are more verifying the ability to belly flop+land. Yes they use the same engine, but previous tests are focusing on testing other parts of the system (landing+belly flopping Starship) while testing engine performance. SH can't fly on its own and requires more engines to test, so Starship must be further along before getting to SH as its higher risk and harder to iterate on. The launch cadence needs to be extremely high to support orbital refueling, which is the only way anything gets anywhere.
  7. This might be a rather long wait, but Breakthrough Starshot https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakthrough_Starshot
  8. Space is always hard, but it doesn't have to be expensive to figure it out. I'd put a Falcon 9 booster landing as being harder than a SH landing. 1. Merlin's can't throttle deep, so they essentially must perform a suicide burn. SH will be able to hover into an exact position without any problem. 2. Most Falcon 9's end up landing on a moving target in the ocean. 3. Due to essentially having 0 weight restrictions on the catcher arms, compared to weight restrictions on carrying landing legs through the flight, there isn't really anything stopping SpaceX from making the arms more "cushiony" than a Falcon 9 landing legs. This also drastically saves weight, increasing flight performance I think the hover part is the key feature that will make a SH landing extremely accurate. Catching a booster seems insane because the only ones landing boosters are already doing it in a harder environment. If the techniques where reversed, and SpaceX was doing Super Heavy landings and were thinking about landing using the Falcon 9's approach, it wouldn't make as much sense since a Falcon 9 landing is harder. Another way to think about it is we have been doing mid-are refueling for decades and no one bats an eye and that has 2 aerodynamic vehicles flown into exact position for long periods of time. Also didn't see anything for the Starlink launch, too many clouds where we ended up. A family friend who was elsewhere got a good view though as they had a break in the clouds. Will have to try to catch the next launch from their place instead next time haha.
  9. Going to be trying to catch a view of this launch from a park that is aptly named Rocketship park! I'm still several hundreds of miles away from Vandenburg, but should see it in the dark just fine, if the weather is clear. The weather in Southern California looks great so far today, nice clear blue skys! See how things are closer to the launch
  10. I think this falls into some sort of "false premise" fallacy somehow. A paranoid general is as paranoid as they need to be to justify the end argument... so yea its totally outlandish, so the general needs to be totally paranoid. A less paranoid general probably doesn't see any threat Starship is uniquely capable of. You need a really paranoid general to to the "far future extreme scenario" to see an "extreme threat". If its "too outlandish" then the general isn't "paranoid enough". The whole topic really boils back down to the premise of getting some general paranoid enough about what is currently flying grain silos and finding some sort of "threat" from them that is unique to Starship. When there's enough tech to launch stealth nukes around the world in 30 minutes, you gotta really stretch to see a threat in Starship as it stands right now. Then again there's the very realistic argument "Starship is too outlandish to work, there is no threat". Which is what non-paranoid people would say, but then that's not fun XD
  11. Starship's primary design goal is doing this..... but on Mars. You could argue neither are feasible, which also might be true, but that is also not what was asked in the thread. If you aren't paranoid about it being possible, you can't answer as a paranoid general ;D On a serious note, any long term "base" on the Lunar surface might happen with or without Starship if Artemis gets off the pad. What we mean by "taking the Moon" is very vague and could mean a whole bunch of things. For the "paranoid general" scenario, its the worst possible end-game sort of setup, which is far future stuff. For me as a not paranoid person, I'd say an ISS continual presence on the Moon supported by Starship is much more reasonable, if Starship's development continues at its current pace. Militarily an ISS level presence on the Moon means nothing, the same way the ISS has no real military value. Both would be highly symbolic however. Starship itself would continue to be built out to support its original goal of supporting Mars missions. In the mean time I see no reason it couldn't continue to build on whatever Moon base is created, exists, or whatever crazy billionaire wants to build and pay SpaceX for their own home away from home. The other thing to consider is SpaceX has experience, but they also currently don't have such a large head start no one else can catch up. But if your country is still flying existing tech, and Starship is already landing people on the Moon, or made their return trip test to Mars. The game might already be over in terms of "catching up" with Starship and SpaceX.
  12. If Russia wanted to make a first-strike I'm sure they will succeed in executing such tasks to a point. I'm not sure if having a Lunar base presence manned by solely the US is an event worth executing such a first-strike at this time, and would at least involve large amounts of politics before such an engagement would occur. There is also the question about being able to strike any targets on the Lunar surface/sub-terrain/orbit. Since such targets don't exist, you'd need new technologies and or plans to attack such infrastructure reliably. Its one thing if the Lunar base is just an outpost reliant on shipments from Earth, its another if its a large scale self-sustaining operation. Obviously such things would be far in the future relative to now, but you'd plan for such outcomes now. Regardless however, a paranoid general would consider the long term ramifications of the US having such capabilities and their own countries lack of such capabilities. A unparanoid general wouldn't see Starship as a threat, and would justify their lack of paranoia on all the points you are describing.... except that wasn't the thread hahaha
  13. I'd just think they part clipped all the boosters onto the bottom ;D
  14. The scale of this thing is just mind blowing. The people on the stand are still only the size of each engine bell... and the engines look tiny
  15. The act of "taking" the moon isn't something like invading a foreign country. Its more a slow establishment over time, none of which need to be militaristic what so ever. A paranoid general isn't only scared of a full-on high stakes declaration of the US declaring the Moon their property. A paranoid general would be scared of the full on US lead slow build-up of the Moon over time. You don't need to put a US military base on the Moon to "win" that sort of scenario. You just keep building out your moon base(s) and you essentially "own it" through just being the only ones being there. In this scenario a "first-strike" would be incredibly foolish and akin to more of a terrorist attack as there isn't any existing military value in striking such a target, such as a civilian Moon base. This again doesn't mean its impossible because the Moon base has military value or even significant defenses, but you basically don't get any piece of the pie now or later. Its fun to imagine some sort of high-end space battle between a Lunar base and Earth, but in reality a large scale direct confrontation just ends up with a bunch of losers on both sides for a hunk of rock. Any general worth their salt understands that, they also understand "keeping pace" with such technologies gives them a chance at keeping the status quo, or potentially overtaking your rivals over time either directly or indirectly. Going back to the "paranoid general", lets assume they do get funding to build a similar space launch system to Starship, except more limited in scope to just support a Lunar base of their own. Such a situation would result in a similar status quo, where even if a weaker/lamer/more-expensive version of Starship is supported (or just more funding is directed toward a more limited launch vehicle) it would at least be possible to "keep pace" for the foreseeable future of a Lunar base. This status quo is what you'd aim for, as it gives you the capabilities to keep pace with anything that could occur. Its one thing if the US starts building secret Moon bases and you can't get there, its another if your both on the Moon doing civilian based science tasks together while keeping an eye on the other side (Think the ISS but on the Moon). Ultimately a paranoid general would push for the capabilities of Starship's ability to build large scale Lunar infrastructure over time, which is capabilities basically beyond all existing platforms. Yes a "first-strike" would damage any significant lunar infrastructure, along with any "first-strike" targets such as launch facilities on Earth, but again only a foolish general prepares for an avoidable war. The topic is a "paranoid general", not a warmongering idiotic one, there is a difference. A smart general would also understand Starship is a massive risk, its possible it isn't economical or feasible to build such a platform, but you don't want to be left behind if it does appear to be capable. I'd start stealing designs now and building my own to keep pace. Which is exactly what the CNSA is doing. Finally its worth noting a paranoid general could push the original idea I gave about a "US take over of the moon", its what you push to politicians who push it on people to get political support, as that is what ultimately provides the funds. The space race was built on military technology meeting with scientific endeavors to further both realms. I see a Starship based Lunar base as just another technology that could further both realms as well. As such I'd say we need our own, even if it ends up being only a scientific venture, both realms benefit.
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