Five minutes until Starship’s second flight test

November 18, 2023 • 6:53 am

You can watch it at the tweet below (but enlarge it), or here. A bit of background:

SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket – collectively referred to as Starship – represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship is the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tonnes fully reusable and 250 metric tonnes expendable.

Of course this is Elon Musk’s company, and the first flight test failed.

h/t: Bat

19 thoughts on “Five minutes until Starship’s second flight test

  1. Since SpaceX is owned by the anti-Semitic Elon Musk, I will pass on this event. I wish failure on all his corporations.

  2. I think that they are doing damn good overall. This rocket is one big mother…bigger than the Saturn V that took Apollo to the moon, and being designed for landing and reuse. Lots of pressurized very explosive fuel in a small volume; many moving parts that all need to work in very demanding physical conditions; these are the investments that are made if the US wants to continue dominance or even be a continuing player among nations in space (IMHO). I look forward to a mission report and analysis in the not too far future.

    1. They are years behind schedule. They are doing pretty poorly by most objective measures.

      You mention the Saturn V. The Saturn V was developed on a shorter time scale and they had zero failures to attain Earth orbit.

    1. Thanks Mark. I had forgotten about that. Looks like a B737 copy redux from years ago. Copy a great US design. To hell with patents! But if this is a private sector startup, they are also copying the very successful US economic model of post WW2 government major initial investment followed by private sector innovation and marketing. Now that is new I think.

  3. The most encouraging things to me about this test flight are that the water deluge system appears to have done it’s job well, the launch area appears to be undamaged, and that all engines lit and ran nominally through the entire launch. This thing is a monster. Even at very low altitude, just clearing the tower, the visible exhaust flame was 500 – 600 feet long.

    I’ll be very interested to learn what caused the flight termination system on the 2nd stage to activate. All indications were that everything was nominal and then they apparently lost telemetry.

    They have several more vehicles already built, I hope they are able to continue their test launches at a more rapid pace.

  4. I was amused by the scale comparisons SpaceX put up at about the 13:00 mark.

    First there was a diagram showing how the main booster is itself the height of a fully loaded Falcon 9 rocket, with an outline of the Statue of Liberty above that representing the scale of the Starship second stage — all being fairly ordinary comparisons with an extraordinary vehicle.

    But then an animated outline of Godzilla began walking across the live video scene, showing how the whole setup could be considered comparable to the size of the cinematic monster, or *one unit* of Godzilla.

    (The launch tower is the tallest in the world, and the movable “arms” of the tower, which are used to stack the Starship and, ultimately, to actually catch it in mid-air when it returns to the launch site … is called the “Mechazilla.”)

    Some people consider this humor “childish” and, indeed, I liken it to “neoteny,” or the retention of certain juvenile characteristics in the adult form. I think maintaining a childish sense of wonder and optimism is what allows — or drives — much of human advancement. (But I also think it’s important to have some full adults around, too.)

  5. Starship is the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tonnes fully reusable and 250 metric tonnes expendable.

    “Designed” would bet a better word there. There is no evidence yet of its capability to launch cargo to orbit. I’m sure there will be at some point, but they are definitely premature here.

  6. Superb.
    Especially at 42:18: “as you can see, the super heavy booster has just experienced a rapid unscheduled dissasembly…

    Uhm – the booster exploded.

    The booster has just euphemismed…

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