BFR Developments

(Yesterday 04:04 AM)Yazata Wrote: So... the untethered free-flight probably won't be Tuesday. It might have slipped to Wednesday (hopefully).

Elon verifies that they are now shooting for Wednesday for the un-tethered free-flight.

But today should still be exciting, since everybody thinks that they are planning a static test fire today. (The engine will be ignited while the vehicle remains tied down.) Probably around sundown, Texas time.

Watch on LabPadre's live-stream. It's going right now.

And for your added enjoyment, Tim Dodd the Everyday Astronaut will be streaming too, with his commentary. His stream starts in 3 hours.

There may be another stream here

Edit: pad cleared and roadblocks up.

Edit 2: BCG reports that the SpaceX firetruck was seen headed to the pad. No visible sign of a fire. Perhaps a safety precaution for fuel loading. Pad isn't clear since a man in a hard hat and orange vest was seen by the methane tanks. And something strange -- a red car was seen heading for the pad, then driving away at a high rate of speed. The car appeared to pull off the road onto dirt and a cloud of dust went up, when the dust settled, no red car. Are they having trouble with unauthorized intruders?

Edit 3: A whole group of men in hardhats and orange and yellow vests near the base of the Hopper.

Edit 4: Pad seems to be clear again. The SpaceX fire truck was last to leave. Here it is passing through the road block on its way out.

[Image: 1570394.jpg]

Edit 5: People on the scene (BCG & company) say they think that fueling has started. No vapor clouds and only minor activity at the flare stack, but there's a distinctive noise that one hears when they are moving fuel and oxidizer around.

Edit 6: Vapor is now clearly visible. Talk is that engine ignition should be within an hour.

Edit 7: Intense flaring. Blue lights turned on under the rocket. (Apparently for better photos by SpaceX cameras.) Word is that engine is being chilled prior to ignition. Ignition should be 10:30 CDT. T-10 minutes.

Edit 8: Engine Ignition!! After the engine shut off, there was flame under the Hopper. Flame suppression came on, and a huge ball of flame erupted! (Bigger than the hopper is tall!) Does water react with a methane fire like water on a grease fire?

It appears to be out now and the Hopper is still superficially intact. The engine may or may not be toast though.

Video of the event here:

It appeared to my layman's eye that the fire/explosion may have been unburned fuel and oxidizer. It didn't seem to me to originate at the engine, but over towards the rim of the rocket's bottom by a landing leg. (That's why I originally thought the flame was a reflection of the flare stack.) That's where the ground unbilicals connect and fuel and oxidizer are loaded and off-loaded. So did something shake loose?
So much for the flight tomorrow. At least it's still intact, barring another explosion from that leaky flame.
(7 hours ago)C C Wrote: So much for the flight tomorrow.

That's not going to happen, for sure.

Quote:At least it's still intact, barring another explosion from that leaky flame.

Hopefully SN6 is intact. But even if it is, it will have to be inspected minutely.

I still think that the engine might not be at fault, that the culprit was a fuel leak. Did a pipe shake loose and break? Did an umbilical come loose? Did a fuel tank rupture?

Whatever, tomorrow's not going to give us our long-awaited free-flight. But BCG's morning photos might give the world's rocket-scientists some idea what went wrong and what damage was done.

This is why they have that SpaceX firetruck, I guess.

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