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Questions tagged [spacex-starship]

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

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How precise does Super Heavy's tower landing have to be?

What is the position and velocity range it needs to fit in, to be safely caught by the Orbital Launch Mount?
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
133 views

How is Starship longitudinally stable during reentry?

During IFT-4, it was noted that the flaps rarely moved. But I don't understand how Starship would be stable at that attitude. Stability requires the center of pressure to move rearward with increasing ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
134 views

Has IFT-4 demonstrated that Starship is ready to enter service?

IFT-4 demonstrated a controlled entry into orbit. IFT-3 had already demonstrated the ability to open the payload bay door (or so SpaceX claims). Is there any reason why Starship cannot begin launching ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
172 views

What's the purple glow in SpaceX Starship's IFT-4 re-entry video?

During re-entry, SpaceX's Starship flight IFT-4 video stream showed an initial reddish glow (link to cut video stream, not official video). However, later on, the color of the glow turns purple. At ...
Ahmed Tawfik's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
185 views

Does Starship run on Slushies?

Cryogenic slush (a mixture of liquid and solid) can potentially store propellants at higher density than cryogenic liquid. For instance, hydrogen slush is 16-20% denser than liquid hydrogen. https://...
Woody's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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How does flying a steeper entry trajectory make the exclusion zone smaller?

This interesting answer Why did SpaceX change the landing site from the Pacific (ITF-1, ITF-2) to the Indian Ocean (ITF-3 and subsequent flights)? contains the following paragraph: However this type ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
788 views

Why did SpaceX change the landing site from the Pacific (ITF-1, ITF-2) to the Indian Ocean (ITF-3 and subsequent flights)?

This statement from the FAA is quoted on https://wccftech.com/spacex-receives-faa-clearance-for-starships-third-test-5-indian-ocean-landings-planned The need for (switching landing to the) Indian ...
Woody's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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How much more stressful would the Indian Ocean reentry have been for Starship IFT-3?

The flight tests were originally supposed to end in the Pacific, but was switched to a steeper trajectory that ended in the Indian Ocean for IFT-3. Assuming all had gone perfectly, how much harder ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
181 views

Can surrounding methalox by hydrolox save it from boil off

In case of a (single) Starship (as a) fuel depot orbiting the Earth, how can we prevent boil off, may be so? Some fuels have lower temperatures such as hydrolox is colder than methalox. Could we may ...
estinamir's user avatar
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1 answer
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Prevent boil off in StarShip fuel depot by a JWST-like sunshield?

Can we use Webb’s telescope shield to prevent or significantly reduce boil off of propellant from StarsShip fuel depot, made from a single StarShip in Earth orbit? For JWST, its sunshield covers its ...
estinamir's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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Can Starship land on the moon horizontally?

Since the landing engines will be halfway up the body anyways, how about putting the landing legs to extend perpendicular and land with nose and main engine bay pointing towards their respective ...
Alonda's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
350 views

Would Starship do a direct descent into the atmosphere and aerobrake or do a capture burn before aero braking

Due to re-entry heating and the sheer velocity when coming in from solar orbit into the Earth's SOI, will Starship do a capture burn to slow it down before entering the atmosphere or just go for a ...
Lawn Hollander Lawn's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
5k views

Could SpaceX ever make a Heavy version of Starship Super Heavy

As of now, SpaceX is preparing for Starship Flight 4, and once starship is mature enough and achieves Elon Musk's goal, will they make a Heavy version like with Falcon. Even Before Integrated flight ...
Lawn Hollander Lawn's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
258 views

Will a human mission to Mars require artificial gravity?

Elon Musk and SpaceX are planning a manned mission to Mars as early as 2029. The mission timeline is unclear, but one proposal (page 16) from SpaceX, which uses Hohmann transfer orbits for minimum ...
Galerita's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
288 views

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
2 votes
1 answer
212 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
300 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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6 votes
1 answer
172 views

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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2 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
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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
-6 votes
2 answers
212 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
0 votes
1 answer
136 views

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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3 votes
1 answer
543 views

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
2k views

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
5 votes
0 answers
338 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
  • 51
10 votes
1 answer
989 views

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
197 views

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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1 answer
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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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8 votes
3 answers
561 views

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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8 votes
2 answers
639 views

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
162 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
542 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
164 views

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
143 views

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
121 views

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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1 vote
2 answers
212 views

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
2 answers
454 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
945 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
739 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
  • 41
5 votes
4 answers
6k views

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
  • 517
4 votes
1 answer
266 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
  • 203
2 votes
1 answer
111 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
187 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
139 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
  • 111
4 votes
1 answer
331 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
246 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

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