SpaceX And/Or Rocketry In General

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It was great to watch live

It was great to watch it live too!!!

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An astrophysicist’s live

An astrophysicist’s live reaction to the James Webb Space Telescope Launch


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launch of mission to planet

launch of mission to planet Jupiter, now livestream:

EDIT: postponed for one day due to weather conditions

Keith Myers
Keith Myers
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Attempt #2 of Starship launch

Attempt #2 of Starship launch April 20


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This morning's second

This morning's second Integrated Flight Test of Starship plus Booster was quite a sight to watch.  I watched the SpaceX stream on, which despite complaints on Reddit of people watching using cell phones thinking it to be low resolution looked great on my 4k monitor.

Considering the previous trend, the fact that all 33 booster engines lit and stayed lit throughout boost was a huge improvement and a relief. 

The hot-staging event itself looked as scary as it sounded in advance, but seems to have worked just fine mechanically.

Now as to the minor detail that both the booster and the Starship seem to have ended the day as small fragments, I hope they can figure out what it is they need to toughen up so the next attempt can actually send Starship around the world to an orbital-speed re-entry.  They really need to get that bit to work before they have much of anything close to performing missions.


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Hallo! The Russians had in


The Russians had in 1972 similar problems with their similar N1 Rocket, see here. There are heavy problems with excessive vibrations. They stopped that program after 4 non successfully starts. Also, because of the success of the Saturn V. Let's hope, SpaceX can solve this, about 50 years later.

Kind regards and happy crunching


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Because of the large size and

Because of the large size and high engine count, lots of people have brought up the Soviet N1 in reference to Starship.  At this stage we can say that SpaceX has gotten farther with two flights than the N1 ever got with 4.

[below this point edited a day later]

After a day in which I looked for a bit of information I've made major edits to the comments I originally posted on US use of rockets engines with Soviet heritage.

Not to say the Soviets did not have some great rocket engineering.  While I have read in more than one place the pleasant tale that leftover N1 engines found in a shed somewhere were later used for US launches, the truth is a bit less direct.  The RD-180 engine had heritage in Soviet design, including the N1 engines, but was a new design and newly built when used directly for some Atlas V launches including NASA missions to the moon and Mars, and close relatives and derivatives have continued in US service, though Congress has sought to push them out of US service.

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Not sure what they found/will

Not sure what they found/will find, but I do put some stock in the theory that Scott Manley posed that it might be the deceleration and resulting sloshing of the fuel. Despite the fact that they do hot staging, like the Russians did (planned to do) with the N1. It will be very interesting to see what they find, as the Russians sadly never got to the point where they could start the stagging as per plan. The failure was always in the 1st stage as the engines were much more complex and (I believe) had a nightmarish piping scheme. I would expect that this will be less problematic for Space-X with their philosophy of "the best part is no part". As was said before, they already got further on their second launch, with the booster performing admirably. Interesting times!

E pluribus unum

Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck
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One should not underestimate

One should not underestimate the fact that Sergei Korolev died in 1966. This chief developer of the N1 and all previous Soviet space rockets could not be replaced. At the same time, he was not an engineer or a rocket designer, just a very capable manager. Nevertheless, he was irreplaceable in the Soviet space program. His successor quickly expanded the first stage of the N1 with 6 rocket engines to generate more thrust without understanding the additional complexity. There was never a rocket test-stand or extensive testing of the individual stages of the N1 rocket. Paradigm: It'll be fine. This approach was doomed from the start.

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