Elon Musk being Elon Musk

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Paul Saccani

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Jun 5, 2019
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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?
FAA call their aircraft licences certificates for historical reasons, their forebear took over certificate issue from the aero club, but they are ICAO licences. FAA *licence* spacecraft facilities and the spacecraft. They also licence launches. In this case, it would likely be a “Commercial Space Transport Licence”. Text from one of the Starship licences, emphasis added;
“SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES
License Number: LRLO 20-119
US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20591
Issued: May 28, 2020 Effective: May 28, 2020
is authorized, subject to the provisions of 51 USC Subtitle V, ch. 509, and the orders, rules, and regulations issued under it, to conduct suborbital reusable launch vehicle (RLV) missions.
General. Space Exploration Technologies is authorized to conduct RLV missions to launch the Starship Prototype Launch Vehicle. The RLV missions authorized by this license commence and conclude at the Boca Chica launch and landing site, Boca Chica, Texas.
This license is granted subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations set forth in licensing orders A, B, and C and any subsequent orders issued by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
The licensee shall at all times conduct its operations in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation for the activities authorized by this license.”

Hope that is sufficient explanation.
 

Dana

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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.
It is to Elon Musk... this is the guy who put his car in orbit...

Does the the space craft have an airworthiness (space worthiness ?) certificate?
Late 1970s, I was in college and a NASA guy was giving a talk to us aero engineering students. Somebody asked if the Shuttle was a glider or a spaceship, he said, "Spaceship. If it was a glider the FAA would make us paint an N-number on it."
 

TFF

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That’s true and they really are just tin cans not full ships. I don’t know why they don’t start all three engines and throttle one out when not needed. At least then there would be some backup. Hate to get to Mars and the one not started could have been the one needed.
 

Voidhawk9

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I don’t know why they don’t start all three engines and throttle one out when not needed. At least then there would be some backup. Hate to get to Mars and the one not started could have been the one needed.
I think you are on the right track - this is exactly what they do on ascent. For landing, these prototypes are mostly empty space, so I suspect there isn't sufficient throttling margin to land with 3. Starting 3 and shutting one or two down may work, but also adds complications as the transients due to the assymetry may be difficult to deal with in that critical manouevre.
 

BBerson

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Code of conduct guidelines suggest avoiding "non-aviation topics", which apparently means HBA is not limited to only homebuilts. I misunderstood that in the past.

5. Off Topic / Hot Button Issues - Non-aviation topics, especially those topics that are likely to cause division, should not be discussed here on HBA. Liberal vs. Conservative, Baptist vs. Catholic, support the war or don't support the war - these are all examples of conversations that can cause emotions to run high and divide our members. There are many other places on the internet to discuss those topics.
 

Richard Schubert

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these are all examples of conversations that can cause emotions to run high and divide our members. There are many other places on the internet to discuss those topics.
Agreed, there are plenty of aviation related divisive issues right here.
I prefer my drivetrains soft, my airplanes fiberglass, and my spin training optional! To the lumberyard!
 
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bmcj

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I’ll add an aviation angle to this...

Since the Spaceship sort of ‘glides’, can it also sort of stall and spin? Probably not since I think the ‘wings’ are always stalled during its flat descent.
 

Foundationer

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I’ll add an aviation angle to this...

Since the Spaceship sort of ‘glides’, can it also sort of stall and spin? Probably not since I think the ‘wings’ are always stalled during its flat descent.
I've never thought of freefall parachutists as gliding but I guess they are really.
 

Mark Z

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Code of conduct guidelines suggest avoiding "non-aviation topics", which apparently means HBA is not limited to only homebuilts. I misunderstood that in the past.

5. Off Topic / Hot Button Issues - Non-aviation topics, especially those topics that are likely to cause division, should not be discussed here on HBA. Liberal vs. Conservative, Baptist vs. Catholic, support the war or don't support the war - these are all examples of conversations that can cause emotions to run high and divide our members. There are many other places on the internet to discuss those topics.
Or “Friends don’t let friends fly plastic airplanes” ;)
 

Dana

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"...even though its last two rockets blew to smithereens while attempting to land at the company’s Boca Chica, Texas, test facility.... “The SN9 vehicle failed within the bounds of the FAA safety analysis,” the FAA said..." 🤔
 

Vigilant1

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Pretty clearly a warning by the FAA to Musk: "Publicly complain about the FAA and we'll find a reason to investigate your operation. We might shut you down for a little time, or it could be a long time. Don't push us."
 

bmcj

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"...even though its last two rockets blew to smithereens while attempting to land at the company’s Boca Chica, Texas, test facility.... “The SN9 vehicle failed within the bounds of the FAA safety analysis,” the FAA said..." 🤔
Does that mean that your Piper/Cessna/Beech can fail within bounds if it gets to the intended runway before it explodes? 🤪
 

Voidhawk9

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Does that mean that your Piper/Cessna/Beech can fail within bounds if it gets to the intended runway before it explodes? 🤪
I doubt Piper/Cessna/Beech would consider that 'within bounds' of expected safety!
 
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