Home / Technology / SpaceX revealed its Starship orbital test flight plan – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX revealed its Starship orbital test flight plan – Spaceflight Now



The artist’s concept of the Super Heavy booster and the Starship vehicle stacked up during the launch.Credit: SpaceX.

SpaceX has revealed a flight plan for the first orbital test of the company’s massive stainless steel Starship rocket, a 90-minute global mission that will start from South Texas and culminate with controls. A re-entry and a splash into Pacific Ocean near Hawaii

SpaceX included a display of its flight plans in a document posted on the Federal Communications Commission’s website Thursday.

A test flight with no passengers on board will fly out of SpaceX’s Starship development plant at Boca Chica Beach in South Texas, north of the US-Mexico border.The Starship launch site, which SpaceX calls Starbase, is the only location. With that, technicians are rapidly building new prototypes for the next giant rocket.

When fully assembled, the reusable rocket reaches a height of almost 400 feet (120 meters), making the Starship the largest launcher ever built.

The support phase, known as the Super Heavy, will have as many as 28 methane-burning Raptor engines in operational flights, generating 16 million pounds of thrust, double the power of NASA’s Apollo-era Saturn 5 rocket, the Raptor engine. Six of them will be attached to the bottom of the rocket’s upper range, which is also called Starship.

The starship doubles as an upper stage and is a refillable carrier to ferry people and cargo through space to orbit destinations of Earth, the Moon, Mars and other distant locations. Any

SpaceX is developing the Starship, a fully reusable space launch and transport system capable of loading more than 100 metric tons of cargo to low Earth orbit, more than any other rocket on Earth.

During an orbital launch attempt, Super Heavy’s first reusable booster separates from the Starship and returns to Earth for a vertical landing. Capture the first level dropped, making it easier to configure and refuel for other missions.

The Enterprise will continue to go into orbit and operate its payload or travel to deep space destinations and eventually return to Earth to fly again.

Starship’s first orbital test flight, albeit brave on the scale Instead, it will aim to prove basic rocket launch and return capabilities without having to fully test a complex landing and recovery system, according to SpaceX filings with the FCC.

This trajectory illustration, filed with the Federal Communications Commission, shows that SpaceX’s Super Heavy Booster will follow in the first Starship orbital test flight.Credit: SpaceX.

The rocket’s Super Heavy Booster will fire up a group of 28 Raptor engines for approximately 2 minutes 49 seconds on a route eastward from the Starbase launch site.

About two seconds later, the 230-foot (70-meter) super heavy booster will jettison to begin landing in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 8 minutes and 15 seconds after launch. The giant booster will aim to land about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from shore, according to SpaceX.

At the same time, the Starship orbit stage will ignite the Raptor engine at T + plus 3 minutes and 56 seconds and accelerate into orbit, heading east over the Gulf of Mexico and following the course that passes between southern Florida and Cuba. The Raptor engine is expected to be cut about 8 minutes and 41 seconds on the mission, SpaceX said when the rocket achieves the required orbital speed of about 17,000 mph (over 27,000 kph).

“The orbiter will continue to fly between the Florida straits. It will reach orbit until it performs a targeted propulsion landing about 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) off the northwest coast of Kauai in a gentle oceanic landing, ”SpaceX said.

All flights, from a lift ship in Texas to a splash near Hawaii, will take approximately 90 minutes.

“SpaceX intends to collect as much information as possible during flight to quantify the entry dynamics and better understand what vehicles experience in difficult-to-predict or predictable flight systems. “This data will tie any changes in vehicle design or CONOPs (operational concepts) after the first flight, and create better models for us to use in the vehicle design process. Our internal simulation “

This trajectory illustration filed with the Federal Communications Commission shows SpaceX’s Starship orbital procedures that will follow on the first Starship orbital test flight.Credit: SpaceX.

The company did not specify a target date for the launch of the Starship program’s first orbital test, but SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said the first Starship launch could happen before the end of the year.

SpaceX’s request to power the FCC to operate communications equipment in Starship’s orbital test flights suggests that the company expects the demonstration mission to take place over a period of time between June 20 and December 20.

The first Starship orbital test flight, which Musk suggested earlier this year, could happen as soon as July.It will follow a series of atmospheric flights aimed at validating the rocket’s performance at relatively low altitudes.

All five Starship prototypes, launched since December, each powered by three Raptor engines to propel a 16-story rocket to an altitude of more than 30,000 feet (about 10 kilometers) above South Texas. Four test rockets during or shortly after landing, but the latest Starship prototype – Serial No.15 – hammered a vertical touchdown and propelled it back at the Starbase factory.

Starship stages, such as the Super Heavy Booster and some of SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rockets in use today, use variable propulsion from the main engine to slow down their landing.

This trajectory illustration, filed with the Federal Communications Commission, illustrates SpaceX’s Starship orbital procedures that will take place during the re-entry to finalize the first Starship orbital test flight.Credit: SpaceX.

SpaceX plans an atmospheric test flight of the Starship prototype to refine its rocket takeoff and landing. The company also plans to test the first “jump” of a full-sized Super Heavy booster, likely before. Will move forward with an attempt to launch orbit

Engineers have tested a coupon sample of Starship’s stainless steel surface heat shield, but the orbital rockets will need a more extensive thermal barrier to withstand the extremely hot temperatures of return to layer. Atmosphere again

The SN15 prototype, which was successfully launched and landed on May 5, introduced several upgrades to the Starship rocket, the transition “will enable greater speed and efficiency throughout production and flight” SpaceX. say

Upgrades to the SN15 include “an improved flight system kit, an improved rocket propulsion architecture in the tailgate, and a new Raptor engine design and configuration,” SpaceX said.

The Starship rocket’s next jumping capability will come with the SN20, which will be installed for orbital test flights.

Musk tweeted earlier this year that the initial Super Heavy / Starship combination would have a high probability of a successful launch into orbit. But it may take several attempts before SpaceX can maneuver the Starship’s return-in and landing from orbit.

Last month, SpaceX was awarded a $ 2.9 billion contract from NASA to develop a Starship spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon through the space agency’s Artemis program.SpaceX made a bid from Blue Origin and Dynetics to win the contract for the spacecraft. Land on NASA’s next human-rated moon.

As planned by NASA, astronauts will leave Earth on a government-owned Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule, and then meet with a pre-positioned Starship in lunar orbit, the Starship spacecraft will launch. From the world with no one on the boat

After landing on the moon, the astronauts leave the spacecraft and take an elevator down to the surface. When their work is complete, the crew will launch the Starship back into lunar orbit, meet the Orion capsule, and return to Earth.

“alt =” “/>

Last month, SpaceX was awarded a $ 2.9 billion contract from NASA to develop a Starship spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon through the space agency’s Artemis program.SpaceX made a bid from Blue Origin and Dynetics to win the contract for the spacecraft. Land on NASA’s next human-rated moon.

As planned by NASA, astronauts will leave Earth on a government-owned Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule, and then meet with a pre-positioned Starship in lunar orbit, the Starship spacecraft will launch. From the world with no one on the boat

After landing on the moon, the astronauts leave the spacecraft and take an elevator down to the surface. When their work is complete, the crew will launch the Starship back into lunar orbit, meet the Orion capsule, and return to Earth.

SpaceX has successfully reduced launch costs with its Falcon 9 rocket, which features a reusable first stage and shroud. But neither part is reusable quickly, and the Falcon 9’s second stage is brand new for every mission.

“With Starship, we hope to put the whole thing back on,” Musk said last month. It took us, now we are like 19 years old, I think the Starship design can be used. It is difficult to fix and NASA’s support is greatly appreciated in this regard. I think it will work. “

Musk finally needs a fleet to recover and re-launch Super Heavy boosters and Starship.

“It was intended for the booster to be usable, I don’t know ten times a day, typically every two hours,” Musk said in the X PRIZE webcast last month, “and it’s mostly about rocket stuffing and charging. Install the boat Then the boat could theoretically be used every three hours… but it is precisely every six to nine hours. We’ll call it a boat twice a day. And we will build more warships than those that are outstanding. “

SpaceX officials have suggested that Starships can work with high-speed point-to-point intercontinental travel on Earth.

“Once we have a floating space platform, we can position it so that the spacecraft will return to one orbit,” Musk said. Per year, each with a payload of 100 to 150 tons into orbit “

“I would say that I recently felt I could be fully recycled and quickly reused,” Musk said. “I wasn’t sure for a long time. But now I’m sure. “

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1




Source link