SN-15 Launch Attempt + Starship Funding to the Moon Secured!!! [New Date: 03.05.2021] Second Attempt

in Space Exploration β€’ 7 months ago (edited)

EDIT 1: New Date 03.05.2021


This first launch attempt is dicey because the weather is bad. But we have this prognosis:

It's (hopefully) launch day for SN15 πŸŽ‰πŸš€

As promised, here's the updated forecast for today. Bottom line, there looks like a pretty good opportunity towards the end of the window!

Data from ECMWF modelling.#SpaceX #Starship pic.twitter.com/VhhuQWsa6g

β€” Leo πŸš€ (@TerminalCount) April 30, 2021

SpaceX News

Scott Manley: NASA Will Spend $2,941,394,557 On SpaceX's Massive Lunar Starship Lander!!!

It seems that SpaceX has now dealt another blow to the carefully crafted NASA supply chain built on cost plus contracting and political connections. Over years, these companies have won contracts by spreading their facilities across all states, therefore assuring congressional approval of their offers.

These offers were so far behind schedule, below capability and above cost, nobody could approve them. The only viable, and most realistic option at this point is SpaceX's Starship. The two competitors weren't even considered for an alternative Option. Even though NASA prefers to have at least two independent products. Dissimilar redundancy is the word here.

Another great adavantage of the SpaceX option is that it doesn't leave anything behind on ascend. The two competitors all left the decent stage behind. If the goal is a continuous presence on moon, that kind of littering is not sustainable.

One competiror's initial proposed solution was too heavy and the other wanted advanced payments. Both offers only have concepts and mock-ups ready.

Source Selection Statement by NASA


Last Flight Recap

Scott Manley: What Happened In The Fog At Boca Chica - What Caused SpaceX's Latest Prototype To Explode?

Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed.

Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.

β€” Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021

SN15 rolls to launch pad in a few days. It has hundreds of design improvements across structures, avionics/software & engine.

Hopefully, one of those improvements covers this problem. If not, then retrofit will add a few more days.

β€” Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021

Next major technology rev is at SN20. Those ships will be orbit-capable with heat shield & stage separation system. Ascent success probability is high.

However, SN20+ vehicles will probably need many flight attempts to survive Mach 25 entry heating & land intact.

β€” Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021

Ascent phase, transition to horizontal & control during free fall were good.

A (relatively) small CH4 leak led to fire on engine 2 & fried part of avionics, causing hard start attempting landing burn in CH4 turbopump.

This is getting fixed 6 ways to Sunday.

β€” Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2021

Marcus House: SpaceX Starship Explodes Before Landing & Starship SN15 is fully stacked, Inspiration 4 update


Easiest way to know how close the launch is, check LIVE: Starship SN15 Test Flight by NASASpaceflight.

Rules of thumb:

  • it takes at least an hour to launch after all personal has cleared the area
  • it takes at least 30 minutes after start of propellant loading
  • it takes at least 10 minutes after venting

A detailed look at steps and times before lift-off: How to Predict when Starship will Launch | NSF Explains

Weather is looking bad, for now. Might clear up at the end of the launch window.


Where to watch:


Aspects of Starship

Tim Dodd - YouTube: Complete Guide To Starship: Falcon 9 VS Starship. What's new? What's different?

Starship development history: Wikipedia

Background information about previous SpaceX launches: Wikipedia

Scott Manley: X-Plane: Starship - Flight Simulator for SpaceX's Starship Rocket


Starship Test Campaign

SN-8

SpaceX: Starship | SN8 | High-Altitude Flight Recap

Scott Manley: SpaceX's Biggest Starship Flight Is A Spectacular Success Even After Crash Landing

SN-9

SpaceX: Starship | SN9 | High-Altitude Flight Test

Scott Manley: SpaceX Starship Number 9 Makes Perfect* Flight (*except for the landing which was a huge fireball)

SN-10

SpaceX: Starship | SN10 | High-Altitude Flight Test

Scott Manley: SpaceX's Starship SN10 Successfully Lands After Amazing Flight. Dismantles Itself Spectacularly

SN-11

Scott Manley: What Happened In The Fog At Boca Chica - What Caused SpaceX's Latest Prototype To Explode?


Useful links to stay up to date on launches:

Check TFR (Temporary flight restrictions) issued by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), look for a NOTAM (notice to airmen ) at Brownsville, Texas

Spaceflightnow.com: Launch Schedule

Everyday Astronaut: Prelaunch Previews

Data: flightclub.io


Vote for my witness: @blue-witness