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Posts posted by SpaceChampion

  1. Additional little bit from JMS about the music, unfortunately Christopher Franke won't be doing it:


    I'd called Chris about it but he's essentially retired and hasn't done any film/tv scoring since B5...he's doing one long term project in Germany, but that's all he has the bandwidth for. That said, the music in this thing is *gorgeous*.


  2. 1 minute ago, polishgenius said:

     No. I'm claiming there is known damage that might potentially be serious. Which could have been mitigated but wasn't because they couldn't be arsed to wait for the water-cooled plate or to build the traditional flame diverters etc. 

    If not mitigating any damage whatsoever even if you know it's on the table is what a test launch is for, why didn't they send pilots up in it? They're not taking steps they learned they needed to take from this launch, they're taking steps they were already planning to take. Which means they knew they needed them. They just didn't want to wait.

    Wow, if only the rocket engineers took advice from non-engineers, everything would turn out perfect!

    "If not mitigating any damage whatsoever even if you know it's on the table is what a test launch is for, why didn't they send pilots up in it?"    Is this non-sequitur suppose to be a logical sentence?  If you're under the impression this is a complete near-final design of the rocket with life support and seats, you're being absurdly naive about the process.

    Yes, they're really are doing a lot of new things that go beyond what they were planning to already do, claims otherwise are special pleading.


  3. 18 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

    “At this time, no dead birds or wildlife have been found on refuge-owned or managed lands,” is an insanely narrow definition to hang the claim there was no harm done on. Hell, it doesn't mean that nothing immediately died, just that they haven't found it. And then what Kal says, about the long-term damage and disruption.

    You're making a claim there is mysterious, unknown damage that you're hanging an extensive freak-out on.

    Now they know more about the dynamics of launching Starship, they're taking a number of steps to prevent that same pad damage from re-occuring.  Which is exactly learning from a test launch is for.

  4. 9 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    This carelessly caused explosion has been an unmitigated disaster for everyone and everything that lives -- or used to live -- in the region where it happened.

    They're suing the FAA, not SpaceX.  After every launch no matter what happens environmental groups sue.  I assume their lawyers are making bank.  You can characterize it as a disaster but that doesn't touch reality.

    As I quoted above and you decided to ignore the words the Fish & Wildlife Service itself:


    There was no evidence, though, that the launch and debris it created harmed wildlife. “At this time, no dead birds or wildlife have been found on refuge-owned or managed lands,” the agency said.


  5. 6 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    Who is paying for the massive mess that needs to be cleaned up where people's homes are, whose homes are inundated in the mess?  Who is cleaning up the massive environmental mess that is killing the fish, animals and vegetation?  Who is apologizing?



    There was no evidence, though, that the launch and debris it created harmed wildlife. “At this time, no dead birds or wildlife have been found on refuge-owned or managed lands,” the agency said.


  6. SpaceX is remarkably transparent in most things it does, unlike most other companies in the industry, and they put a lot of work into safety.

    The test went well.  No one died or was harmed.  Nothing not owned by SpaceX was damaged.  None of the particulate matter fallen is toxic, it's just sand and concrete dust.  That's what risk assessment is for -- not for things to go perfectly, but to assess if harm would result. 

    Musk did a "twitter spaces" audio call to talk about it (stole this from reddit):

    • Musk: "The outcome was roughly in what I expected, and maybe slightly exceeding my expectations, but roughly what I expected, which is that we would get clear of the pad."

    • Musk: "I'm glad to report that the pad damage is actually quite small" and should "be repaired quickly."

    • Musk: "The vehicle's structural margins appear to be better than we expected, as we can tell from the vehicle actually doing somersaults towards the end and still staying intact."

    • Musk: From a "pad standpoint, we are probably ready to launch in 6 to 8 weeks.'

    • "The longest item on that is probably re-qualification of the flight termination system ... it took way too long to rupture the tanks."

    • Musk: Time for AFTS to kick in "was pretty long," about "40 seconds-ish."

    • Musk: "There were 3 engines that we chose not to start," so that's why Super Heavy booster lifted off with 30 engines, "which is the minimum number of engines."

    • The 3 engines "didn't explode," but just were not "healthy enough to bring them to full thrust so they were shut down"

    • Musk: At T+27 seconds, SpaceX lost communications [to one engine] due to "some kind of energy event." And "some kind of explosion happened to knock out the heat shields of engines 17, 18, 19, or 20."

    • Musk: "Rocket kept going through T+62 seconds" with the engines continuing to run. Lost thrust vector control at T+85 seconds.

    • Musk: Generated a "rock tornado" under Super Heavy during liftoff, but SpaceX does not "see evidence that the rock tornado actually damaged engines or heat shields in a material way." May have happened, but "we have not seen evidence of that."

    • Musk: "It was actually good to get this vehicle off the ground because we've made so many improvements" in Super Heavy Booster 9 "and beyond."

    • "Really just needed to fly this vehicle and then move on to the much improved booster."

    • Musk: After AFTS, "the ship did not attempt to save itself."

    • Musk: Big thing for next Starship launch is "insuring that we don't lose thrust vector control" with Booster 9."

    • Musk: "We're going to putting down a lot of steel" under the launch tower before the next Starship flight.

    • "Debris was really just basically sand and rock so it's not toxic at all ... it's just like a sandstorm, essentially ... but we don't want to do that again."

    • Musk: "We certainly didn't expect" to destroy the concrete under the launchpad.

    • Musk: Speculating, but "one of the more plausible explanations is that ... we may have compressed the sand underneath the concrete to such a degree that the concrete effectively bent and then cracked," which is "a leading theory."

    • Musk: Reason for going with a steel plate instead of a flame trench is that for payloads in the rocket, the worse acoustic environment doesn't matter to the payload since it's about 400 feet away.

    • Musk: Flight was "pretty close to what I expected."

    • Musk: "Got pretty close to stage separation ... if we had maintained thrust vector control and throttled up, which we should have ... then we would have made it to staging."

    • Musk: "Our goal for the next flight is to make it to staging and hopefully succeed."

    • Musk: "My expectation for the next flight would be to reach orbit." Next flight profile will be a "repeat."

    • Musk: "The goal of these missions is just information. Like, we don't have any payload or anything -- it's just to learning as much as possible."

    • Musk: "Definitely don't" expect lunar Starship (under the HLS project) to be the longest lead item for the Artemis III mission.

    • "We will be the first thing to really be" ready.

    • Musk: Probably an 80% probability of reaching orbit with Starship this year, and "I think close to 100% change of reaching orbit within 12 months."

    • Musk: Slowed down Raptor engine production "because we've got more Raptors than we know what to do with."

    • Musk: Expect to spend ~$2 billion this year on Starship.

    • Musk: "We do not anticipate needing to raise funding ... we don't think we need to raise funding." Will do the "standard thing where we provide liquidity to employees."

    • "But to my knowledge we do not need to raise incremental funding for SpaceX."

    • Musk: For the next flight, "we're going to start the engines faster and get off the pad faster." From engine start to moving Starship "was around 5 seconds, which is a really long time to be blasting the pad." Going to try to cut that time in half.

    • Musk: Starship didn't get to what SpaceX thought was "a safe point to do stage separation."

    • Musk: "I thought the SpaceX team did amazing work."

    • "This is certainly a candidate for the hardest technical problem done by humans."

    • Musk, on environmental response: "The rocket uses non-toxic propellants and ... scattered a lot of dust, but to the best of our knowledge there has not been any meaningful damage to the environment that we're aware of."

    • Musk: SpaceX has yet to make a final decision on which Starship prototype and Super Heavy booster will fly the next launch.

    • Musk: "Going to be replacing a bunch of the tanks in the tank farm, but these are tanks that we wanted to replace anyway."

    • Musk: "Tower itself is in good shape. We see no meaningful damage to the tower even though they got hit with some pretty big chunks of concrete."

    • Musk: Starship sliding laterally off the launchpad was "because of the engine failures."

    • Musk is signing off, and says he plans to do another Starship update in "3 weeks-ish"



  7. Possibly bad news regarding the Japanese lunar lander.   This is not a mission of the Japanese space agency, but one of the legacy Japanese teams that competed in the Google Lunar X-Prize.  This would be the 2nd X-Prize team to make it to the lunar surface.

  8. Mrs. Davis is a bit slow to get started, but the way the whole hilarious nightmare scenario of the world works is uncomfortably plausible.  But then there are scenes where the Nun Simone/Lizzie (Betty Gilpin) seems to have an unusual relationship with Jesus and I don't know what is going on with that.

    Thematically rich, the way it contrasts sleight-of-hand magicians with con-men, cults, conspiracy-theorists, actors, storytellers, and people seeking meaning in ways that allow them to willingly be manipulated is all very interesting.  It throws in a heavy amount of personal backstory for the characters while veiling some things until the right moment to reveal it.  Fortunately while it is very absurd everyone feels like they're complicated people with real motivations.  I hope this doesn't derail in the back half.   It does give in passing an early suggestion that the reason Mrs. Davis is doing all this is something that will be ultimately horrific for Simone but plausible an algorithm might do:


    it's following the hero's journey by giving her a chosen one quest and then making her a martyr.

    which I do hope the show goes there, and beyond, to something like what I'm reminded of Rene Girard's idea that ultimately Jesus' story is a break from the hero's journey.

    from here: https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2015/11/11/rene_girards_revelation.html


    "In the second half of the 20th century, academics tended to characterize Christianity -- if they took it seriously at all -- as one more iteration of the mythic story that can be found in practically every culture. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Star Wars, the "mono-myth," to use Joseph Campbell's formula, is told over and again. What Girard saw was that this tired theorizing has it precisely wrong. In point of fact, Christianity is the revelation (the unveiling) of what the myths want to veil; it is the deconstruction of the mono-myth, not a reiteration of it."

    "He discovered that the Bible knew all about mimetic desire and scapegoating violence but it also contained something altogether new, namely, the de-sacralizing of the process that is revered in all of the myths and religions of the world. The crucifixion of Jesus is a classic instance of the old pattern. It is utterly consistent with the Girardian theory that Caiaphas, the leading religious figure of the time, could say to his colleagues, "Is it not better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to perish?" In any other religious context, this sort of rationalization would be valorized. But in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, this stunning truth is revealed: God is not on the side of the scapegoaters but rather on the side of the scapegoated victim. The true God in fact does not sanction a community created through violence; rather, he sanctions what Jesus called the Kingdom of God, a society grounded in forgiveness, love, and identification with the victim. Once Girard saw this pattern, he found it everywhere in the Gospels and in Christian literature."


  9. On 4/21/2023 at 5:52 AM, The Anti-Targ said:

    If you count the number of circles of light in the photo I count 27, and if you count the total number of circles in the diagram that's 33. 33-27=6. Pretty easy to figure out how many engines aren't working in that photo. But maybe one engine fired then cut out, so the data from the rocket probably indicated 38 engines firing at launch.

    When I rewatched the flight as you say there were 6 out, but in the diagram only 5. A sixth winks out in the diagram at one point to indicate the correct number but lights back on moments later.  An issue with a sensor probably but in the wrong direction -- should default to not working, rather than working.

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