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Bill-Higdon

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TFF

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I’m sure it’s something stupid like allowing an aircraft to fly that has a good chance of crashing. That’s too dangerous.
 

BBerson

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I never heard the FAA use the word license. Always been certificate. As in Pilot Certificate, not Pilot License.
Seems it would be a Special Flight Permit. Did the reporter get it right?
 
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Wanttaja

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I’m sure it’s something stupid like allowing an aircraft to fly that has a good chance of crashing. That’s too dangerous.
Maybe not crashing, per se, but the magnitude of the event. One bit of speculation I've seen is that the fireball from the impact of SN 8 was much, MUCH larger than anyone expected... especially for a vehicle at the end of its flight. Range Safety rules are based on the anticipated propellant load prior to impact, and the SN8 explosion was larger than it should have been. The FAA may be revising their estimate as to the risks involved. SpaceX's Boca Chica launch site is much closer to populated areas than either Edwards, Vandenberg or the Cape (though it's still out in the boonies).

SN9 actually fell over onto the wall of its high bay. The FAA may want assurances as to its structural integrity.
1612278615479.png

One of the unusual elements of SpaceX's Starship is the proximity of the launch pads to each other. Here's SN9 and SN10 set up on their pads, about 75 meters apart. The acoustic energy from rockets is pretty severe, and 75 meters seems pretty darn close (NASA put its pads ~1500 meters apart, but rarely had a second vehicle that close). It's assumed SN10 won't be fueled when SN9 launches, but, again, the FAA may want some assurances.

1612278305145.png
The LANDING site is only 200 meters away, so the combination of a larger-than-expected fireball plus the proximity of a second vehicle and propellant handling facilities may be giving the FAA pause.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Voidhawk9

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The acoustic energy from rockets is pretty severe, and 75 meters seems pretty darn close ...
And no water spray for sound suppression either.
But these aren't old-fashioned bespoke rockets. They're prototypes for going to land on the Moon, Mars, and all over Earth. They need to be more durable and tolerant of harsh conditions for those things to work.
 

Wanttaja

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And no water spray for sound suppression either.
But these aren't old-fashioned bespoke rockets. They're prototypes for going to land on the Moon, Mars, and all over Earth. They need to be more durable and tolerant of harsh conditions for those things to work.
Well, the Moon and Mars don't really need acoustic mitigation....

Seems like one would like a bit more test data prior to setting up that close on Earth. Or is the Starship the Space Raptor? :)

Was involved in some acoustic testing for satellites a few decades back. Huge room (designed for ~40 foot tall spacecraft) with an entire wall of biiiiiiig speakers.

Ron Wanttaja
 

TFF

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I was surprised that the two starships are going to to be together when one launches. Photo ops just not worth it. The simple answer is people in the FAA are not allowed to risk. Their job is to stamp out risk. They are the safety police. It’s just that everything has gotten too safe, or we think it is safe when it’s really not.
 

Wanttaja

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I was surprised that the two starships are going to to be together when one launches.
And from the video from today's flight, SN10 was pretty close to where SN9 crashed....

I'm not sure why they're risking flight hardware that way....

Ron Wanttaja
 

Voidhawk9

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And from the video from today's flight, SN10 was pretty close to where SN9 crashed....
Further away than some of the infrastructure. But presumably this is considered acceptable risk at this point.
They've already demonstrated they can put it on the landing pad, it's just doing it softly that seems a little more tricky. :eek:
 

Marc Zeitlin

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I never heard the FAA use the word license. Always been certificate. As in Pilot Certificate, not Pilot License. Seems it would be a Special Flight Permit. Did the reporter get it right?
Yes. The Commercial Space side of the FAA does not operate the same way, or use the same terminology, as the aircraft side. Cthulhu knows, I dealt with them enough when running the Rocket Motor 2 program at Scaled :). This:


clearly lists all commercial launches and calls them "licensed".

A rose...
 

BBerson

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The Commercial Space side of the FAA does not operate the same way, or use the same terminology, as the aircraft side
Ok. So Commercial Space is under 14CFR Chapter III.
Aircraft is under 14CFR Subchapter C.

I don't see any Space Pilot Certificate. :)
 
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