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Do y'all think the Space-X Super heavy/Star ship would work out?

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Do you think this 2018 version of the Space-X super heavy/Star ship would actually work out? And do y'all think their re-entry skydiver method would pan out? Or would've the 2017 version have been a better option?

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The 2017 would not have worked, i think. The control of those fins are next to 0.

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I'm cautiously optimistic. The fact that we could see some definitive answers via testing in the not to distant future is, well, really cool.

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I’m sure it’ll work. It has to. SpaceX needs Starship to stay in the launch market, to put thousands of Starlink sats to orbit in time, to fulfill their #dearmoon contract and to bring about Musk’s vision of humanity as interplanetary species. SpaceX is flexible - it can afford to do as many radical redesigns as they need, as long as the final version is going to do the job.

It also helps that they don’t report to any kind of authority that sets the goals based on external factors, like “using SRBs because people that make SRBs need work”.

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Just now, sh1pman said:

I’m sure it’ll work. It has to.

Just like the Shuttle!

I am reasonably confident the engineering will work out. The SpaceX team isn't stupid. What concerns me is what comes after the first few flights, on whether SpaceX can maintain their highly ambitious goals in turnaround time, minimal refurbishment, launch cadence, and the overall economics of the Starship/Superheavy.

I'm also skeptical of plans to use the Starship/Superheavy for manned launches. Personally, I'd strongly prefer it if the astronauts were sent up on a separate F9/Dragon II, which is generally much more proven technology.

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30 minutes ago, Starman4308 said:

I'm also skeptical of plans to use the Starship/Superheavy for manned launches. Personally, I'd strongly prefer it if the astronauts were sent up on a separate F9/Dragon II, which is generally much more proven technology.

Proven, yes, but not suitable for the kind of tasks (amount of passengers and destinations) that Starship is being built for.

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34 minutes ago, Starman4308 said:

Just like the Shuttle!

The constraint that SpaceX actually has to deal with that was not on the table for Shuttle is cost. Dev, building, and operational cost all matter in a way that they simply don't with government, cost-plus contracts. They need a next-gen launcher for business reasons, and they want total reuse. If the latter requires larger vehicles (so they can still get to space with margin to return safely, and in a way that allows low-labor reuse), then they have to go this route, and they have to mess around until it works.

It's pretty simple at some level. If any of us imagines that humanity will be truly spacefaring at some point in our future history, then easy reuse has to be possible. If it sn't, we're simply never going anywhere in a routine fashion, not ever.

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9 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

Proven, yes, but not suitable for the kind of tasks (amount of passengers and destinations) that Starship is being built for.

Because something on the scale of the Starship is necessary for those tasks does not show these two things:

That the Starship can safely transport passengers to Earth orbit and beyond.

That the task is necessary or economically practical given current technology.

Do not let "but I want a colony on Mars" blind you to the potential issues with Starship/Superheavy. Or, for that matter, blind you to the potential issues with Mars colonies. Accept reality as it is, and hope for better... but plan for the worst. Do not plan on experimental technology working.

This reminds me very, very strongly of the thinking that lead to the Space Shuttle. "We need something that looks like this to do X, Y, and Z. Therefore, the Shuttle will succeed at X, Y, and Z."

EDIT: The Starship might succeed, but until the Starship has a very large number of launches under its belt, I consider it extremely risky to put astronauts on something that, to my knowledge, still doesn't have a robust launch escape system. That, and SpaceX's plans for rapid reusability are just that: plans. We'll have to see what happens when plans hit reality.

Edited by Starman4308
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37 minutes ago, Starman4308 said:

Just like the Shuttle!

I am reasonably confident the engineering will work out. The SpaceX team isn't stupid. What concerns me is what comes after the first few flights, on whether SpaceX can maintain their highly ambitious goals in turnaround time, minimal refurbishment, launch cadence, and the overall economics of the Starship/Superheavy.

I'm also skeptical of plans to use the Starship/Superheavy for manned launches. Personally, I'd strongly prefer it if the astronauts were sent up on a separate F9/Dragon II, which is generally much more proven technology.

Steel made it way more predictable but reduce payload more. payload is however serious overbuild on BFR. 
Yes it will wear out gun barrels do, but easy to replace. 
You got starlink and won the fight for launches.

Manned and Mars is another story. and we got lots of delay It missing parts like an escape system 

 

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1 minute ago, Starman4308 said:

That the Starship can safely transport passengers to Earth orbit and beyond.

I think it’s unavoidable that some safety will be sacrificed in favor of scalability, at least in the beginning of Starship lifetime. Interplanetary travel is very dangerous, there’s a good chance some people will die. Their sacrifice will be appreciated, but I’m sure that if there’s a way to increase the safety while keeping this whole architecture economically viable, it’ll be done.

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I'll believe a crew vehicle when I see one. Safety? That will require many flights, and a testing regime that includes near, and actually destructive testing around the failure modes. Since the current customers for a rocket that can land on another world are largely NASA, NASA, and NASA, I'd not expect crew unless they stick a LES on top. Since no lunar mission needs an airliner full of people, making the nose a break away capsule with LES is not that far-fetched a thing to do for that particular customer.

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4 minutes ago, tater said:

I'd not expect crew unless they stick a LES on top.

Or a cluster of SuperDraco pods. Can also double as an emergency landing mode, in case of critical issues during normal landing. 

All of that extra hardware will definitely affect the crew and payload capacity, though.

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3 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

Or a cluster of SuperDraco pods. Can also double as an emergency landing mode, in case of critical issues during normal landing. 

That would not pull Starship (full) off the stack during ascent.

There's simply no reason for more than a few people to ever ride on top of this for the foreseeable future. That small number could sit in the nose, which could be set up as a safety pod for ascent, and even for a terminal landing failure (not reentry, after that).

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9 minutes ago, tater said:

That would not pull Starship (full) off the stack during ascent.

It can pull the nose capsule.

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20 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

It can pull the nose capsule.

So basically slap a Dragon II on top of the Starship?

I can see it.

Maybe not Dragon II specifically, but something in that spirit.

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For Starship, I’d say the whole nose up to and including the canards. Not a capsule stuck on top. Has to look cool.

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Let's say SpaceX somehow installs an LES on Starship, how much would it cut into the payload budget? Due to their need for reusability, it may have to be a part of the ship, instead of something that flies off. How bulky would it be? Could it even be safe enough to be worth it? Because it'd only be useful for ascent, since there's no way they can abort once they leave LEO. So it'd be dead weight after that point. So again, would it be worth it?

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It will work when it works, and it won't work when it doesn't.

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A rocket with 40 methane engines just can't fail.

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5 hours ago, tater said:

For Starship, I’d say the whole nose up to and including the canards. Not a capsule stuck on top. Has to look cool.

Canards would be desireable for aerodynamic stability. Remember the grid fins on the Soyuz?

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8 hours ago, Spaceception said:

Let's say SpaceX somehow installs an LES on Starship, how much would it cut into the payload budget? Due to their need for reusability, it may have to be a part of the ship, instead of something that flies off. How bulky would it be? Could it even be safe enough to be worth it? Because it'd only be useful for ascent, since there's no way they can abort once they leave LEO. So it'd be dead weight after that point. So again, would it be worth it?

Easiest way to do this would be something like an large new Shepard capsule on top. larger for more crew capacity. it might double as an lounge in space, say seats pointed in one direction and a huge window. 
it would be an escape pod not an space capsule. Usable from launch up to a bit into second stage burn and after reentry to touchdown. 

You would need an abort engine bottom bulkhead and parachutes. an way to split from the ship. A bit less safe than an Dragon or other capsules since you have to ride the ship trough most of the reentry. 
if you can not deorbit safely you send an ship to rescue.

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12 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Easiest way to do this would be something like an large new Shepard capsule on top. larger for more crew capacity. it might double as an lounge in space, say seats pointed in one direction and a huge window. 
it would be an escape pod not an space capsule. Usable from launch up to a bit into second stage burn and after reentry to touchdown. 

You would need an abort engine bottom bulkhead and parachutes. an way to split from the ship. A bit less safe than an Dragon or other capsules since you have to ride the ship trough most of the reentry. 
if you can not deorbit safely you send an ship to rescue.

I doubt the feasibility, as a 100 man LES sounds.. kerbal.

Next generation starahip: a dragon 3 mounted on a starship cargo.

cargo-BFR-and-fairing-SpaceX.jpg

This.

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Why does any abort capsule have to be in the nose? Stick an off-the-shalf Dragon II in each of the cargo doors, equip the doors with explosive bolts, and have 7 of the 14 initial crew sit in each one for the initial launch and reentry. Perhaps a redesigned trunk for the purpose, but otherwise, simple.

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17 minutes ago, Rakaydos said:

Why does any abort capsule have to be in the nose? Stick an off-the-shalf Dragon II in each of the cargo doors, equip the doors with explosive bolts, and have 7 of the 14 initial crew sit in each one for the initial launch and reentry. Perhaps a redesigned trunk for the purpose, but otherwise, simple.

True, the various reusable designs from the 60s had side-mounted pods that were fired away from the wreckage in the event of a problem.

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