24 thoughts on “Scratch another Starship”

  1. Gerard:
    what the hell just happened?

    What we’re seeing is consistent with the liquid oxygen tank (at the bottom) losing pressure and crumpling under the weight of the filled liquid methane tank at the top.  The Starship, like the original Atlas ICBM, is in part pressure-stabilised, and loss of pressure will cause it to collapse.  During the collapse, there appears to be fluid flowing from the bottom, so it’s possible a breach there (which is where SN2 failed) resulted in the liquid nitrogen used in the test pouring out, which would have created a vacuum which caused atmospheric pressure outside to crush the top of the liquid oxygen tank.

    In the SLS, NASA had horrific problems welding the large tanks of the core stage and threw “unlimited funds” solving them at the theoretical and laboratory level before proceeding to full-scale fabrication.  This may be one of those problems where cut and try engineering doesn’t get the job done.

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  2. Maybe, just maybe, the next time they may have a safety rope or something attached to a crane above it so it doesn’t fall . Naw, it fell twice only it “couldn’t fall again”…

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  3. Gerard:
    Maybe, just maybe, the next time they may have a safety rope or something attached to a crane above it so it doesn’t fall . Naw, it fell twice only it “couldn’t fall again…

    That would just cost them the crane, and with the engineering required to build a crane, that would run into real money.

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  4. I thought Musk fixed all of this when he berated his engineers for dumb dumb, dumb inverted cone and only test what will work, and pretend it’s your baby, etc.

    Imagine my shock.  Here’s my shocked face:  -.-

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  5. Trinity Waters:
    Snark all you like, then watch this video and remember what concatenated failures can lead to.

    Or this one.

    Today’s NASA could never have persevered through that many consecutive failures to get it right.  In fact, their culture, and that of those who fund them, would never have permitted them to undertake such a high-risk effort.

    One of my favourite stories of perseverance in the space business in pursuit of a difficult goal is the Discoverer/Corona program to develop the first reconnaissance satellite.  Managed by the CIA with assistance from the U.S. Air Force, between January 1959 and June 1960, the project suffered twelve consecutive mission failures, and only managed to recover its payload from space on the thirteenth mission in August 1960.  Eight days later, on 1960-08-18, Discoverer 14 managed to return film from orbit, finally fulfilling the goals of project, begun four years earlier.  It is likely that the deep secrecy of the program contributed to its ability to continue through failure after failure to final success.  Corona satellites and their evolved derivatives remained in service until May 1972, with a total of 144 satellites launched, of which 102 returned usable imagery.  The program remained classified Top Secret until 1992; in 1995 the photos taken by Corona satellites were released to the public.  The images may be viewed at the USGS EROS Archive Web site.

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  6. It’s not as though Musk can’t run a successful, eye-opening technical business.  It’s just that there seem to be two Musks — one of whom gathers experts and sends cars of his own manufacture to fricking Mars, and the other who puts out such patent nonsense as the Hyperloop, which is so mind-blowingly stupid that it should be filed under F for Fraud.

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  7. Very inspiring video of Team SpaceX challenges and triumphs !!!

    Also, know how of cold war era science projects is like Corona Project are amazing too.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  8. SN4 RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) scheduled for this week?

    Begging the question of after how many consecutive failures does RUD become RSD?

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  9. That thing will blow up if stressed anything near its projected operating environment.  You can tell by the reflections in the steel.

    There’s a fine line between semi-monococque and half-cocqued.

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  10. Haakon Dahl:
    That thing will blow up if stressed anything near its projected operating environment.  You can tell by the reflections in the steel.

    There’s a fine line between semi-monococque and half-cocqued.

    Learned a new word today, thanks.

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