SpaceX’s Starship development is very exciting this week with too many updates to cover, but I’m going to break it down as well. NASA has released its ‘Moon to Mars concept’, the current plan for their first crewed mission to Mars. I must say that is a very interesting proposition.
We had the beautiful Transporter 5 mission flying all of us, and a really interesting payload at that. Starliner returns to Earth after a successful docking with the International Space Station, and a bunch of other updates. Beginning with SpaceX’s Starbase production facility to capture all things Starship. First, in the new mega bay where Booster 7 resides.
More Raptor 2 engines were being moved to Megabe this week for integration on Booster 7. A special note on the Raptor 63, when we saw it being delivered it was in the gimbling Raptor configuration that is used.
13 for the center mount. But 2 days later when it was moved to the Mega Bay, it had already been converted to the Boost version for placement in the non-gimbing, external 20 engine set. This shows that SpaceX has the ability to switch engines from one version to another.
In 2 days or less. There is really no difference between those two engines. They only needed to change the mounts after arriving at Starbase to allow them to choose which version was needed. They fitted it to make it a Boost variant to slot in a ring of 20 external engines.
Instead mount smaller non-gimbals and replace the methane pipe. In this case it can walk straight up because it doesn’t need to bend for gimbaling. So yeah, it’s a nice little insight with Raptor 2. We should see that the initial engine installation along with the rollout of the booster is completed very soon.
7 to follow. I still don’t know if we’ll see it installed with all 33 engines, or with a smaller set of test engines. After that, we should soon start seeing steady fires given that methane has been delivered several times a week. Remember that SpaceX is now using horizontal tanks to store it instead of vertical methane tanks.
which never passed the requSpaceX’s Starship Development Is So Exciting This Weekired Texas regulations. While we’re in Mega Bay, it’s important to add more roof sections up and over the structure, so it won’t take long to see this massive building put together for a whole lot more starship and booster work .
Near Highbay, the second aft flap was attached to Ship 24 which now means all major parts are attached. Some small pendant type things were also seen on its payload door in different colours. Similar to those colorful stickers that were put up across the ship, the 20’s heat shield tiles while they were undergoing repair and replacement.
Some improvements or updates are probably needed here as well. We noticed recently that the door swung a bit, so it was probably just in the process of being repaired. Later in the week, the tassels were removed. It seemed that the issue had indeed been fixed.
Although Thursday morning excitement! Ship 24 was eventually pulled out of the highbay, made its way onto Highway 4, and about an hour and a half later, it arrived at the launch site, where the ship’s cryo station was quickly disconnected.
SpaceX wasn’t messing around either because that afternoon, it was seen exiting for the first time. Of course, the excitement was probably short lived because during testing we heard a very loud pop picked up by the live stream camera and the LabPadre cameras caught it from multiple angles.
Similarly, the NASASpaceFlights live cameras caught it too. What is immediately apparent is that a bunch of heat shield tiles were seen here floundering on the ground at this point. What can you ask? Well, it’s not confirmed, but later, SpaceX pulled this very bent-looking pipe out of the vehicle.
The starship as it was captured by Gazer is quite a discovery. Not sure if it’s related, or even which part it actually is. It’s also short for feed line, so maybe a part of the pressurization system? I’m not sure but same great insight.
Just a reminder to support all these incredible cameras on the ground on your favorite platform, because testing is going to get crazy very soon. The nose cone of the next ship in line, Ship 25, was seen with almost full set of heat.
Shield Tiles. Simultaneously, the dome next to it was raised on the slewing stand on Wednesday and it was soon divided with a stack of 3 rings. This should mean that we start to see that vehicle lifts very quickly and most of its sub-assembly is now almost finished.