17 thoughts on “The Tour Of Starbase”

  1. The scale of everything and the pace of construction is breathtaking. It’s reminiscent of wartime films of Liberty Ship construction. The big difference then was the fact that the Liberty Ship was a known, conservative freighter design. Musk is having to make it up as he goes along while trying to achieve the nearly impossible. Unbelievable.

  2. You keep hearing about this or that pressing societal need would “easily” be solved if only we would “Wage War on [the problem]” or …do the Apollo Project thingie again (“if we can put a man on the moon…”).

    Yet how many people in the general public, or in the ‘chattering class’ of the commentariat dare to say that that is what Elon Musk is doing. Well, hopefully doing because he hasn’t got there yet.

    1. Unfortunately, what the chattering classes and politicians mean when the say “Wage war on the problem”, or some equivalent of that, is “Give *us* the power to say who the money goes to.” When that is done, they simply feed the money to whoever is willing to be their vassal, and flush the money to voters in “the right districts”, … being, of course, *their*districts.

  3. Ok it must be the mechanic in me but I wanted a lot more explanation of how the launch tower works. Esp. how it’s intended to replace the cranes. But as TD said it was their 2nd hour into what was only supposed to be a 1 hour interview and they let the view and the sunset get to them.

    Best line of this one has to be the new SpaceX tag line:

    At SpaceX we make the impossible late

    1. Short answer: the transporter rolls up to the tower with a booster. The “chopsticks” grasp it by the landing lugs (which Musk pointed out in the video), pick it up and put it on the launch mount. The transporter goes and gets the Starship, which the chopsticks pick up by its landing lugs (so far not shown, the cranes use 4 temporary lugs on the nose cone) and put it atop the booster. The Quick Disconnect arm comes out and attaches to the base of the Starship, while the chopsticks get out of the way insofar as possible. Launch. When the RTLSing booster approaches, the chopsticks position themselves to catch it, do so, and put it on the launch mount again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

      The ghost of my mechanic self is clammoring for ressurection. Nuclear submarines were cool, but this will be much cooler! In my novel “Acts of Conscience,” my character is a spatial machinery mechanic working at Stardock, the refit yard positioned at L1SE.

      1. I have a feeling that may not be steady state if the LT can capture the booster on return and just set it back on the launch stand. There’s a rotation of the chopsticks around the tower required since they don’t want to risk the stand if a returning booster malfunctions. That’s mentioned in the video. Have they actually used the chopsticks to stack a full SH/SS yet? Sounds like something useful to do while they’re waiting on the FAA.

          1. Actually from start of lift until QD connection was little more than one hour. I can see them getting that down to less than 30 minutes easily

        1. As far as I know, no, it’s not even possible yet. The main event can’t happen for real until after we see one fly away into the sky and then RTLS. That’s bound to be one exciting few minutes!

      2. my character is a spatial machinery mechanic working at Stardock, the refit yard positioned at L1SE.
        Does it involve welding? What’s the risk of the rod boiling off in vacuum rather than heat up and adhere to the metals? You have to do DC welding to maintain an electrostatic attraction?

        Oh yeah, the view. Look at that will ya? The whole Earth side visible. OK Hand me another rod.

        1. You should really know better, dude! Only welders are allowed to weld. Marchinery mechanics only work on machinery. If a boss orders a machanic to weld, he goes to the shop’s union steward, who arranges for the boss to get a thermonuclear ass kicking from from upper management.

          When I was a mechanic a squidly officer ordered me to clean a valve. I told him only equipment cleaners were allowed to clean valves. He reported me to his superiors. In the end, the base commander was rousted at 2am, the equipment cleaners came to clean the valve, and the squidly officer was order to apologize. When I tried to dodge, I was kidnapped by a team of squidlies who held me captive while the apology was issued.

        2. Appreciate the humor, but I don’t think anyone is going to be stick welding on-orbit in the open. Even with no flux needed and no slag generated, spatter particles would still contribute to space debris. There would also be the matter of keeping the rod stubs, or even whole rods, from getting loose. That would also apply to TIG welding. The spatter problem, at a minimum, would afflict MIG welding as well.

  4. “”Oh yeah, the view. Look at that will ya? The whole Earth side visible. OK Hand me another rod.””””

    ZZZ Not while youZZZ’re grounded yZZZou idiot.

      1. Any sailor would say just jibe your way in by a “tack to starboard then tack to port”…

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