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Grizlas
RE: Starship orbital launch attempt

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Posted on 11-12-2023 20:38
Well, complexity should be avoided where possible, but some things just are complex. If all you care about is touchdown on the moon, then Starship makes little sense (as lander or transporter) - you should just use some SLS configuration and repeat the Apollo missions. If, on the other hand, you are going back to the moon to maintain a permanent presence there, then you are going to need a lot of additional complexity. But as it was with Falcon 9 during its development, it was unclear what its final capabilities were going to be. (Reuse of second stage was intended and later scrapped. The Dragon capsule was going to land propulsively, also scrapped). Starship too will inevitably end up different than whatever plans Spacex currently has mapped out, because there are so many unknowns. Heat shield might require changing the rocket and so might orbital refueling. The ability to be able to reuse the booster and/or ship might also require radical design changes.

With so many unproven technologies, Starship really should not feature in any realistic return of humans to the moon, before these technologies have been developed and tested. But the push to return to the moon is political, so NASA needs to make it happen ( within a reasonable budget). Enter the Artemis program - a political, financial, technical 50 state program clusterfuck compromise that 100% relies on Starship - a rocket in its infancy. Falcon 9 went through 6 versions before the design was locked in. Starship, a much more complex rocket, is on version 1.

Artemis program might become a reality some day. But I doubt whatever plan is on the table today will look much like what the final plan will be.
On the positive side, we probably will move quickly from Starship 1 to starship version 10 during the next couple of years and by that time NASA can adjust their Artemis program according to the end result and go to the moon. But 2 years? more like 4-6 years.


You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?

Edited by Grizlas on 11-12-2023 20:41
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Norlander
RE: Starship orbital launch attempt

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Posted on 12-12-2023 00:09
A key point of his talk (22 minutes in) was about the near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO), which is an inane orbit chosen for reasons, with the real reason being that SLS and Orion are not able to actually use low lunar orbit (LLO). It doesn't have enough Δ v to actually use the most useful lunar orbit.

It's not just Starship that is causing this clusterfuck, SLS is causing plenty of these issues by itself and cannot replicate the Apollo missions even if they wanted to keep Starship out of the program. SLS cannot do it alone, SLS + 15 Starship launches is absurdly complex.


The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

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Grizlas
RE: Starship orbital launch attempt

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Posted on 21-12-2023 18:29
I don't know if I've posted this video before - I think not. It is a really inspiring talk for anyone even a little bit interested in spaceflight. This laid back Spacex dude explains why he is passionate about Spacex and why what they are doing is such a big deal:



For a more informative, but less entertaining talk, here is Kathy Leuders, a former NASA associate administrator that now works as the general manager of Starbase (Spacex Boca Chica facility). She talks about why Spacex thinks their second flight of Starship was a success:
https://youtu.be/fQwpPIOfyPk?si=OtpOfm-8kGJBtCN-&t=1769


You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?

Edited by Grizlas on 21-12-2023 18:47
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Grizlas
RE: Starship orbital launch attempt

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Posted on 30-12-2023 13:07
Spacex completes full duration static fire of booster 10.
33 raptor engines firing at 2x power of Saturn 5 - the rocket that took astronauts to the moon.

Just wow.




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Grizlas
RE: Starship orbital launch attempt

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Posted on 31-12-2023 13:21
Norlander wrote:
A key point of his talk (22 minutes in) was about the near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO), which is an inane orbit chosen for reasons, with the real reason being that SLS and Orion are not able to actually use low lunar orbit (LLO). It doesn't have enough Δ v to actually use the most useful lunar orbit.

It's not just Starship that is causing this clusterfuck, SLS is causing plenty of these issues by itself and cannot replicate the Apollo missions even if they wanted to keep Starship out of the program. SLS cannot do it alone


Yeah, the whole thing is pointless and rushed.

SLS + 15 Starship launches is absurdly complex.


Not that absurd, really. It is only absurd if viewed with Old Space glasses. I cannot put it better than this guy did:

In fairness, from an old-space perspective where launches must be booked years in advance and every drop of fuel accounted for during mission planning, saying "We can add more tankers on demand during the launch campaign, so there is no need to worry about it now," is like telling survivors of the Oregon Trail that we can stop at Walmart on the way if we need anything. It's an entirely alien concept to them. That their jobs depend on not understanding it due to political shenanigans doesn't help, either.


I mean, Falcon 9 completed 96 launches this year. Starship, which is built to be reusable, will (if everything pans out) be able to fly 10 times more than that, easily. That is at least 1000 launches a year. If orbital refueling works out, 15 launches will take a couple of weeks to get done at most.

It's all the ifs that are the real problem. If orbital refueling or rapid reuse turn out to be insurmountable obstacles, then Artemis is doomed. So lets clear these things up before we begin creating silly pointless missions.


You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing?

Edited by Grizlas on 31-12-2023 13:30
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Grizlas
RE: Starship orbital launch attempt

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Posted on 10-01-2024 18:03
In a recent briefing, NASA officially delayed Artemis 2 to September 2025. There are a bunch of issues to work through, they say, and that further delays can be expected. No shit.
Also, Starship seems to actually be on track for a February launch!




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