SpaceX Starship Booster 7 at Launch Site for Testing
You know, every week we start thinking that there might not be that much to cover, then as we get to the end of the week, we need to figure out what not to cover because There’s just a lot. There’s a lot to talk about today on Starbase, including some very interesting updates on the new booster, Raptor 2’s performance, and eye-catching insights into the sky.
Another beautiful Falcon 9 launch with the Transporter 4, not to mention a huge month of launches coming up this month. Mark Vande Hey breaks American space flight record. The SLS is currently undergoing the final major weight dress rehearsal tests ahead of launch. 3D printed rocket. Yes. Talking about that too. And another momentary trip to space on NS-20.
So as we watch the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built prepare for its first orbital flight test, it can be a little strange to see a monster like Booster 4 and Ship 20 take off in essentially five days. Discarded like old bread, to be replaced.
It’s important to remember that SpaceX is no ordinary rocket maker.It’s about the machine making machine, and that’s Starbase. So goodbye Booster 4, and hello Booster 7. Last week, Booster 7 was rolled out from highbay for its expected move to the launch site.
As I briefly mentioned in last Saturday’s video. However, it was soon moved back inside, allowing us this glimpse of one of the new COPV aero covers, or chines, seen in the image of Starship Gazer here.In this picture it looks like there are rails for another set of 2 chines on the leeward side of the vehicle as well.
SLS Wet Dress Rehearsal,
So where we thought a few weeks ago there might only be two of them, it looks like there might be four with the next two on the opposite side like this. I’ve seen a lot of comments suggesting that the chins were only kept as cover for the COPV.
Now that we see that there could be four of them, this argument doesn’t really hold. If this were the case, it would have made more sense to split the COPV evenly into four chains, rather than put all of them in the first set of two and leave the new set blank. There are multipurpose structures.
Mainly for the aerodynamic benefits, and as a secondary bonus they safely hide the COPV. Instead of exterior COPV covers being a liability, the idea is to convert those covers into useful aerodynamic surfaces that have many benefits.
First for launch, by slightly lowering the center of lift and lowering the work to the engine gimbal. Similar to the wings on the first stage of the spectacular Saturn V or the fletching on an arrow. Secondly, they are useful during freefall before landing. Having extra drag at the engine end would give the booster more control over angle of attack.
This helps improve cross-range capabilities as it navigates through environments. Quite a few people have been scratching their heads about why Booster 7 has been moving in and out of highbay over and over again lately. It is not very clear, but it is likely that this was done to allow sections of Booster 8 to be moved inside.
Firstly, its forward section number 3 moved into the high bay and then later its forward section 4 also moved in. On Wednesday night, its methane tank piled up on that section, raising it to a height of 13 rings! This means that even a few days ago, there was stacking, which was not seen by the photographers.
Mark Vande Hei Return
The 6 ring high forward stack would have been lifted on section number 3 while booster 7 briefly emptied the highbay. Overall, this means that the CH4 tank is now fully stacked! Simultaneously, aft section numbers 3 and 5 were moved to the high bay in the ring yard, and are now lined up in a row with aft section numbers 2 and 4.
SpaceX has scheduled a temporary road closure for the next 5 to 10 a.m. day, suggest that there will be transportation operations. Then Thursday morning came, and by 5:30 a.m. Booster 7 had already left Highbay and soon made it to Highway 4 in less than an hour.
After an hour-long journey, Booster 7 arrived at the launch site where it was soon attached to SpaceX’s LR11000 crane. Much debate continues about the Ship 24’s nose cone barrel, from which the small slot has been cut. Owe’s amazing animations here show that maybe each Starlink satellite can be shot at once.
With this size of slot it could mean that the next version 2 satellites are much bigger. Additionally, loading a Starlink satellite into the payload bay can be done through narrow openings, unlike how they are shot down.
Still all speculation at this point. A lot of work has also been done on the tiling on that section and it is almost complete. I must say these tiles are even more visible on these latest vehicles. Some more exciting news this week A Raptor Delivery Tee on Wednesday.
Here we get a bird’s eye view of the dome of the new section, confirming that it is in fact made of 18 panels, less than the 43 panels of the old style of domes. The dome recently received its top hat, indicating that it is actually a forward dome.
At the launch site, Suborbital Pad A is getting ready to be returned to service, adding new clamps that should be compatible with all vehicles beyond Ship 22. You can see that these clamps added are the same as those on the Ship 22’s transport stand.
This is of course due to changes to the new locking system on future ships and boosters. Compared to previous vehicles, their pins and slots are now reversed. All that remains until Ship 24 is able to be tested on suborbital pad A is in addition to a ship’s quick disconnect at Mt.
The structural test stand, called Cane Crusher, is now confirmed to be in the 33-engined. layout. Due to this, we can safely say that in Testing Booster 4, the stand is over, and this instead means that the test tank or vehicle will be tested in the future.
Could this stand for Booster 7’s first tests to simulate the thrust of at least 13 internal engine mounts. The test stand’s cap can also be mounted on top of the Booster 7, which attaches to the base of the stand.
These 20 cables compress the booster vertically, allowing SpaceX to simulate both the thrust of all 33 engines as well as the stress due to acceleration during launch, reentry and landing.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Good news in Cape Canaveral. SpaceX is making rapid progress on the 39A Starship Tower. The base of the tower is growing rapidly, and another tower section is completed.
As well as a quick shout out to Tony Bella in this beautiful infographic released earlier this week, check out the incredible details of the “destination moon” smashing Artemis rockets that will bring us back to the lunar surface after half a century. The detail in this is incredible, with the help of the wonderful lunar caves.
Here we have the SLS, which includes a future Block 1B version for a quick size comparison, and an amazing breakdown of the ICPS upper stage and Orion. Then of course the depot vehicles, starship tankers and of course the starship vehicles to accomplish the mission with the HLS Lunar Lander remember the incredible work there and by supporting them on Twitter and their support platforms that help them continue this wonderful work.
I try to make it a point every week to give a shout out to an incredible contributor to the community so you can keep up to date with all this awesome stuff. Help them, thanks for subscribing to their feed.
And of course if you like all this information and all the stuff I cover every Saturday, it really helps the team and I’m here too thank you for supporting what we all do. SpaceX continued with its consistently reliable launches.
This time with a smaller rideshare mission called Transporter 4. Carrying 40 spacecraft, the fairing contained a variety of CubeSats, PicoSats, Microsats and an orbital transfer vehicle that would later deploy its payload. The weather was very cloudy with 30% favorable launch conditions.
Thankfully a window of opportunity presented itself and it was headed for launch. Lifting was airborne from Space Launch Complex 40 on the Cape Canaveral Falcon 9’s maiden flight for April. Punching through the clouds here, the Falcon 9 was on its way, making its seventh flight with this booster.