SpaceX Starship Fully Stacked for the first time, Starliner and Starlink Updates
This video is sponsored by Squarespace, theall-in-one platform to build your beautifulonline presence and run your business. Hey,Hey Marcus House with you here. Well, lastweek, we talked a lot about the crazy ramp-upof speed at Starbase. This week though…This was beyond nuts each and every day. Starlinkflights are returning once again, but whythe delay? Along with that updates on thedelayed Starliner mission and also the unintentionalrotation of the International Space Stationwhich was much more extreme than first reported. Once again, what an unbelievable week it hasbeen at the build site at SpaceX’s Starbasefacility in Boca Chica. Each week we get mountainsof comments from people that haven’t reallyever followed this before, just amazed atwhat they are seeing. The Starship and SuperHeavy booster collectively is the largestrocket to ever be created and it will hopefullycomplete its test flight to orbit successfullysoon. Mainstream media really doesn’t coverthis amazing story unless of course thereis some sort of explosion. We here cover thisevery Saturday in detail, and this week hasbeen quite incredible with SpaceX continuingthat massive ramp-up of actively. Arguablyeven faster than we were seeing last week. The biggest news I think is of course Booster4. The first grid fin was lifted and attachedlast week just as we were preparing our videoto go live. Within a day all 3 others hadjoined the show. Under the cover of darkness,they were mysteriously painted black withno photographers catching this happen. ErcXtweeted a render of the new grid fin designsaying that it “Looks like non-folding GridFins on BN4, guessing this is a case of bestpart is no part. ” Elon replied by saying“Yes. ” This is interesting as we of courseknow that Falcon 9’s grid fins do indeedfold. That feature is being eliminated onSuperheavy as they are another mechanism,which adds unnecessary complexity, mass, andfailure modes. Musk also added that “Gridfin designs work, but they don’t maximizepayload… Something with much more drag toreduce terminal velocity & reduce landingpropellant might have better performance”. So yes, it looks like the grid fin controlin general, could be up for further changes. Anything that helps use less propellant forthe landing burn should mean an increase inpayload capacity. At 10am on Sunday morning Booster 4’s liquidoxygen tank was lifted and mounted onto thebooster transport stand in preparation forstacking. Then at just after 3pm the bridgecrane was attached to the methane sectionand up that went onto the rest of the vehicleat 4:30pm, making this the third booster tobe fully stacked. More importantly of course,it is the first orbital-capable booster tobe created with the previous two being pathfinders. Almost a week ago, Elon shared a stunningphotograph of the enormous Super Heavy boosterprototype saying that SpaceX are “Installingthe Starship booster engines for first orbitalflight”. You can see just how massive thebooster is with humans for scale in the imageshown below. On Sunday evening, a massiveamount of progress was made with Booster 4’sengines as all 29 of them were mounted ina single night. This included 9 Raptor Centerengines making up the full central cluster. These are set up with one in the very middle,plus 8 circling the center. Together, theseprovide the control authority for the Boosterin-flight via Thrust Vector Control, or Gimballing. They are super important throughout the flightas without them, the Booster would have verylittle roll control, meaning less overallauthority of the entire full-stack. I mentioned29 engines earlier, so that means there arestill another 20 to address. Those are theRaptor Boost variant. These engines are fixedin place, meaning no gimballing, but theyproduce the majority of the thrust on ascent. The 20 of these engines were the core of whatwas seen that late night. It sure providedquite a show for Nic Ansuini, who capturednearly every engine that went into Booster4. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitteras he’s capturing many photos out thereon a daily basis. Thanks Nic! So continuingon, the 20 RBoosts as they’re called, wereinstalled in a timely manner along with the9 other gimbling Raptors. On average it looksto be taking only 30 minutes to mount eachengine. This is astonishing considering 29engines isn’t even the goal for SpaceX currently. We expect that Booster 5 and 6 will stillhave 29 engines whilst Booster 7 may possiblyinclude the 33 engine thrust structure. Thiswould be amazing as 4 additional engines addedwould be providing even more thrust, and moreimportantly, it gets the booster closer tothe 7600-tonne thrust mark which Elon Musktargets as the ultimate goal. Faster engineinstalls means faster testing, and SpaceXdoesn’t seem to be slowing down at all inthe near future. If you want a little moreinformation about each and every Raptor installedon Booster 4, check out Artzius’ diagramon Twitter. He was up all night with Nic tolog and record the exact engines mounted. On Tuesday an intermittent road closure openedat 9:30am, ending much later in the day at3:00pm. In that window Booster 4 was rolledout of the Highbay at 11am and made its wayout of the facility and onto highway 4 30minutes later. Elon shared these 2 photosalong with this stunning video as it rolledout of the site, just showing the sheer sizeof this beast. Jack Beyer shared this photoshowing those 29 jam-packed engines. Thisis something I wouldn’t have thought possiblea few months ago. To cram all engines togetherthat close while still having gimbal abilityon the center block of 9 is outstanding. Justremember the outer 20 engines don’t have togimbal which is why they’re able to be justcentimeters from each other. As booster 4entered the launch site, we were providedwith the amazing views of 2 boosters in thesame shot. A first for the Starship program. The obvious difference between Booster 3 and4 is the gigantic grid fins coated in blackthere. Also added stiffeners on the interstageso that it is strong enough to hold Ship 20on top. Now we move over to the Midbay where Ship20’s tank section was rolled outside onMonday ahead of the attachment of the aftflaps. The first flap was installed that afternoonand just a few hours later the second waslifted into the air and attached as well. As we mentioned last week these aft flapsare around 20% narrower & lighter than previousversions. Almost a week ago the first RaptorVacuum engine for Ship 20 was delivered tothe build site and removed from the truckthat night. The next day, another 2 were delivered,however, only one was removed, leaving thewhite one. So, with those 2 that were deliveredand removed off the trucks along with theone that was delivered several weeks ago,there were 3 Raptor Vac engines on-site forShip 20. All of those were then of courseinstalled onto S20’s skirt on August 4th. Interestingly, this is the first time thatwe have seen this wide rim plate here. Isthis for general support of the vacuum engines,general stiffness, or to assist with avoidingplasma spill during reentry? Perhaps all ofthe above. I’m not so sure, let me knowwhat you think below. Along with those 3 vacuumraptors, we of course see the 3 gimbling sea-levelengines in the center. Interestingly, in thatimage shared by Elon you can see that oneof these is labeled 57. Well, Booster 3 usedengines 57, 59, and 62 which leads me to believethat S20 could be using the same 3. This isyet another new milestone as we’ve neverseen more than three Raptor engines on a Starshipprototype, and we’ve also never seen Raptorvacuum engine installed before either. Alltogether ship 20 should be capable of producingmore than 1,250 metric tons of thrust in avacuum, which I believe makes it the mostpowerful orbital rocket stage ever assembled. With Ship 20 moved into the highbay, it wastime for the nose cone mate. That was beingprepared at the low bay and after it was stackedon top of the barrel last week, it was thentime to attach the forward flaps. On Sundaymorning installation was underway with itreceiving its first forward flap, sportingthose Thermal Protection System or TPS tileson the windward side. Then on Monday afternoon,the second forward flap was lifted and sooninstalled. More and more TPS tiles were addedthroughout the week and then it was time toroll the nose cone over to the Highbay at9pm on Wednesday night. Just hours later theNose cone was hooked up to the bridge craneand the lift was underway. Overnight thatwas stacked on top of the tank section, completingthe first ever orbital Starship. Now for quitesome time the community has been wonderingwhat payload will be placed inside this nosecone for its orbital flight. Thanks to ErcXasking if there’s “Any payload for theOrbital attempt?” We now have an answer. And interestingly it follows in the footstepsof SpaceX first orbital flight of Dragonsin 2010: Starship’s first payload will be…. . a wheel of cheese. So next we are going to head all the way overto the orbital launch site to check out whathas been happening there. . . . . . . we’ll talk more aboutthat in a moment but before that, a very bigthank you to Squarespace today for sponsoringthis video. 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If you want to checkit out for yourself, just head to squarespace. com/marcushouseand save 10% off your first purchase of awebsite or domain. You’ll find that linkin the description below. . So yes, over to the orbital launch site we’vealso seen a mountain of activity. Last weekend2 large cranes were connected to the OrbitalLaunch Table via two load spreaders. The tablewas then lifted and placed down on the 6 pillarsa little over an hour later. Elon posted somestunning shots of the dangling table withthe caption, “Starbase is moving at Warp9. ” He also added that the table weighs“370 tons” and that it “Needs to belevel & match booster fittings. ” Of courseon Wednesday morning the crane was then promptlyattached to B4 and after waiting for severalhours lifting finally began around 3pm. Onceit was out of the transport stand and intothe air, we finally had an unobstructed viewon how much the Raptors stick out. Then onThursday we saw Ship 20 roll out to the padin this amazing scene here by Cosmic Perspectiveand NASASpaceFlight. Incredible coverage asalways. The full stack was looking like itwould go ahead that same day, but the windwas looking a little high. However, Fridaywas the day when history was made, the stackingof the largest and most powerful rocket everbuilt was about to commence. At 7am, S20 waslifted off the stand rising into the Texassky. In no time at all there is was, the historicfull stack together for its test fit. We werejust glued to the livestreams as everyonecelebrated with SpaceX playing fly me to themoon over the loudspeakers. Just imagine seeingthis colossal beast lift off as rendered beautifullyby 3D Daniel here. So there it was as shownby Brandan Lewis here with the rest of theupdates at the time. The fall stack was shortlived, however. Down it came again just momentslater before being rolled back to the highbay. Just incredible shots from everyone at Starbasecapturing these firsts!Additionally, more black pipes have continuedto be delivered this week for the catchingarm system. When asked on twitter “If there’sa render of how the catch of the booster willwork?” Elon replied saying that he “Willpost once we have a decent simulation. ”However, and if it’s an animated simulationthat you want, the amazing ErcX has you covered,publishing his own render of the landing thatElon himself said is “very close to real”. He added that the “Arms are able to moveduring descent to match the exact boosterposition. The catch point is off to the side,in case the catch fails as you don’t wantto hit the launch mount. The Booster is transferredback to the launch mount for the next flightwith a turnaround of under one hour. ”Now part 1 of Tim Dodd’s interview and tourof the StarBase facility came out this weekas I’m sure most of you are already aware. A few interesting points I thought were interesting. Firstly the grid fins for the Superheavy boosterwill be permanently extended as mentionedbefore, but they are now electronically driven. That is a change from hydraulics used on theFalcon 9 booster. SpaceX has also decidedto remove the hot gas thrusters from the boosterand instead will use the ullage gas from thetanks for attitude control by having fourvents spaced 90° apart. This gas would needto be vented either way, and now it can douseful work to the vehicle instead while alsoeliminating the mass and complexity of thehot gas thrusters. Furthermore the Raptorversion 2 is in early stages of developmentwith some subcomponents being built with testingof a completed Version 2 possibly within thenext month. They are aiming to eliminate adedicated stage separation system and willinstead rely on angular momentum to separatethe stages similar to Starlink deployment. I imagine the booster would simply pitch upright on engine cutoff to induce a slow rotation,separation would occur and then the two woulddrift apart for a few seconds before the stagesfire up. Elon also dropped some interestingnumbers on the go: Apparently, the boosteris planned to hold 3,600 tons of propellantand the dry mass is already stunningly light. Only around 160 tons. Each of the grid finsare currently around 3. The residual propellantrequired after landing is planned to be atabout 20 tons. Quite a bit below the usual1 to 2 percent you would expect. Raptor version2 is expected to have around 298 bar in themain combustion chamber which will resultin quite a low area ratio. There is loadsmore information crammed into that interviewso do check out Tims video when you get achance. So yes, who knows what we’ll be seeing inanother week. We’ll have a lot more to talkabout around Starbase next Saturday I’msure. Now in last week’s episode, we covered thedocking of the long-awaited Russian Naukamodule with the International Space Station. Not long after docking with the Zvezda servicemodule, Nauka unexpectedly fired its thrustersfor around 15 minutes trying to pull away. It has since become clear this week that thegravity of this situation was actually moresignificant than initially thought. The entirespace outpost rotated much further than the45 degrees widely reported but very slowly. So slow, the crew on board would have beenlargely unaware when the issue began. In fact,it turns out the station actually rotatedaround 540 degrees or one and a half rotationswith it being finally stopped while upsidedown. Both the thrusters on the Zvezda moduleand on the Progress MS-17 spacecraft wereused to arrest the slow spin, then reverseit back some 180 degrees. Actually, ScottManley did this simulation with Blender todemonstrate the rotation observed. A linkto that is in the description. The thing Iguess that is most concerning to me aboutthe incident is that it could have been muchworse had the thrust capability of the vehiclebeen higher, or if there had been much morefuel onboard. I wouldn’t be at all surprisedto see a number of new policies come intoplay to ensure such a thing can’t happenagain. While NASA insisted that the crew onboardthe International Space Station were neverin serious danger, this event caused the initialdelay to the launch of Starliner’s orbitalflight test 2. Sadly, before the launch attemptthat was supposed to be on Tuesday, Starlinerran into some problems of its own. Due tounexpected valve position indications on Starlinerspropulsion system, there was an indefinitedelay announced. That also required the entirerocket to be returned back to the VerticalIntegration Facility for detailed inspection. Based on what we’ve heard since then, Starlinernews to be taken off so there could be substantialwork to be done so this may push the launchback months. As always it is best to be certainthat everything is fine before risking a launch,but yes, it would have been great to see themission take place. Greg Scott was excitedlycapturing everything before the scrub. Justkeep in mind how much time it takes everyoneto be out at the pad to bring these shotsto the world even when a launch doesn’thappen. Thanks for the dedication there Greg!Starlink launches are back as of next weekas well. It has been a long time between dedicatedlaunches with the last one going up over 10weeks ago now. True, there were a few deployedin the Transporter 2 mission at the startof July, but why the lack of launches allof a sudden? I’ve had no shortage of questionsabout this lately with many people worriedthis was due to legal action. The delay actuallyhasn’t been due to the lawsuit filed byViasat as far as I am aware. That lawsuitwas rejected anyway by the federal appealscourt a few weeks ago. Not that I was overlysurprised by that. When the competition istrying to slow you down, that is a good signthat industry disruption is coming. The delayis actually because there were no more launchesneeded for the first initial shell to supportnear-global coverage. There are actually fourmore shells to go on top of this eventuallyif SpaceX are not restricted in some way. Before that, the next step is to place setsof satellites into new orbital planes withthe first of these launching from VandenbergSpace Force Base. Why is that a big deal?Well, because these will be the first dedicatedbatches that will be placed into polar orbits. This will allow coverage to the remainderof the planet not served by those that wereplaced into 53-degree inclination planes. As you can see, this covers the vast majorityof the world, but if you live above or belowthe shell, there is no coverage. These newpolar satellites should finally have laserinter-satellite systems unlike those thathave come before as suggested by Elon backin January. The idea is that all new satelliteswill have this capability as well from early2022 onward. That will mean that SpaceX canpass data between satellites as well as groundstations rather than the current bouncingup and down to the nearest ground station,making it a true network. In the majorityof more populated areas, a simple transferof data up and back down is really all thatis needed. For transmission between much moredistant locations, the laser network can comeinto play in the future, and that is reallywhere the main benefit of Starlink comes in. Interestingly as well, the Starlink app hashad a significant upgrade adding the featurethat makes it easier to find clear areas ofsky to diagnose connectivity problems. Alreadythe service is being utilized by over 90,000users over 12 countries. Given that we arestill in the beta phase, this is impressive. So yes, keep an eye out for the next launchthis coming week. So yes, that is another action packed week. Thank you very much for subscribing and watchinghere every week. As a regular viewer of ourcontent, patron or Youtube member, you aresupporting what we do. If you love the designyou see on this shirt, you can pick that upon a bunch of great gear. That really helpsas well. No matter how you support, know thatit contributes massively to what I do, andit allows me to increase the time we can collectivelyspend in research, editing and quality control. If you like what we are doing and would liketo help assist us you can become a patronat patreon. com/marcushouse or join as a Youtubemember via the join button below. 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