15 votes

SpaceX's Starship prototype vehicle may "hop" for the first time this week

13 comments

  1. [5]
    sqew
    Link
    As amazing as that is and as excited as I am for it, what I'm most blown away by is this tweet from Elon. They're building a full-blown orbital spacecraft in an open field in Texas!

    As amazing as that is and as excited as I am for it, what I'm most blown away by is this tweet from Elon. They're building a full-blown orbital spacecraft in an open field in Texas!

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      Well, obviously most of the FOD-sensitive work is done indoors, but for sure, the agility & speed of SpaceX's construction prowess is certainly amazing.

      Well, obviously most of the FOD-sensitive work is done indoors, but for sure, the agility & speed of SpaceX's construction prowess is certainly amazing.

      2 votes
      1. sqew
        Link Parent
        Absolutely, the engines and computers/sensors are definitely assembled indoors, but can you imagine ULA or Arianespace hiring a water tower company to build the body of a rocket outdoors?

        Absolutely, the engines and computers/sensors are definitely assembled indoors, but can you imagine ULA or Arianespace hiring a water tower company to build the body of a rocket outdoors?

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Eylrid
      Link Parent
      I agree this whole thing is mind blowing. The orbital prototype is a test craft so it isn't quite as critical. They may build a building for the production rockets. But then again ocean going...

      I agree this whole thing is mind blowing.

      The orbital prototype is a test craft so it isn't quite as critical. They may build a building for the production rockets. But then again ocean going ships are built out in the open. The future of spaceflight is a move away from precious, expensive one time use rockets to industrial workhorses made to take a beating from being used over and over again.

      2 votes
      1. sqew
        Link Parent
        You're right about the building, I'm sure they'll build something at either Boca Chica or Cape Canaveral once they get out of the prototype stage of things. To your second point, I agree and can't...

        You're right about the building, I'm sure they'll build something at either Boca Chica or Cape Canaveral once they get out of the prototype stage of things. To your second point, I agree and can't wait to see the rocket industry transform over the next few years and decades.

        1 vote
  2. Neverland
    Link
    It feels like this is all happening so quickly, but I guess they’ve been working on the Raptor engine for years. The craziest thing to me is the scale of that thing. Note the size of the tractor...

    It feels like this is all happening so quickly, but I guess they’ve been working on the Raptor engine for years.

    The craziest thing to me is the scale of that thing. Note the size of the tractor trailers which are closer to the camera than the test ship.

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-03-18-181148.jpg

    3 votes
  3. [7]
    bilbodwyer
    Link
    Please forgive my ignorance, but when they say "hop", I assume that's not something along the lines of say, a Battlestar Galactica "jump"?

    Please forgive my ignorance, but when they say "hop", I assume that's not something along the lines of say, a Battlestar Galactica "jump"?

    1 vote
    1. [6]
      sqew
      Link Parent
      Sadly, no (if I understand your Battlestar Galactica reference correctly). What they mean is a suborbital flight of the craft to test various systems for the orbital version of the craft. The...

      Sadly, no (if I understand your Battlestar Galactica reference correctly).

      What they mean is a suborbital flight of the craft to test various systems for the orbital version of the craft. The first couple of videos on this SpaceX YouTube playlist give a pretty good idea of what will be happening (they're from SpaceX's Grasshopper vehicle, built to test Falcon 9 reusability concepts).

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        bilbodwyer
        Link Parent
        I didn't think so, unless there had been a giant leap in tech that I wasn't aware of! Thanks :)

        I didn't think so, unless there had been a giant leap in tech that I wasn't aware of!
        Thanks :)

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          sqew
          Link Parent
          Wish there had been one; I'd love to take a quick trip to Alpha Centauri...

          Wish there had been one; I'd love to take a quick trip to Alpha Centauri...

          1. TheInvaderZim
            Link Parent
            Ah, that pesky speed of light and all :/ As it is, I'm confident I'll live to see us explore this solar system, at least, and thats good enough for me.

            Ah, that pesky speed of light and all :/

            As it is, I'm confident I'll live to see us explore this solar system, at least, and thats good enough for me.

            1 vote
        2. [2]
          Grand0rbiter
          Link Parent
          That would be like waking up from a 200 years coma. PS: i started watching Battlestar Galactica this month. Awesome show.

          That would be like waking up from a 200 years coma.

          PS: i started watching Battlestar Galactica this month. Awesome show.

          1. bilbodwyer
            Link Parent
            Oh yeah, such a great show! If you're into your board games (and can find a copy) - BSG is my favourite board game of all time :D

            Oh yeah, such a great show! If you're into your board games (and can find a copy) - BSG is my favourite board game of all time :D

            1 vote