28 thoughts on “Starship Rumor”

  1. My browser doesn’t let me follow unsecured twitter links. What’s the rumor? Launch attempt Sept. 1st?

  2. If he can move it up a few days, he can beat the first SLS launch on 8/29. Or maybe just expect SLS to slip again for the 100th time and not worry about it.

      1. True. Still, Musk would have to be made of stone not to feel at least a hint of shadenfreude if he manages to ninja Artemis 1 by, say, a single day.

        1. The government has already rattled some federal regulatory sabres at Musk when it looked like he was getting a little to chummy with the Orange Man. He stopped that behavior and I suspect isn’t looking to step on any NASA supported toes just yet.

          1. Would that be the same Orange Man who called Musk a “bullshit artist” recently? Elon has publicly declared that he’s through voting for Democrats. That is hardly equivalent to “getting chummy with the Orange Man.”

          2. A statement like that is enough for an ordinary business owner to get destroyed but Musk is richer than most.

    1. If SLS doesn’t launch until Sept. 2 or 5, that might take care of itself anyway. Either way, I guess that old Don Adams catch-phrase from Get Smart would apply – “Missed it by that much!”

  3. The FCC’s recent approval for Starship orbital launches by SpaeeX authorizes a 6 month period for such launches commencing September 1, 2022. If the above September 1 fly-date rumor is true, it would appear that Musk is aiming to put the ship up on the very first day allowed (by that government bureau’s authorization anyway).

    1. And there is still the FAA launch license to be secured. Though, given the evident attitude of its Chairwoman, I’d say the FCC license was probably the bigger hurdle.

  4. As much as I am a believer in SpaceX the only way I can see a September 1 flight date is if they do a full 33 engine static fire on that day followed several milliseconds later by a liftoff. Maybe October 1, although I think the launch will probably be some time in November

    1. I tend to agree. Their most recent static fire of the Super Heavy first stage only lit 1 of the 33 engines. For Starship’s most recent static test, they lit 2 of the 6 engines. It’s a hell of a leap to go from that to an all-up orbital test. There are still a couple weeks to do more static tests, but it doesn’t seem they’re in any rush to do so.

  5. I can’t help thinking the engine packing configuration on Starship looks an awful lot like the N-1, except even more dense.

    1. I wish we could retire this calumny, which has been leveled against SpaceX every step of the way, and harks back to the “Cluster’s Last Stand” nonsense from the 1950s. Starship resembles N-1 superficially, the way a shark’s mouth resembles a cow’s mouth. They’re full of teeth.

      N-1 failed primarily due to lack of ground testing, and secondarily because it relied on differential thrust steering: when one engine flames out you have to shut down the opposite one. SuperHeavy relies of gimbaled steering (with a 15deg gimbal) of the inner engines (only the outer ring is fixed). That means if an outer engine fails, the inner engines maintain course. The outer engines are ground lit by gse (just like N-1) but the inner engines can be relit using built-in electrical starters.

    2. I hope you never witness a crime and have to give the cops a description of the suspect.

      N-1: Outer ring of 30 engines. Inner ring of 6 engines. Lots of space between rings. Stage shape is conical. Stage is painted white.

      Super Heavy: Outer ring of 20 engines. Intermediate ring of 10 engines. Inner ring of 3 engines. Rings are closely spaced. Stage shape is cylindrical. Stage is bare stainless steel.

      1. My understanding is, on N-1, the inner 6 engines were only there to prevent a partial vacuum from forming under the first stage during tropospheric flight. I think SH won’t look quite so spectacular as N-1 at liftoff due to methane instead of kerosene. All that glowing soot makes a heck of a flame (as witness Saturn V too)!

    3. Indeed, flying a lot of engines on a launch vehicle often brings up comparisons to the N-1.

      I’ve seen quite a few, mostly predicting doom from 26 engines all firing at once. That was, of course, Falcon Heavy, before it flew.


      1. Back when Falcon 9 was yet to fly, the nay-sayers set that as the N-1 class “mistake.” Why? Because Saturn 1 only had 8 engines, so that must be the limit. The Internet has done away with my respect for “engineering.” Musk’s degrees are in Physics and Economics.

  6. I think SpaceX will get its FAA license when the administration says so: after Artemis 1 succeeds brilliantly, or fails so spectacularly SLS is canceled. My fantasy is, the SLS disintegrates on launch and one of the SRBs flies directly to the VAB and burns it down. In the extended version, bits of flaming SRB fuel wipe out 39B, 40, and 41.

      1. My idea was to wipe out KSC/CCSFS active pads. But I typed it wrong anyway. Should have been 39A, 40, 41, with 39B understood to have been consumed in the initial core explosion. Maybe SpaceX could transition to 36 and Blue could go suck eggs. I could see LC-36 modified to be a combine Falcon/Starship pad.

    1. Just a few blog posts down, the people at the link were claiming SLS detractors wanted the program to fail, not the vehicle.

      1. I would prefer that the vehicle fail now rather than later when there are lives at stake.

  7. I don’t know anything.

    Art-of-miss should just blow up on assent and spare us the future expense.

    Can none of these people actually get a job with SpaceX?

  8. I’m too old to hire on with SpaceX. The reasons are obvious if you are competitive in the industry. I never was.

    I’m a managerial type. I would only hire people way smarter than me.

    And young enough to give a couple decades of affordable loyalty in exchange for some $ and some professional braggadocio.

    The ends are the same.

    You don’t need to like me. You only need to do what I need you to do.

    1. Most managers I worked for didn’t have a clue what they needed me to do. “Follow the plan.” “No, the plan is wrong.” “You’re fired.” “Good-bye! Good-luck!” “The project has failed! Oh, that evil Barton, quitting like that!” Worse still, sometimes I was forced into managerial roles I was tempermentally unsuited for… I finally figured out I should bid on projects I could do by myself.

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