The time has come! SpaceX is finally ready to launch Starship.
As Elon says: "Excitement Guaranteed"
SpaceX has satisfied all requirements and received the launch license from the FAA:
The license in revision 0 is applicable to the first flight only (§4.b.iv) but can/will be modified.
The term of the license terminates five years after issuance.
The FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center has issued an advisory on April 15th which Indicates the earliest possibility on April 17th with a backup on the 18th:
Ryan Hansen Space produced an animated movie about howthe first orbial test flight could look. The details in the animations is extremely close to the current setup. From the state of Starbase, Mechazilla, launch table, Super Heavy rocket and Starship spacecraft, everything looks very similar to the most recent pictures and videos that are available.
An astonishingly detailed 20 minute piece of art: SpaceX Starship | O.F.T (Orbital Flight Test) Animation
He took creative license to show the deployment of Starlink v 2.0 satellites. There will not be any deployment.
The mission is a complete success when Starship splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, to the north of Hawaii.
|Payload capacity (fully reusable):||100 – 150t|
|Super Heavy Booster Rocket|
What if it goes wrong?
Marcus House has been looking for numbers, formulas and references to find out. It is complicated: SpaceX Starship Explosive Potential, and Big Bang Theory
Depending on assumptions about explosion potential for methane and the height above the pad, this could get bad.
Worst case is a perfect methane and oxygen mixture on the ground:
- methane holds ~ 13 times the energy of TNT equivalent per ton.
- detonation velocity is ~ 1/3 of TNT.
- completely stacked, the rockets hold ~1’000 tons of liquid methane.
- that is equivalent to a ~ 4 kilotons TNT explosion.
It would damage buildings over 3 km away. As a recent reference: the 2020 Beirut explosion was around 1,1 kiloton TNT equivalent.
Elon assumes it would be more like a giant fireball instead of a violent explosion, because most of the methane will be in liquid form at the time of ignition and it would take some time to evaporate and mix with oxygen until it lights on fire.
Ideally the booster will perform a partial boost-back burn after stage separation and try to vertically land in the Gulf of Mexico, close to the coast of Texas. The second stage will ideally make a belly-flop landing near Hawaii – without trying to vertically land in the water.
Planned flight events SpaceX
What is success?
SpaceX will probably be happy when the second stage ignites and reaches space. Elon pegs the chance at 50% for the first attempt and at 80% for this year.
Musk hopes to launch a second stack around August.
The best it could ever be is when the second stage splashes down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.
A reasonable success would be passing max Q. The point of maximal aerodynamic pressure on the vehicle.
The worst case would be an explosion on, or slightly above the pad. That would destroy the infrastructure, cause immense delays and won’t yield much data to learn from. Elon’s optimistic guess in this case is that it would lead to a 6 month delay in development.
Where to watch:
- SpaceX Livestream
- Tim Dodd: Watch SpaceX launch Starship, the biggest rocket ever, LIVE from the edge of the exclusion zone!!!
- NASASpaceflight: SpaceX Launches Starship Flight Test
- What about it: Watch SpaceX launch Starship 24 to Space for the first time in history!!!
- The Launch Pad: Starship | B7 S24 | Integrated Flight Test
- LabPadre: WATCH LIVE - Starship Orbital Test Flight From Starbase, Texas - COMMENTARY
- Epic Spaceflight: SpaceX LIVE Testing via Starbase Hoop Cams
- Senkrechtstarter (German): Live: SpaceX Starship Raketenstart | Elon Musk startet die größte Rakete aller Zeiten
- Angry Astronaut: STARSHIP OFT LIVE
- Ellie in Space: Live at Starship Launch
Tim Dodd and Elon Musk tour Starbase
-  Elon Musk Explains Updates To Starship And Starbase!
- Go up SpaceX's Starship-catching robotic launch tower with Elon Musk!
- Elon Musk Explains SpaceX's Merlin Engine!
- Elon Musk Explains SpaceX's Raptor Engine!
- Starbase Tour with Elon Musk [PART 1 // Summer 2021]
- Starbase Tour with Elon Musk [PART 2 // Summer 2021]
- Starbase Launchpad Tour with Elon Musk [PART 3 // Summer 2021]
SpaceX: Starship | SN10 | High-Altitude Flight Test – 04.03.21
SpaceX: Starship | SN10 | High-Altitude Flight Recap
Tim Dodd: Starship SN10 [4k, Clean Audio & Slow Mo Supercut]
Scott Manley recapping what changes happened in previous iterations until the successful SN-15 launch: SpaceX's Starship Prototype Takes To The Skies And Returns Safely
Cosmic Perspective: Valhalla: Starship Explosion Footage SN8-SN11 - 4K
StarshipGazer.com: Useful Starship links
Background information about previous SpaceX launches: Wikipedia
FAA: Licensed Launches
Starship OFT flight plan
The Launch Pad Network: tlpnetwork.com
Vote for my witness: @blue-witness
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