• Terry Stetler

    That info is fom the Satellite 2018 conference in March, Gwynne Shotwell said the BFR should be “orbital in 2020”

    Not Elon Time™, Shotwell Time™.

  • Terry Stetler

    More

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    Both, but demo Starship is being built now, whereas Super Heavy hardware will start getting built in spring
    10:42 PM – Dec 8, 2018

    https://twitter.com/…610949432356864

  • Terry Stetler
  • I believe that it was Elon who indicated that the BFS could be made to be SSTO. So, do you have any specific evidence that “Booster would test within a year of Starship tests”?

  • duheagle

    I doubt Musk has any interest in taking legal action when other more certain ways exist to clog dance all over his enemies with hob-nailed boots.

    Suing the government is expensive as the government has essentially infinite resources with which to defend. One should only do so as a last resort or when there is no obvious alternative that will get one what one wants.

    The source of SpaceX’s NASA-harassment problem is Richard Shelby and MSFC trying to jam SpaceX up any way they can in order to preserve SLS-Orion and ULA. By speeding up development of SH-Starship, Musk maximally hastens the day SLS-Orion will be incontrovertibly seen as an absurd sideshow and canceled. Once SLS and Orion are in their graves, Shelby has no program to protect and MSFC will be busy full-time defending its existence in the wake of yet one more expensive boondoggle project having ended up on the scrap heap.

    ULA will, largely, be doing the same, but with Bezos also in its corner it is likely to survive longer than SLS-Orion.

    The best defense is a good offense. Especially if you can be offensive enough to take entire players off the board. So I expect Musk to rush the net, put on a full court press, do some bumpin’ and rubbin’ and do any other suitable sports analogy of your choice to keep the OldSpace cabal arrayed against him back on their heels.

    And, according to Musk’s latest tweets, the fun starts in earnest in 90 – 120 days.

  • duheagle

    Yes, maintenance failures are often root causes. So is pilot error. Automobiles and trucks are going driverless in fairly short order. The process will take longer to get started anent civil aviation, but it’s pretty much inevitable for the same reason – operating large, fast vehicles in real-time just isn’t a core human competency. For every “Sully” Sullenberger out there in the cockpits, there are several dozen mere mortals who will flub the dud when faced with an off-nominal situation.

  • duheagle

    Neat!

  • duheagle

    Pop some corn and pull up a chair. The show will be starting shortly and it looks like it’s going to be a pipperoo.

  • Robert G. Oler

    thats fan boy nonesense

  • Robert G. Oler

    fan boy nonesense.

  • Robert G. Oler

    no the chute problems with spaceX are real

  • Robert G. Oler

    rather mindless comments…all the stock conspiracies

  • Robert G. Oler

    Musk futures is always years away

  • Robert G. Oler

    “shortly” the Musk theme song…meanwhile…launch cost are not coming down

  • Michael Halpern

    Well there will be advantages to human piloting though even there i would expect significant levels of computer assistance, in emergency response and military vehicles especially, there are just too many variables not to have a human principle decision maker in those situations. Of course they may have limited direct control, and the interface may evolve to cybernetics, which will become more of a matter of practicality as fewer people will be learning how to drive before they get recruited. I mean it will be a repeat of one of the reasons it is believed Chariots disappeared, as well as bows even before guns surpassed their effectiveness, maintaining skillsets that are not regularly relevant to your general populous is expensive.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yep, it will be a lot of fun to watch. Even the hopper version of Starship will get folks talking.

    As for Dragon2, as I said before, Elon Musk has written it off as a lesson learned about keeping NASA at arms length when it comes to developing new technology.

  • ThomasLMatula

    They are only a problem because NASA is afraid of propulsion landing, which is the backup if the chutes fail 😄

  • ThomasLMatula

    He has decided for some reason to accelerate his schedule. Maybe he is just fed up with NASA micro-managing Dragon2.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yep, the folks that want to develop the Moon and Mars need to start developing their technology soon for their habitats and rovers.

  • ThomasLMatula

    The BFB/Super Heavy won’t be that hard to build, it’s basically just a bigger version of the Falcon 9 booster. And it would have uses beyond the as the new name should imply.

  • Robert G. Oler

    NO NO AND NO

    they are a problem because SpaceX wont fix something that is trending out of limits like the O rings

    as for propulsive landing. SpaceX didnt want to pay for testing reasonable abort systems. imagine that Boeing did not test the 77X with a V1 engine failure…that is what SpaceX failed at

  • I would largely agree with you. But there are a few differences. The acoustic energy is considerably more and of course the landing system will be different. But my main point is that we shouldn’t expect SpaceX to put too much (or any?) free engineering time on the Super Heavy (BFB) instead of putting all of it on the BFS. It is the progress on the BFS that will most convince the decision makers to consider a public-private partnership. Why would SpaceX slow BFS development to spend resources on BFB?

    Secondly has to do with the timing. Whereas SpaceX is accelerating the BFS timeline, they have done yet one more design change (mid may come), the images of the Starship bottom seems to show the legs sticking into it which (to me) means that the body won’t be holding propellant so I’m thinking that there will be a prop tank inside. So it appears to me that they are pulling together anything to show a full-scale vehicle doing hops ASAP. We are probably looking at a test article that cannot re-enter at high speeds. And also, there could be one or more setbacks. I’m saying that the 2022 timeline is not necessarily a sure thing.

    And a fully reusable Starship really is a new thing. Getting a full SHS working isn’t a sure thing based upon past performance or the financial health of SpaceX. But, we all wish them the greatest of luck and success.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Wrong. There is politics all over the ASAP process and internally at NASA generally.

    Anybody who knows the history of things like Orion’s sizing (too heavy, due to more propellant than needed, to fly useful missions on EELV) precisely the pull through a dedicated launcher for NASA.

    The ASAP reports are rife with prior exaggerations and this parachute nonsense is just the latest. They aren’t pure as the wind driven snow.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Anyone want to guess the trending out of limits on Soyuz booster mating recently? Life if full of choices, not pixie dust. The question is, are these systems with known “issues” that can be understood a performance improved over time better than a system that is highly opaque and trending off a cliff? The rest is just sophistry and grand standing.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    That is some statement given the year we are in. So jaded about all the accomplishments so far to drop a turd in the punch bowl.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    WTF are you talking about? As a pilot you should be able to do basic math. Look at the cost to launch prior GPS satellites via ULA or parents on D4M and Atlas V vs F9. Look at the statements by Iridium, they could not have done the NEXT constellation at the going rate of launch prior to SpaceX. Look at all the moves in Arianespace and ULA to trim fat to compete. Look at the Russians throwing up their hands on Proton. You are an ignoramus.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/10/spacex-is-about-to-double-its-launch-output-for-any-previous-year/

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/as-the-spacex-steamroller-surges-european-rocket-industry-vows-to-resist/

  • Robert G. Oler

    The Orion sizing issues, Orion in general have nothing to do with SpaceX parachute issues. people who I trust and who are informed completely on the issue say that the problems and the attitude toward them in SpaceX are real… the attitude of “oh this is just to let Boeing win” is silly

  • redneck

    Cut him some slack. Anybody would be out of sorts when his favorite company has to go back 7 years on the Delta 4 to equal the number of Falcon 9 launches by the competition company this year.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    It is evidence of bad politics infecting NASA more generally as I said. Your “trusted” sources have let you down before so take that with a grain of NaCl.

    All of these issues can be managed, there are always issues going on low flight rate and new vehicles (let alone spacecraft) The alternative is way worse, punching holes in spacecraft and improper integration of boosters.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Oh Delta is the biggest turkey going since at least Delta III. Boeing had to crib LM’s homework just to compete. Tory has been trying to ditch that turkey for years.

  • ReSpaceAge

    Musk twitted that they will start building BFB in the Spring. This spring I presume.

  • redneck

    But Boeing has the premier experts on everything, right?

  • Robert G. Oler

    babble. SpaceX problem with the chutes is a carbon copy now of the O rings on the shuttle in terms of safety problems.

    and my sources have never let me down in terms of what I have published

    you have no clue about safety

  • ReSpaceAge

    If you state the the costs are not coming and people believe it then costs are not coming down!!!

    Reality is not reality anymore!

    You need to pay attention!

    Lol

    🙂

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    The o-ring problem was a failure to manage the issue. The sin was to fly without characterizing the problem well enough to provide a safe restricted envelope (mainly temperature and upper level winds) until change could be deployed to widen envelope again. If this issue IS a carbon-copy, they should be able to fly given proper analysis has been performed under the proper conditions. In any case all these issue would have been run into a year ago if Congress and NASA weren’t monkeying with CC over the years. I am also less concerned about favoritism for a Boeing than I am distain for non-nasa vehicle carrying astronauts within the org.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Experts at separating tax payers from cash with little to show for it. Example: SLS

  • Robert G. Oler

    “The o-ring problem was a failure to manage the issue.”

    slight edit “The wing tilting problem was a failure to manage the issue”

    with you’re original quote you have described every safety management failure in the history of technology…and that includes spaceX very cavilier attitude toward the chutes

    when something is performing out of specification but seems to be “safe” and in a group (NASA’s word use to be “in family”) than the temptation is to normalize the event…but since now you are flying out of spec, anything is possible

    and that is true for SpaceX parachute issue 🙂

    Congratulations you have reworded Linda Ham’s explanation

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Nice job conflating doing a good job with doing a bad job, or no job at all.

    The first XB-70 to roll out of the hangar AV-1 was limited to mach 2.5 due to buckling of the stainless steel honeycomb panels not meeting spec and subsequently high speed flight resumed on AV-2 once the fabrication issues were sorted out. They didn’t just throw away a several hundred million dollar aircraft, they sharpened pencils and got to work. Apollo was plagued with POGO problems which were mostly addressed iteratively as the program progressed, as were a host of other problems. Shuttle flew with a bunch of issues to begin with including a pile of software errata until later flights when the new software load could be installed. The list goes on and on and on operating with known errata and limited envelopes. When the proper mitigation is not done (or done poorly) it leads to accidents as you suggest and obviously so. What you are pointing out is the obvious.

  • Robert G. Oler

    first off the XB 70 was expected to have issues, it was Experimental

    the issue here is not something exotic…its parachutes…and they are critical to mission success.

  • Robert G. Oler

    its interesting to watch

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Yea, people carrying spacecraft aren’t exotic, pilots who fly them for the first time aren’t test pilots and parachutes are simple as NASA chose them as a specific area of interest from the get go. And since both SpaceX and Boeing (to a larger degree) have had chute issues clearly this is simple. Thanks for gas lighting us then doing a self-own on Boeing. Have a happy new year.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Yea, people carrying spacecraft aren’t exotic, pilots who fly them for the first time aren’t test pilots

    those are your musings not mine

    boeing is not having parachute issues…they are having thruster issues

    and they are addressing them, not moaning about them

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Are you just making it up as you go along?
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/10/13/safety-panel-says-much-work-left-to-do-before-commercial-crew-ships-fly/

    “Parachute testing is one of them, launch abort engine propulsion
    system anomalies … also some fractures in a pyro initiator assembly that
    was designed to separate modules,” Saindon said.

    Boeing’s testing of a CST-100 structural test article is nearing
    completion, Saindon said, but, like SpaceX, Boeing is trying to resolve
    parachute issues discovered during drop tests.

    “During one of the qualification tests, the last one that was done,
    parachute qualification test No. 3, the system didn’t function quite as
    expected, so there needs to be some analysis done on that,” Saindon
    said. “There is a root cause investigation underway.”

    Without going into details, Saindon said the parachute test had an
    “unexpected outcome,” and parachute testing is on hold until Boeing
    completes the investigation into the problem.

  • Robert G. Oler

    I am very familiar with the chute problem that Boeing has…its not a show stopper…they saw someething that they didnt like and instead of blaming someone else, they are doing what Boeing does…looking into it not moaning about them.

    the Thrusters are a big problem

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    You are a trip man. The move from Boeing isn’t having chute issues to being very familiar with the chute issue and it’s no biggie is an astonishing move in subsequent posts. You can’t make this stuff up. And your constant refrain about moaning, almost like a Boeing fanboy who knows they’ve been whipped, Delta is dead, SLS is moribund and CST-100 is a second fiddle fuel spill.

  • Robert G. Oler

    no move just an understanding of what is and what is not a “problem”

    I hope SLS dies…I have been attacking it in op eds for the better part of last year…and another one is coming out…

    a “second fiddle fuel spill”?

    what ever that is…have a great day …off to the UK and back hope there are no drones 🙂