BFR Developments

Yazata Offline
Road closures for Wednesday and Thursday of this week have been cancelled, but new closures have been announced for next week starting Monday. They are believed to be preparing for a full six-engine (3 sea level + 3 vacuum) static fire for Ship 20.

While we are waiting for that to happen, they are continuing to assemble the new black and white SpaceX LR 11000 crane (left side of photo below) and disassemble rented Kong the Giant LR 11350 Crane (the second largest crane of its type in the world) which is slated to move (in pieces, naturally) to Corpus Christi where it will help build a bridge. Work on the tower and its arms continues, the very complicated launch mount is being completed, the new tank farm is being plumbed and tested, and framing for the new even-bigger High Bay (upper right in photo below) is going up.

The fun never stops at Starbase!

Photo from the nasaspaceflight.com livestream


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Yazata Offline
Six engine Ship 20 static fire on tap for tomorrow. Mary has received her 'overpressure' warning. Road closures from 9 AM to 6 PM CST.

(I'm bummed because I have my covid booster appointment tomorrow. So I won't be at my tv or computer. I hate having to watch on a stinkin' phone

Today Zeus' fellow "dog" Apollo was seen out and about. Unlike Zeus who has a camera "head", Apollo has an arm where his head goes. He also has his name on his side! (Boston Dynamics apparently has that as an option. Police and fire departments have been buying these things with their departments name and logo on them.)

Photo from nasaspaceflight.com



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Yazata Offline
SpaceX photo of Friday's static fire

The lost thermal tiles are visible, as is condensation fog on the tanks


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Yazata Offline
Latest word is that the FAA says that they should have a decision on the Starship launch license by December 31. So hopefully orbital launch will be early next year.

Elon still says that he will be pleased if the first one just makes it to orbit. Good chance it won't. (As Elon says, orbit is hard.) Successful reentry of the Starship second stage on the first try would just be an added bonus. But Elon expects to have it all working by the end of 2022.

It sounds like the launch mount, new tank farm and the tower should be ready for an orbital flight by the end of this month. December will be devoted to testing. A full-send 29 engine static fire of the booster is expected next month.

Photo by Elon of the business-end of Starship Booster B4. Elon says that it should produce 12 million pounds of thrust (6,000 tons) For comparison, the Saturn V first stage produced 7.9 million pounds of thrust. It's believed that a flat protective Falcon 9 style protective plate will cover all this (it's already partly installed around the outer ring of Rboost raptors) that will feature flexible gaskets around the inner engines that gimbal for steering. That should protect the engine guts from reentry heating.


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Yazata Offline
Things are (comparatively) slow at Starbase. Maybe because of Thanksgiving.

Today there were liquid nitrogen and compressed helium deliveries, and continued plumbing work on the maze of piping at the Orbital Tank Farm. The big event was plumbing testing at the Orbital Launch Pad, presumably employing the liquid nitrogen which made big vapor plumes and loud hissing noises. They have to test all the valves, lines, pumps and regulators before they can start fueling spaceships. Work continues installing the quick disconnect fueling plugs on the Launch Pad and Tower GSE Arm that will feed fuel into the rockets and unplug when the rocket takes off.

Back at the build site the Wide Bay construction continues. Work continues installing thermal tiles on the nose of Ship 21, which still needs to be attached to the finished tank section in the midbay. Booster 5 has been stacked and is standing tall in the High Bay. So before B4 and S20 fly the first orbital attempt, there will be backups already ready to take their place. (That's how Elon rolls.)

Parts of even more boosters and ships have been spotted, just barrels and domes at this point, but with labels indicating where they will go. So 20 is at the pad where it recently conducted a successful 6-engine static fire, 21 is awaiting completion, and parts for 22,23 and 24 have been spotted. Booster 4 is at the pad, booster 5 is being completed in the High Bay, and parts for at least one more are out there.

Really great drawing by ErcX of ship 20 floating in the Pacific off Hawaii after a successful first orbital flight.

https://twitter.com/ErcXspace/status/146...8463797256

Elon is doubtful that the first one will get down in one piece.

"Unlikely for early ships to splashdown intact. Getting to orbit at all on first try would be a major win."

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1462848657766731783


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