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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX Starship/Super Heavy Progress

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX Starship engine completes orbital-duration static fire test in Texas

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A local resident and unofficial SpaceX observer has reported hearing a test of one of Starship’s Raptor engines that lasted more than five minutes at the company’s McGregor, Texas development facilities.

If accurate, it could be the longest static fire of a Starship engine that SpaceX has ever completed in the two years since full-scale Raptor testing first began. Whether it was successful or not, a five or six-minute static fire would also confirm that SpaceX is well into the process of qualifying Raptor for Starship’s first orbital launch attempts.

arrow3.gif  Read More: Teslarati

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

Laying the groundwork for Super Heavy amid Raptor Ramp Up

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Just one year after losing Starship SN4 after a Static Fire test, SpaceX’s progress at its Starbase site in South Texas has allowed the company to focus on the debut of its Super Heavy booster. With Starship SN15’s successful landing appearing to conclude the high altitude hop tests, the vast majority of preparation work is focused at the Orbital Launch Site (OLS), while BN3 (Booster 2) stacking continues as key elements of booster hardware arrive on site.

With Super Heavy now set to launch with 29 – and later with 32 – Raptors, the demand for the Methalox engine will be catered for by an increased production rate and additional test capacity.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASASpaceFlight.com

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

Elon Musk said SpaceX's offshore launch platform called 'Deimos' is under construction for launch next year

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Elon Musk said that SpaceX's ocean spaceport, called Deimos, is under construction and could begin launch operations next year.

Musk tweeted about the offshore launch platform, which is part of the forthcoming Starship rocket system, on Sunday in response to a rendered image shared by a fan.

arrow3.gif  Read More: Business Insider

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX first Super Heavy ‘test tank’ is almost ready for prime time

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SpaceX has almost completed a ‘test tank’ meant to ensure that Starship’s Super Heavy booster is capable of withstanding the immense thrust of more than two-dozen Raptor engines.

Believed to be known as test tank BN2.1, the prototype’s latest appearance comes on the heels of news from CEO Elon Musk that SpaceX has upgraded Super Heavy with one extra Raptor engine – with plans to add another three down the road. The results of that tank’s imminent test campaign will likely be crucial as the company shifts its focus sending Starship to orbit (or close) as soon as possible.

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Waspie_Dwarf

OLS grows ahead of Super Heavy debut – Raptor test capacity increases

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SpaceX Starbase may be lacking a rocket at the launch site, but work is still continuing apace on the construction of the Orbital Launch Site (OLS) ahead of receiving the first Super Heavy/Starship stack for an upcoming orbital launch attempt. Signs that the milestone mission is closing in can be seen at the Production Site, with sections of Booster 2 (with sections labeled BN3) and Starship SN20 undergoing preparations.

Also readying for a busy future is SpaceX’s test center at McGregor, Texas. The newly constructed dual Raptor test stand has completed its first hot-fire test, bringing the Texas site’s capability to five test bays for the Methalox engine.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASASpaceFlight.com

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX Starship launch tower grows to more than half its full height

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SpaceX has installed another prefabricated segment of a new Starship ‘launch tower,’ raising the skyscraper-sized framework to more than half its full height.

Measuring some 86 meters (~280 ft) tall after the latest segment was craned on top, the growing launch tower is now the tallest structure SpaceX has ever built (or had built) – outclassing the 81m (265 ft) ‘high bay’ constructed nearby to shield Starship and Super Heavy booster assembly from the worst of the coastal Texas weather. However, that tower is far from complete and should nearly double in height over the next month or two.

arrow3.gif  Read More: Teslarati

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX Starship might skip early retirement for “hypersonic flight test”

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In response to a Teslarati report on Starship SN16’s apparent transport to what amounts to a resting place for retired rockets, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says that the vehicle may still have a shot at flight.

On June 16th, SpaceX technicians rolled Starship SN16 out of the Boca Chica factory’s high bay for the first time since the rocket was assembled to its full height. Measuring 9m (30′) wide, 50m (165′) tall, and some 100 to 200 metric tons (~220,000-440,000 lb) empty, SpaceX carefully moved the rocket from the build site to partially paved lot nearby, joining Starship SN15 in apparent retirement.

arrow3.gif  Read More: Teslarati

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX installs first parts of tower meant to catch Starship boosters

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SpaceX’s Starship ‘launch tower’ appears to have been outfitted with the first major component of a mechanism that’s meant to allow the structure to catch Starship boosters – and maybe the ships themselves – in mid-air.

Already speeding towards completion just a few months after assembly began, the tower’s primary purpose is to provide a stable platform capable of steadying Starships and Super Heavy boosters during final integration, when the two stages combine to become one launch vehicle. Situated a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico on the windy South Texas coast, the process of carefully mating two halves of what amounts to a several hundred ton skyscraper will be far harder than it might seem.

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX aiming for July for Starship orbital launch despite regulatory reviews

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SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the company is “shooting for July” for the first orbital launch of the company’s Starship vehicle despite lacking the regulatory approvals needed for such a launch.

Speaking at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) June 25, Shotwell said the company was pressing ahead with plans for an orbital flight involving the Super Heavy booster and Starship upper stage from the company’s Boca Chica, Texas, test site.

arrow3.gif  Read More: Space News

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX Super Heavy booster reaches full height as Elon Musk talks orbit

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Just a few days after CEO Elon Musk said that SpaceX’s first true Super Heavy prototype was “almost done,” the booster has been stacked to its full height.

Standing more than 65 meters (~215 ft) tall, Super Heavy Booster 3 (B3) assembly is now just a few major welds away from completion after SpaceX teams mated the final two sections of its propellant tanks and structure. Assembled separately out of approximately 12 barrel sections each made up of 2-4 steel rings, Booster 3’s methane tank (13 rings) and oxygen tank (23 rings) were stacked together on June 29th, just over six weeks after the process began.

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Waspie_Dwarf

SpaceX says Starship can beat ‘plasma blackout’ with Starlink antennas

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SpaceX has asked the FCC to allow Starship and its Super Heavy booster to communicate with Starlink during the rocket’s first orbital launch attempt, potentially unlocking game-changing capabilities.

Filed on June 28th, SpaceX’s Special Temporary Authority (STA) application contains a number of surprising details about the company’s plans to expand the experimental use of its Starlink satellite constellation to communicate with rockets in flight. That effort was first made public in April 2021 when a separate FCC application revealed plans to test Starlink on a Starship prototype. Starship serial number 15 (now known as Ship 15 or S15).

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Booster 3 opens Super Heavy test campaign as orbital vehicles prepare to stack

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Following a test campaign focused on SpaceX’s Starship vehicle, the Super Heavy booster is now taking up the mantle of testing at the Starbase launch site. Booster 3 rolled out of the High Bay on Thursday, taking the trip down Highway 4 before being placed on suborbital Pad A’s modified mount for a series of ground testing objectives.

The tests will pave the way for Booster 4, already in the opening stages of pre-stacking, which will be hosted at the under-construction Orbital Launch Site (OLS) with Starship 20 for a full-stack ride into space later this year.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASASpaceFlight.com

 

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