Questions tagged [spacex-starship]

Questions regarding SpaceX's Starship, formerly the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) upper stage or BFS

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Feasibility of landing Starship's Super Heavy booster on a droneship

Recently, after IFT 3 of Starship Super Heavy, I went to ponder: Can SpaceX land their Super Heavy boosters on Autonomous Spaceport Droneships to get extra performance. Currently, it separates with ...
Lawn Hollander Lawn's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Why did SpaceX decide to change their Starship names from SN to just S?

Before S20, all of the SpaceX prototypes were called SN (Serial number) and then just a number. For example, the most know one was SN15 which successfully touched down after flying up to 10 km. ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
160 views

Has SpaceX attempted to recover wreckage from its Starship launches?

SpaceX and the FAA have drawn a number of conclusions from the first two Starship launches, and would seem to be in the midst of analyzing the anomalous events of the third. Is that analysis based ...
Anthony X's user avatar
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3 votes
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Does Starship perform a launch tower avoidance maneuver?

Does Starship perform a launch tower avoidance maneuver? If yes, is this accomplished using gimbaled raptor engines or RCS rockets? How far laterally is the Starship axis shifted by this maneuver and ...
Woody's user avatar
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How many heat shield tiles are installed on Starship and what is their total volume roughly?

If paired with tile density information, this total volume information would be useful for estimating how much more mass Starship could lift in a non-reusable configuration. If also paired with heat ...
phil1008's user avatar
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2 answers
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Starship maintaining tank pressure during reentry and landing

Starship relies on tank pressure to gain it's full structural strength. During reentry, the tank walls heat up, causing the ullage gas to heat up, causing pressure to rise. How will Starship prevent ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
-5 votes
2 answers
185 views

How do we know Starship 28 was lost?

As I see it, they lost communications, and almost immediately called it a loss. This seems odd. Surely a blackout is expected due to the plasma?
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
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Any way to estimate IFT-3 mishap investigation timeframe?

Given that it didn’t meet all mission objectives, there’s going to be a “mishap investigation”. If there any ball park figures for the length of this investigation or is just it is done when it is ...
jmoreno's user avatar
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What does Starship use for attitude control thrusters?

What does Starship currently use for attitude control thrusters? The attitude of ITF-3 Starship appeared out of control from engine shut-down, on through re-entry. According to How does the Falcon 9 ...
Woody's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
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Starship IFT-3: Plasma appears, then disappears

How is that possible? It's not like it lost velocity or gained altitude in that time period.
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
4 votes
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258 views

Why was Starship on IFT3 spinning?

During SpaceX testflight on IFT3, Starship aka S28 was spinning around its axis. It was very visible in the live stream and also concerning. During reentry its heatshield was facing the wrong way ...
hotdog's user avatar
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Did IFT 3's Starship attempt re-entry with its payload bay door open?

Yesterday, contact was lost with SpaceX's Starship as it attempted to re-enter the atmosphere. One of things it tested was the payload bay door. In this video, at nine minutes and eleven seconds (T+ ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Will there be a controll mechanism to keep spacex starship in a controlled position during coasting and/or reentry?

Looking at the really interesting imagery from Starship Flight 3, it is obvious that Starship is rotating (tumbling-ish) during coasting, and also during the initial reentry phase. The plasma streaks ...
Roger Wallberg's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the debris that occasionally flew off Starship during its coasting phase today?

I was thrilled to watch the 3rd test flight of SpaceX Starship today. One thing I noticed watching the video was that debris came off the ship. This was more noticeable during its coasting phase. Some ...
Brian Rak's user avatar
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How is SpaceX planning to avoid fuel sloshing on IFT3?

SpaceX is about launch IFT3 and during IFT2, the booster exploded probably due to sloshing and an engine having something block its fuel supply. What has SpaceX changed to avoid fuel sloshing?
User1's user avatar
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Why would Starship flight 3's Indian Ocean re-entry zone "maximize public safety" versus the Pacific Ocean re-entry zone?

Per SpaceX, Starship test 3's landing zone for the orbiter is now in the Indian Ocean (rather than off of Hawaii): [Starship] will also fly a new trajectory, with Starship targeted to splashdown in ...
Erin Anne's user avatar
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What is the oxygen filter on Super Heavy, and how could it get blocked on IFT-3?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_Starship_integrated_flight_test_2 On February 26, 2024, SpaceX stated that the most likely root cause was filter blockage where liquid oxygen is supplied to the ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
156 views

Where is the statement from the FAA about the second mishap investigation of Starship being now closed?

I got very excited recently when I heard from serval sources (1, 2, 3, 4, 5,…) that the mishap investigation of the second Starship launch is now closed. However, when I was looking for a primary ...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
469 views

Why can't NASA launch Artemis (SLS/Orion) as often as SpaceX is launching Starship?

In 2022 NASA conducted a successful uncrewed lunar flight of the Orion, Artemis 1. Yet, the following mission and first crewed flight, Artemis 2, will launch in fall 2025 the earliest. In comparison, ...
Old Man John's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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What is the point to point suborbital payload of the SpaceX super heavy starship combination for Earth

I see multiple mentions of point-to-point transport use of the Super Heavy and Starship combination, but cannot find ANY estimate of how much cargo, how many people, or some combination thereof, is ...
user53409's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
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Propellant consumption of Starship trip from NRHO to Mars

People, I am trying to estimate the amount of propellant (liquid oxygen+ liquid methane) required by Starship to reach Mars from NRHO (Near-rectilinear halo orbit). Also the propellant consumption ...
Prayag's user avatar
  • 117
2 votes
0 answers
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What is the white felt-like material between the heat shield tiles and stainless steel skin of Starship likely to be?

I suspect that the white padding material between the tile and the stainless steel skin might be [Nomex Felt][1], but I don't really know. Nomex was used on the Space Shuttle. Flame-Resistant Felt - ...
phil1008's user avatar
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Could Superheavy land downrange and return if Starship were launched from Boca Chica?

While answering a question about Starship versus skyhooks, I discovered that there is a big difference in payload between a Falcon 9 launch where the booster lands downrange on a drone ship and one ...
phil1008's user avatar
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5 votes
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426 views

Could Starship lift mass to orbit (both low and geo-stationary) cheaper than a skyhook?

In response to this question which appears to ask only about space elevators and not skyhooks, would Starship's cost per kilogram to LE or Geo-stationary orbits be lower than a skyhook's? I ask only ...
user121330's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
4k views

Would Starship be able to lift mass to orbit (both low and geo-stationary) cheaper than "any" space elevator?

A comment to an answer to a question about Mars missions stated that using Starship to launch mass to orbit would be cheaper than a space elevator. I didn't imagine that. I know that space elevators ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
906 views

Is it ever normal to vent LOX from spacecraft with active engines? Isn't it a fire hazard?

This is regarding: "SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk says a propellant dump caused the destruction of the Starship upper stage" "Musk said the failure was linked to venting liquid ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
693 views

Does the Starship Super Heavy need to do a reentry burn

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage boosters perform what SpaceX refers to as an entry burn to slow the stage as it reenters the atmosphere. Since the Starship Super Heavy booster is made of stainless steel ...
thunder's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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Why does the heatshield have to be on the outside?

To what extent has internal insulation been tested to deal with the heat of re-entry? In the case of Starship, is the existing steel strong enough (to be non-ablative!), or would a different type of ...
Dagelf's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
207 views

Why did Starship start tilting to one side as soon as it lifted off during IFT-2?

I've noticed that no one has talked about this, making me think that maybe it's normal or expected as a way to veer off the launch pad to protect stage 0 equipment. However, no matter how many times I ...
Cris's user avatar
  • 191
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Is vacuum created between the inner engines under Earth's atmosphere that could affect the booster in the early moments of the ascent?

The booster has a lot more engines than the Starship. My thoughts are that if there's isn't a pressure relief to the innermost engines they could create a vacuum pulling the hot gasses expelled. I ...
Andrea S's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
183 views

During Starship's recent flight, the stack appeared to be venting gas during the staging sequence. What was it?

During Starship's launch on November 18, 2023, the two stages successfully executed hot staging and separated from each other. In the seconds leading up to ignition of the upper stage engines, the ...
John McCarthy's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
136 views

Scattering of exhaust gases during Starship IFT-2 hot staging

Various footage of the IFT-2 of SpaceX's Starship show intriguing pattern of, presumably, exhaust gases illuminated by the Ship's 3+3 engines (attached below). While this may be an optical illusion, ...
P Marecki's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
319 views

Why Spacex Starship is not a modular rocket?

The past Nov 18 was the last launch, of Starship. The things didn't happen as planned. But all of us know that soon or later Spacex will make it a successful. It will be a long time before it can be ...
user2232395's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
243 views

Why did Starship perform an abrupt course correction seconds before stage separation?

During Starship second integrated test flight IFT-2 There is a seemingly rapid attitude change seconds before stage separation, the whole vehicle making a turn towards the right of the image. What is ...
user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
4k views

Was Starship’s “launch window” administrative, rather than due to orbital mechanics?

According to Wikipedia, a launch window is the time period on a given day during which a particular rocket must be launched in order to reach its intended target. SpaceX’s internet launch coverage ...
Woody's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Starship Ship 25 burn up on re-entry?

SpaceX Starship Ship 25 launched and managed a successful separation from the booster and reportedly made it into space before the autonomous flight termination system activated, destroying the ...
Wiggo the Wookie's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
810 views

(How) would the water deluge system impact Starship superheavy captures?

(How) would the water deluge system impact Starship superheavy captures, when they eventually manage to return to starbase? Could it be turned on during landing attempts? Would that reduce lift (...
Daniël van den Berg's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How is hot staging of Starship expected to provide such a large (10%) increase in total mass to LEO?

there's a meaningful payload to orbit advantage with hot staging that is conservatively about a 10% increase (Elon Musk during Twitter Spaces interview on June 24th, 2023, timestamp 37:13) In a line ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
144 views

square-cube law and thermal protection tiles (TPS)

Yesterday, I asked a question about the square-cube law and propellant tanks. Do larger rockets tend to have a better mass ratio due to the square cube law? I have a very similar question about ...
Krzysiek's user avatar
  • 163
1 vote
0 answers
85 views

How many tonnes of cargo are stored on the International Space Station?

I think I read somewhere that SpaceX's Starship should carry 100 tonnes to the moon, and that this amount of mass was greater than the total cargo on the ISS, but I can't find a reference confirming ...
tomh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
201 views

Fastest time to Moon for Starship

What is the fastest time to the Moon possible with Starship in the near future, assuming there is orbital refueling? Is sustained acceleration and then deceleration possible at say 0.25G, to reduce ...
safe_malloc's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
385 views

What would it take to collect methane from the atmosphere and use it as rocket fuel?

SpaceX is currently dealing with a lot of environmental regulation issues with Starship. One issue they have is the amount of CO2 Starship produces. Their falcon 9 produces 440 tons of CO2 each flight,...
The Rocket fan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
288 views

Why was the ITS concept downscaled?

Note: if you have not heard of the Interplanetary Transport System or ITS, it was a 2016 concept for a fully reusable rocket which could deliver 300 tonnes of paylaod into low earth orbit. It didn't ...
TitaniumVCarbon's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
227 views

SpaceX Starship refueling in Mars orbit

I was wondering if the propellant required to leave Earth orbit, accelerate to Mars' orbital velocity and then perform orbital insertion will leave the starship with enough propellant to perform a ...
Scott's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why were 4 engines shutdown prematurely during Booster 9's static fire?

Recently (August 7), Booster 9 conducted a static fire test where it only ignited 29 of 33 engines. This is the big static fire, there not another one. I have found that they were shutdown prematurely ...
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

How feasible is a manned flight to Apophis in 2029 using Artemis or Starship?

Apophis will fly by Earth around GEO altitude in 2029. May NASA consider launching an Orion spacecraft on a (sub-)orbital trajectory whose apogee is very close to Apophis so that astronauts can study ...
Johannes's user avatar
  • 229
1 vote
2 answers
375 views

Why can’t we send people to the moon in a falcon 9? Why do we need falcon heavy or starship instead when falcon 9 is capable of traveling very far?

NASA’s DART mission flew on a falcon 9, but it flew 7 million miles. That’s a lot further away than the moon is, so why would falcon heavy or starship ever be necessary to go there? Why can’t people ...
Paul Schiltz's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
428 views

Why not try to land all SpaceX Starships and boosters?

From the latest news about the prior flight of Starship For this demo, SpaceX won’t attempt any landings of the rocket or the spacecraft. Everything will fall into the sea. Since SpaceX has never ...
Evan Carroll's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What amount of unburned methane was released in the atmosphere during the Starship orbital test abort?

On April 20, 2023, SpaceX attempted an orbital flight of the Starship rocket. The test ended when the Flight Termination System blew up the rocket after it started tumbling out of control. When the ...
Speedphoenix's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why will Starship's 150 ton payload capacity be sufficient to carry 100 people to other planets?

The ISS weighs 450 tons and carries 7 people for three months without resupply. Starship is supposed to carry 14 times as many people for more than twice the duration with one third the mass. How?
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar

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