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SpaceX Prototype SN8 Test Launch


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Attempting to get to about 12.5km, then belly flop back before relighting engines to land.

There's a NASA WB-57 observation aircraft on the way, so that would make liftoff in an hour or so.

 

Should be spectacular whatever happens...

 

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Not the most objective source of SpaceX news, but some great pics here:

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-nearly-sticks-landing-high-altitude-debut/

 

The loss of methane header tank pressure causing an oxygen rich situation seems a plausible reason for the engine melt.

 

Hard to say how many engines were supposed to be operating at a particular point. I assume turning the engines off one at a time on ascent was intentional although I don't think setting fire to the engine bay when each engine shut down was part of the plan.

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1 hour ago, mikew said:

The loss of methane header tank pressure causing an oxygen rich situation seems a plausible reason for the engine melt.

Absolutely!

 

1 hour ago, mikew said:

I assume turning the engines off one at a time on ascent was intentional

yep

 

1 hour ago, mikew said:

although I don't think setting fire to the engine bay when each engine shut down was part of the plan.

Hard to tell. The bays will burn on liftoff anyway, won’t they?

 

I remember the Delta IV *actually* being half on fire just before liftoff (see here at 1:00) … those bays better be fire proof :)

 

1 hour ago, mikew said:

Hard to say how many engines were supposed to be operating at a particular point.

 

Yeah, but one engine was ignited and shut down two times in rapid succession. This cannot have been right … +6:32, all engines ignite:

image.png.ae628a176839248ff420a8a6dd0b22d6.png

 

6:35, two engines down

image.png.996382b2d2b8ef93a04772190da5df6d.png

 

6:36, one engine back and the other burning green

image.png.e184949e811b6f12128aa79595d21572.png

 

6:39, failing again

image.png.099cfbe31df0e1f6542ca757b2279812.png

 

6:40, things going wrong fast

image.png.f2294c015d24163af89b2b58dcbd80c0.png

 

Pretty sure they needed at least two of those engines burning stable.

 

(Finally my Kerbal Space Program playtime pays off and I become an Internet Detective!)

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Great analysis!

...and great that SpaceX provided a live feed for our enjoyment. :thumbsup:

 

Yes, I read that the Delta IV fireball is actually by design as it was cheaper to fireproof the rocket than not have the fire in the first place.

Coincidentally, the the Delta IV Heavy that aborted after engine start a few months ago is going to have yet another try at 23:15 UTC today.

I'm sure you knew that, but it's maybe news to the multitudes that visit this site. :)

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2 hours ago, mikew said:

Coincidentally, the the Delta IV Heavy that aborted after engine start a few months ago is going to have yet another try at 23:15 UTC today.

I'm sure you knew that, but it's maybe news to the multitudes that visit this site. :)

 

News to me as well! Just slightly too late for me to watch live :(

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Deacon and I watched this live yesterday as well.

 

Pretty much the coolest thing I've seen since those two booster rockets did their simultaneous landing thing a while back.

 

There was a pretty good amateur analysis of what happened in this launch/crash landing in Reddit's BestOf subreddit.

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I was not able to watch it live, but I understand the landing was... a bit hard... and fiery.  Sounds to me like there might be some issues to work out, but then the SpaceX Dragon had issues too, but they were fixed during the development and testing phases.  Elon Musk is an interesting man, he has a vision and what he envisions, he gets.

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