SpaceX Stacks Starship 24 For FINAL Pre-Launch Tests & Stunning SpaceX Satellite. Take A Look:- It’s stacked!!! But why and what’s next? My name is Felix, and I’m your host for today’s episode of What about it.
You just saw SpaceX’s Starship 24 stacked onto their Super Heavy Booster 7 at Starbase, Texas. And today, we’ll find out what that means for the Starship program! Let’s dive right in! Starship Updates SpaceX’s week has been nothing short of record-breaking all around again.
Falcon 9 launches Crew Dragon, announcing yet another crewed Starship mission around the Moon. You know. The usual stuff. More on that later. Now, let’s take a look at the launch preparations for Ship 24 and booster 7! It all began on Friday, October 7th.
The day my last episode hit YouTube. SpaceX rolled Booster 7 from the Starbase production site to the launch site. Many Starships and boosters have repeatedly taken the 2.3-mile trip down Highway 4 in recent years. SpaceX recently gave Highway 4 a new pavement just for these rocket rollouts.
The rest of highway 4 is still in pretty bad shape. As soon as they start working on the highway 4 section going out of Starbase towards Brownsville harbor, you’ll know that they’re getting ready to transport a prototype to Kennedy Space Center.
But we’re sidetracking. Once it arrived at the launch site and after lifting it onto the Orbital launch mount, Engine work on Booster 7 began. The center engine got swapped. On Monday morning, SpaceX workers prepared everything for the next full stack.
And at least right now, there is a lot of preparation work needed to just lift a Starship on top of a Super Heavy booster. Operations began in the early morning hours. Wai Cam operator Chief was on site to film it all for us in glorious 4k.
Give the episode a like and subscribe to the channel if you appreciate what Chief does out there almost every day! Thank you, Chief! You rock! Finally ready for the lift in the late afternoon, the chopsticks moved into place to pick the Starship up.
Stunning footage again from the WAI cam. This is SpaceX’s idea of making humanity a multi-planetary species at work! It took Mechazilla one hour to stack the Starship on top of the booster. An empty starship weighs in at roughly 120 to 150 tones right now, so it’s far from being a lightweight rocket.
Shortly before the actual stack, you can see the upper quick disconnect with the claw move into place, ready to grab the Starship and secure it in place. On the side, you can see a SpaceX drone keeping a close eye on the process. Done.
Ship 24 and Booster 7 are stacked on top of the orbital launch mount, waiting for final tests, hopefully before the launch. These are the pictures SpaceX’s drone took while flying around the Starship stack. When I see these pictures, I am wondering what people will think when they see them a hundred or even 500 years from now.
This is history in the making, and we’re here to witness it in person! In total, it took SpaceX around three hours for both Booster 7 and ship 24 to be stacked on top of the orbital launch mount. Adding a bit more optimization, this could likely be done in under two hours with existing equipment.
This will be very important down the line and for rapid reusability. So, what’s next? How will this continue? The latest statement from Elon is that a launch could be possible in late October but definitely in November.
So, at maximum, we’re around 6-7 weeks away from a flight. SpaceX will use the remaining time to do a full booster static fire and a full wet dress rehearsal, so a full simulated launch without an actual ignition. Once that is done, they’ll likely roll both backs to the production site one last time for the last upgrades and inspections.
Then comes the final rollout and a last static fire. After that, it’s gone time! And after that? More Starships. SpaceX is secretly ramping up its production capacity. Chief has sighted at least two more welding robots. Those are used to weld ring segments together.
On top of that, Parts up to ship 32 have been spotted. Downcomers, domes, ring segments, Vacuum Raptor mounts. SpaceX’s plan to ramp up the Starship launch cadence after this first launch can already be seen everywhere.
We won’t have to wait another year for the next launch after Ship 24. Do you want to support us further in documenting Spaceflight history? Then go check out our Merch store with designs by Neopork, Nick Henning 3D, and as of lately, also Tony Bela! Christmas is coming.
This might be the perfect space gift you’ve been looking for! On we go with some spectacular images of SpaceX’s progress at Kennedy Space Center! Hurricane Ian. Known to devastate the Florida West coast and large parts of Central Florida wasn’t known for bringing good things. But there’s one exception here.
Every time a Hurricane passes over the Kennedy Space Center, the NOAA sends a Satellite to take pictures of everything to assess the damage. And those Satellites have an incredibly high resolution or ground sample distance, as it’s called when referring to Satellite images.
Roughly 30 centimeters per Pixel when zoomed in. They took pictures of almost everything interesting. Launch Complex 16 with Relativity Space and Terran 1. Of course not currently on the pad as this was taken right after the Hurricane.
These pictures are from October 1st, so only 3 days before ULA launched SES 20 & 21 from SLC41. Here’s SLC 40. SpaceX’s second pad at Kennedy Space Center. Incredibly busy these days. SpaceX modified the pad in 2013 to make it capable of launching Falcon 9 rockets.
Since then the launch cadence at SLC 40 went up just slightly. So far, 20 launches this year only from this one pad. And finally, we also have Pad 39A. The mother of all pads at KSC. Arguably the busiest Rocket pad in the world.
Below the ramp, we have the Horizontal Integration Facility, and next to it, the small operations building. Above it… organized chaos. This pad has seen all sorts of rockets throughout its history. Saturn V, Space Shuttle, Falcon Heavy, and now Starships.
And we can spot quite a few new things from above. The tank farm is slowly taking shape. Two more tanks are on site, which will likely be moved to the empty spots near the spherical Methane tank to the north. Kettle reboilers can be seen directly between the Mechazilla launch tower and the mystery tank.
Space next to them so there will be more. The tank itself reveals a few extra details from above. It has a double hull. Both, the inner and the outer domes can be seen on the ground next to it.
The inner dome almost looks like an edome and it has a center outlet on top. Below all the construction work going on, a new piece of hardware can be seen lying on the ground. By now, it’s been installed into the foundation of the OLM already, and it likely is a water deluge system for the Starship launch mount itself.
A different perspective, thank you, NOAA, reveals the location where it got installed. The dug-out part surrounding the launch mount legs.
That’s where it went. Benedikt 3D has been working together with me to create some renders and animations of what it looks like. 192 outlet pipes with a diameter of point 2 meters each.
A hexagonal feeder pipe surrounding the Launch mount with a diameter of around 1 point 2 meters. It’s not exactly clear yet, how the water will be distributed under the pad.
But it is likely that the outlets will receive rainbirds and that the water will then be sprayed inwards under the mount just before engine ignition to create water vapor.
This would protect the ground below the mount and reduce heat and shockwaves from the engines. So, technically this system protects everything. Itself, the ground, the legs, the rocket.
It’s still not a flame diverter, but it looks like a solid solution and not an afterthought as what SpaceX did at Starbase. Pad 39A is evolving quickly, and it will likely play a very important role in our return to the Moon and our first crewed visits to Mars.
Thank you so much for your help, Benedikt! Follow him on Twitter @benedikt_3d. A link is in the description! SpaceX is getting ready to launch Starships from Kennedy Space Center, and the launch manifest also has a new entry.
SpaceX has new Passengers for their Starships. Akiko and Dennis Tito. They booked two of a dozen seats on a Starship flight around the Moon. And those seats are not on Polaris III, Jared Isaacmans low Earth orbit starship trip, or Yusaku Maezawas Dear Moon Mission.
They booked seats on a flight happening after that, which makes this crewed flight number three. There’s no launch date yet, and it will likely take some time before we can see them embark on a week-long trip taking them to 40 kilometers above the lunar surface and then back to Earth.
But this is the start of the next era in human Spaceflight. Dennis Tito has been to space before. On April 28th of 2001, he was the first-ever space tourist to pay for his flight. Going up on a Soyuz rocket, he paid 20 million dollars and spent 8 days aboard the ISS.
Now 82 years old, he is taking his wife with him on the next flight. Very nice. According to him, the worst-case scenario for a launch date would be 5 years from now, which would make him 87 years at lift-off.
Another good example is that you don’t have to be a military test pilot in your prime to fly to the Moon on a SpaceX Starship. And 10 other yet-to-be-named passengers will join the Titos for this trip around the Moon. As a fun fact, he hasn’t announced what he’s paying.
No matter what he’s paying, these are the people kickstarting future Space Tourism for all of us. In the beginning, it’s very expensive, and later prices go down more and more. Speaking of prices going down, Surfshark VPN is sponsoring today’s episode and has a special deal just for you! A VPN is a good thing to have in general.
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Last but not least for today’s episode I’d like to show you some stunning footage of the recent SpaceX Intelsat Galaxy 33 and 34 launch! October 8th at 7:05 pm local time. Falcon 9 is seeing yet another launch out of SLC40 and Kennedy Space Center.
This time Intelsat, the largest operator of integrated ground and space networks in the world, launched Galaxy 33 and 34. Both satellites distribute Cable network content to 99.9% of all US cable customers. Needless to say that there were zero issues on the launch.
Falcon 9 operated like clockwork. We watched the launch from our front door. Beautiful colors as the rocket launched in the evening. The twilight effect was stunning again. That happens, whenever the sun is already setting at the launch site, but the rocket is hitting sunlight as it ascends toward space.
SpaceX showed a stunning video view from their Drone ship out on the Atlantic Ocean. We were standing here. You can see the exhaust trail of the booster brightly illuminated in the distance.
Then a short interruption of the trail, which is caused by the stage separation, and then the upper stage continues its way to orbit with the exhaust gasses expanding more and more as the atmospheric pressure surrounding the engine reduces more and more.
Stunning footage can only be seen at this specific time of day. SpaceX painting artworks into the sky. Thank you, SpaceX.
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