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If, buy chance, it lands smoothly I would expect it would float for days if not weeks. Remember; buoyancy is a function of displacement and upon the return to earth Starship 20 will be, mostly, a huge empty fuel tank. In a smooth landing scenario, if they elect to not recover it, they may have to deliberately scuttle it.


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If Starship 20 will not be recovered, how will SpaceX evaluate the performance of the heat tiles? If Starship 20 is in a condition where it can be recovered, then that is the evaluation of the performance of the heat shield tiles: they worked, otherwise there wouldn't be anything to recover. If a couple of heat tiles fall off and the Starship bursts into ...


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The primary objectives will be testing 29 engine engine ignition and lift off of the full stack. The performance of Superheavy, stage separation and firing all 6 Starship Raptors at altitude. If they get to orbit then they will have done well and achieved a lot. The likelihood of some serious destructive problem before reentry is high, so they are not ...


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This was an issue when they were blowing up earlier SN models, but SN 20 may be a bit different in that it could be recovered nearly intact if it executes a soft landing on water (not unlike a capsule splashdown) and is able to float long enough to be recovered. Landing is somewhere off Hawaii, and it would be a shame just to let it sink (with all those ...


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Partial answer to What if the LOX/LH2 tanks were located on the Orbiter instead of as a separate module? The original concept of the fully reusable shuttle system included an Orbiter with internal tankage such as you suggest. However, there was also a separate, much larger, reusable Booster (also with internal tankage) which carried the majority of the ...


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