BFR Developments

#91
(Jun 4, 2019 04:31 PM)Yazata Wrote: ... Now engine SN4 has been removed from the Hopper again (still don't know why they don't want to use it) and everyone has returned to engine-watch waiting for SN5's promised arrival. (Assuming that it behaves as desired at McGregor.


Wow, that was a short career in show business. Not enough duration between has-been SN4 and popular replacement SN5 to even make a "A Star Is Born" style movie.
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#92
(Jun 4, 2019 05:53 PM)C C Wrote: Wow, that was a short career in show business. Not enough duration between has-been SN4 and popular replacement SN5 to even make a "A Star Is Born" style movie.

Fame can be fleeting...

Here's a post from twitter with photos by Bocachicagal showing SN4 gimbaling. It apparently wiggled around in all directions as engineers observed the actuators.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/stat...1636283392

Note what look like levels taped to the rim of the rocket nozzle bell. Elon Musk has said that the plan is for it to gimbal 15 degrees. Note also the rainbow band around the rocket engine nozzle. Is this due to oxidation of the steel at very high temperatures and the result of the McGregor test-fires? (Metallurgy that's above my pay-grade.)


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#93
Nothing much happening today. It's Sunday and everyone seems to have the day off. They have poured concrete for what appears to be a landing pad, next to the Starhopper. Still no engine.

Here's a video by Tom Cross of Teslerati.

https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1MYxNdYXjNRGw

It shows a typical middle American rural road on a hot 100 degree afternoon, with what might be grain silos and a water tower in the distance... or perhaps, if you squint your mind a little... liquid methane tanks and a spaceship!

You just never know anymore...
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#94
Boca Chica road closures have been pushed back again. This time a week, to June 17th, 18th and 19th.

http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/public_servi...osures.php

I don't have any source of inside information, but the delays in SN4 arriving, its short stay and their reluctance to fire it up, and now what look like delays in SN5's arrival, certainly seems to suggest (to me, anyway) that they are having problems getting the engines to perform as desired.

Good news is that the tropical storm that was brewing off Mexico has fizzled, as the National Weather Service apparently expected it to do. No rain, wind or cloudiness at Boca Chica, but its aftermath might be contributing to the sky-high humidity.
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#95
BCG reports that the SpaceX RV and the SpaceX firetruck were at the Hopper this afternoon. What's more, there's a methane tanker pulled off the road about a mile west by the parabolic antennas.  

https://twitter.com/BocaChicaGal/status/...7917846529

But still no sign of the missing engine.
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#96
(Jun 12, 2019 03:24 AM)Yazata Wrote: BCG reports that the SpaceX RV and the SpaceX firetruck were at the Hopper this afternoon. What's more, there's a methane tanker pulled off the road about a mile west by the parabolic antennas.  

https://twitter.com/BocaChicaGal/status/...7917846529

But still no sign of the missing engine.


As glaringly missing as Jim Morrison at the Doors concert in Amsterdam, 1968. The band's all there except the overdosed star. But at Boca Chica, no metaphorical equivalent of Ray Manzarek to take over the singing duties while still playing keyboards.
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#97
One of BCG's photos when blown up depicts a black COPV being painted white. There's a stencil on the black part of the COPV reading "not for flight".  That's generating some talk this morning. As one of the engineers said: well... if you just paint over the warning, then you can fly it. (I didn't know that engineering was that easy.)

(Speculation seems to be that it might be an older model that's no longer being used on the production Falcon 9's, and the stencil means don't stick this one in with the new ones back at Hawthorne since they all probably look alike. But it's probably still useful for something and might be fine for this use.)

It does kind of add to the Junkyard Empire mystique though, where the good-ol Texas boys are building themselves a Spaceship out of any old parts that they find lying around. (That's part of what I love about this.)

A couple of very good photos of the site this morning from SPadre.com, by long-lens all the way from South Padre Island. These people run one of the live-cams on testing days. So when the new engine arrives at Boca Chica, tune into these guys to see what our good-ol-Texas-boys do with it. I want to see the Hopper rise into the air on a pillar of flame. Its first untethered flight is supposed to be only about as high as it is tall, but that will still look very cool. They may end up going hundreds or even a few thousand feet up with this Hopper, before they switch over to the other vehicle. (Provided that it doesn't blow up or crash, very real possibilities.)

The first photo shows the Hopper and its site, including the liquid methane tanks, where everything explosive seems to be segregated. What appears to be a concrete landing pad has been newly constructed next to the Hopper.


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And here's the construction site about a mile west where the more developed prototype is being constructed. (Hopefully far enough away to survive any explosions at the other site.) A considerable little complex has grown around the vehicle. There's some speculation about the tall framework taking shape in the center. You can see the steel aeroshell that they have been polishing over the last few days to the left, and what appears to be its base taking form to the right. The latter is going to be more complex, with an internal structure upon which its three raptor engines will mount and that will need to be able to take those stresses. Then the part on the left will presumably plop down on the part on the right, and fins and control surfaces will be installed. This one may or may not be intended to go all the way to space, albeit sub-orbitally, and return (that part's important).


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#98
The Cameron County road closures have been pushed back again.

Now they are for June 20, 21, 22 and 24, 25, 26

That's a month later than the original dates earlier in the thread which were for late May.

I still suspect that there's some kind of problem with the engines.

http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/public_servi...osures.php
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#99
Here's how the Florida version is doing... a short video with some nice closeups by a local FL newsman James Sparvero. Lots of crashing and banging sounds in the background.

https://twitter.com/News6James/status/11...2149422080
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While they are waiting for the engine, SpaceX has been putting up stylish new signs on their various Boca Chica operations. (Sorry the photos are excessively cropped. But you get the idea.) They certainly give a good idea what SpaceX intends to do there.

Where the Hopper is:


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At the new concrete pad next to the Hopper:


[Image: 64490236_2191832191058615_26337955793810...e=5D957BEB]


Where the second vehicle is under construction:


[Image: 64394144_2191833031058531_91950901625419...e=5D80EC2F]


At their central group of buildings:


[Image: 64529844_2191833227725178_89322921474706...e=5D80473C]


At the parabolic dishes:


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