Results 1 to 15 of 63

Thread: SpaceX Starship & StarHopper (UPDATES 1)

Threaded View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,719

    Default SpaceX Starship & StarHopper (UPDATES 1)

    Much news, first things first

    Because of wanting to lean out the company, new launch system design reviews noted below (materials changes), and a culling of personnel with low annual review scores, SpaceX is laying off about 10% of their 7,000 employees. 577 are from Hawthorne and the rest are scattered. OTOH, there about 400 positions on their Careers page, many at KSC and in Seattle (the StarLink internet/data satellite centers.)

    Names (old:new) & schedules

    Big F'ing Rocket/BFR: Super Heavy (SH)
    Big F'ing Spaceship/BFS: Starship (SS)
    Landing test vehicle: Hopper, which is almost complete
    Orbital test vehicle: Starship Mk-1 under construction, due in June
    Super Heavy test vehicle: construction bgins spring 2019

    Major changes due to PDR have actually accelerated the schedule by several months, with the first Hopper test flights coming in a few weeks. Maiden flight of the full stack 2020-ish.

    OUT:
    composite structures,
    passive ablative main heat shield,
    vacuum version of Raptor CH4/LOX engine.

    IN:
    cryogenically formed 300 series stainless steel and superalloy structures,
    active main heat shield cooled by liquid methane,
    uprated Raptor engine using a dual-bell altitude compensating nozzle,
    Hopper will use 3 of the uprated Raptor engines.

    These material changes mean most people hired to build large composite structures are no longer needed.

    Caveats:
    the vacuum Raptor engine may return later,
    heat shields for hot spots; canard and fin leading edges, tips etc., look to be NASA's Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation-Resistant Composite (TUFROC.)

    SpaceX says the stainless steel & superalloy structures, and active liquid methane main heat shield, will make both SH and SS look like "liquid silver"

    The Hopper, a very retro KISS testbed for the Raptor engines and new landing software, has been built in the open air at SpaceX's under construction Boca Chica launch center - 20+ miles east of Brownsville Texas. To build the tank-like engine bay they called in Caldwell, a company which builds high strength water towers. Watching it be built has been quite a show.

    When construction started before Christmas everyone thought Hopper was a water tower,



    Then it became clear this wasn't a water tower,



    Now, things are getting very real...

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    This is for suborbital VTOL tests. Orbital version is taller, has thicker skins (won't wrinkle) & a smoothly curving nose section.







    These renderings show numeric and relative vehicle sizes,

    Space Shuttle, Hopper and Starship




    Saturn V, Super Heavy/Starship, Falcon 9
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 15th January 2019 at 00:31.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •